Wesleyan portrait of Ren  Ellis Neyra

Ren Ellis Neyra

Associate Professor of English

Downey House, 294 High Street, 217

Associate Professor, African American Studies

Coordinator, Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory


BA Freed Hardeman College
PHD SUNY at Stony Brook

Ren Ellis Neyra

Professor Ellis Neyra writes and teaches in the fields of Caribbean, African diaspora, and Latinx literary studies (focusing especially on poetry, music, and cinema), as well as literary and critical theory. Ellis Neyra is as interested in the possibilities for thought that emerge when reading texts closely and slowly as in quandaries, impasses, and impossibilities that emerge at the limits of reading. Ellis Neyra has additional interests in deconstruction, Third Cinema, Cine Imperfecto, "ethics of reading," and translation. At Wesleyan, Ellis Neyra is currently the Coordinator of the Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate and hosts scholarly talks and events in its name, relevant to questions of theory today. In 2021, Ellis Neyra co-organized the Earth, World, Ethics serial symposium hosted by the Center for the Humanities.

Ellis Neyra is the author of The Cry of the Senses: Listening to Latinx and Caribbean Poetics (Duke University Press, 2020), which was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2022 Outstanding Book Award of the Latinx Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). Some recent publications include: "The Question of Ethics in the Semiotics of Brownness" (sx salon); "White Mythologies," a response essay to the the special book forum in Small Axe Journal about The Cry of the Senses; and an interview with Black Agenda Report's Book Forum editor.

Three new book projects are underway: a manuscript currently titled "Re-reading: The Violence of Relation"; another about the long and violent history of representations of sovereignty in Caribbean literature, for which Ellis Neyra began doing archival research as a John Carter Brown fellow at Brown University in 2020; and a third project about representations of the Kardashians, the Bobbitts, and American domesticity. As a writer, Ellis Neyra publishes peer-reviewed and scholarly essays, as well as art reviews, and poetry, and has published or has work forthcoming in: differences; Small Axe Journal; sx salon; Radical History Review; Habana Elegante; La Gaceta de Cuba; Sargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language and CultureJournal of Popular Music Studies; The Cambridge Companion to Queer Studies; ASAP/Journal; ARTFORUM; BOMB magazine; Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora; and Public Books. Ellis Neyra published their debut book of poetry, Meteor Shower/ Días Sin Shower (2017), and a co-edited, collaborative volume of text and images, Caribbean Cautionary Tales (2017), both with La Impresora Press, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Spring 2023 Office Hours for Current Students and Advisees (including Theory Certificate students): 3-4 PM, M & W (currently via Zoom), and by appointment (if you're in a class during those times, please email me to arrange another meeting time).

Schedule meetings here: Calendly and I will send a Zoom link via email.

Students: Note, *I do not hold "drop-in" hours* in general. You are very welcome to schedule a meeting and come prepared to discuss topics relevant to course studies, writing assignments, and conceptual questions emergent from course readings.

Students who would like to discuss questions about graduate school and academic planning, please email me at rellisneyra [at] wesleyan.edu to schedule a time-appropriate meeting for these important intellectual and professional matters.

The professor encourages students experiencing medical, psychological, and/or emotional events to use the appropriate resources (i.e., mutual aid, medical expertise, somatic and/or spirtual guidance) on campus and in the world for such important, sometimes political, and  deeply private matters. Please note that the professor is not trained to offer these resources in any professional capacity.


Spring 2023
ENGL 201R - 01
Ways of Reading: Strange Inhe

ENGL 320 - 01
The Senses in Film and Poetry

Fall 2023
ENGL 141F - 01
Revolutionary Rupture (FYS)

ENGL 301 - 01
1492: States of War