Margarita M. Castromán Soto is an Assistant Professor of English at Rice University. In her research and teaching, she focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century African American, Latinx, and Caribbean literatures with a particular emphasis on critical race theory, archive theory, and digital culture. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Critical Perspectives on Caribbean Literature and Culture; Diverse Unfreedoms: The Afterlives and Transformations of Post-Transatlantic Bondages; and African American Review. Her current book project, “Collecting Race: The Archival Impulse in Twentieth-Century Black Literature and Culture” explores how twentieth and twenty-first century Black writers theorize Black archives as new ways of being, understanding, and recording the human. In conversation with archive theory, critical race studies, affect theory, and the work of Black feminist scholars like Hortense Spillers and Sylvia Wynter, the project examines how archives and theories about the archival impulse have traditionally worked by and for the overrepresentation of the human as “Man.” And yet, as the legacy of seminal Black archivists and the preponderance of archival representation in the canon of Black literature affirm, Black archives do a different sort of work for a different kind of future.
In addition to the ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Professor Castromán has received a number of research grants to support her extensive archival research. She has also worked in digital curation at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library and is an on-going Research Fellow for the Black Bibliography Project.