Wesleyan portrait of Ren  Ellis Neyra

Ren Ellis Neyra

Associate Professor of English

Downey House, 294 High Street, 217

Associate Professor, African American Studies


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BA Freed Hardeman College
PHD SUNY at Stony Brook

Ren Ellis Neyra

Professor Ren Ellis Neyra is a poetic theorist working in the fields of Caribbean, African diaspora, and Latinx Studies. Their writing and teaching in these fields prioritize: Poetics; the relationships between Poetry, Music, Film, and Performance; Aesthetics; Contemporary Caribbean Art; Third Cinema; Translation; and Theory. 

Ellis Neyra's book, The Cry of the Senses: Listening to Latinx and Caribbean Poetics, is forthcoming with Duke University Press in the fall of 2020. Sonically and synesthetically engaging a range of texts and aesthetic forms across the Caribbean archipelago and Sonoran desert, from Salsa and Indie music to live and multimedia performance, to poetry, theater, legal transcripts, and short experimental films, The Cry of the Senses theorizes and enacts its method of multisensorial, poetic listening, and interpolates itself into and out of Latinx Studies.

Ellis Neyra has begun two new book projects, and two different ways of getting at a poetics without humanism: one provisionally titled "Abuse, Poetics: Bilingualism, the American Domestic, and Eroticism," consisting of essays on the white, Kardashian enterprise of black captivity, the Lorena Bobbitt trial and Latinx responses thereto, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's poetics of enjambment and female anal eroticism, Robert Hayden's poetic concerns with domesticity, abuse, queer desire, blackness and place, and a personal essay on bilingualism and domestic abuse; and the other, titled "Liquid: Unsovereign Caribbean Aesthetics and 'Chimerical Ecologies,"' imagines an emergent aesthetics and poetics from the ecosystems of what Ellis Neyra calls "unsovereign" places in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Martinique). Artists and writers nibia pastrana santiago, Ramón Miranda Beltrán, Joiri Minaya, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, MAOF, Engel Leonardo, Monchoachi, Édouard Glissant, Sylvia Wynter, Denise Ferreira da Silva, and others, feature in this study of the elements in/of Caribbean visual and performance art and poetics.

As a writer, they think in the genres (and temporalities) of academic essays, as well as art and performance reviews, and poetry. Read their writing in: ARTFORUM; BOMB magazine; the Journal of Popular Music Studies; ASAP/Journal; Terremoto: Contemporary Art in the Americas; Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theoryLa Gaceta de Cuba; Sargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language and Culture; Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora; La Habana Elegante; Comparative Literature and Culture, and other venues. Ellis Neyra recently published their debut book of poetry, Meteor Shower/ Días Sin Shower (2017), and a co-edited, collaborative volume, Caribbean Cautionary Tales (2017), with La Impresora Press, San Juan, Puerto Rico. New work is forthcoming in The Cambridge Companion to Queer Studies, and elsewhere.

The bio- and geo-diverse landscapes of southeast Florida, western Tennessee, and the Caribbean -- oceanic, riverine, marshy, sunken, hilly, arid, briny, non-white racialized, white-settled, plantation-warped, fugitive-traced -- course through Ellis Neyra's writing, teaching, and imaginary of space and relations. They bring all of these elements into their dynamics and practices of study in and beside the University, around and under discourses of individuation.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

**On research sabbatical until spring 2020**

Office hour meetings may be scheduled here: https://calendly.com/rellisneyra/office-hours

Dear Students: Note, *I do not hold drop-in hours.* Please schedule and come prepared to discuss only 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 matters.

The professor encourages students experiencing medical, psychological, and/or emotional crises to use the appropriate resources on campus and in the world for such important and private matters.


Spring 2021
ENGL 279 - 01
Intro to Latina/o/x Lit & Art

ENGL 328 - 01
Brown&Black Forms and Feelings