Wesleyan portrait of Rachel  Ellis Neyra

Rachel Ellis Neyra

Assistant Professor of English

Downey House, 294 High Street, 217

Assistant Professor, African American Studies


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BA Freed Hardeman College
PHD SUNY at Stony Brook

Rachel Ellis Neyra

Professor Ren (née Rachel) Ellis Neyra is a poetic theorist working in the fields of Latinx, Black, and Caribbean Studies. Their writing and teaching in these fields prioritize: Poetics; the relationships between Poetry, Music, and Performance; Aesthetics; Contemporary Puerto Rican and Cuban Art; Third Cinema; Literary, Queer, Postcolonial, and Translation Theories. 

Ren Ellis Neyra is completing their book manuscript, provisionally titled The Cry of the Senses: Poetic Listening and Latinx Literature and Art (under contract with Duke University Press). The Cry probes the historical demands of poetics in the field of Latina/o/x Studies through a performative methodology of listening closely and synesthetically for unruly sounds made by what we otherwise cordon off as visual, narrative, and mimetic. Sonically and multi-sensorially engaging a range of texts, from Salsa and Indie music to live and multimedia performance, to poetry, theater, legal transcripts, and short experimental films, the book features a synesthetic archive that sounds out nonsense, upheaval, hyper-participation, sex, refusal, deviancy, and disobedience in Puerto Rican, Nuyorican, Chicana/o/x, and Black diasporic aesthetics. The book imagines Latinx as a riotous movement.

Ren Ellis Neyra writes academic, peer-reviewed essays, as well as art and performance reviews, and poetry. Read their writing in: Artforum; BOMB magazine; 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 a book of poetry, Meteor Shower/ Días Sin Shower (2017), and a co-edited, collaborative volume, Caribbean Cautionary Tales (2017), with La Impresora, San Juan, Puerto Rico. New work is forthcoming in the Journal of Popular Music StudiesASAP/Journal, The Cambridge Companion to Queer Studies, and elsewhere.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours


HOURS: TUESDAYS, 3-4:30 P.M., and by appointment. To ask for an appointment at another time, email Professor Ellis Neyra.


Fall 2019
ENGL 141F - 01
Revolutionary Rupture (FYS)

ENGL 201R - 01
Ways of Reading: Sound Sense