Associate Chair and Assistant Professor
Silvia Soto is an Assistant Professor in Chicano and Latino Studies and in Native American Studies at Sonoma State University. She holds a PhD in Native American Studies from UC Davis; an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico; and a BA in Spanish and Sociology from UC Davis. Her research focuses on the contemporary Mayan literary movement of Chiapas, Mexico, more specifically on concepts of identity formation, gender relations, and Mayan cosmovisions.
Her book manuscript is currently under press review. The text’s core narrative traces contemporary Mayan literary production throughout and following the 1994 uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). Her publications thus far have centered on specific aspects of contemporary Mayan writers’ literary production. These include, “Rebuilding a Mayan World: Awakening, Presence, and Possibilities,” published in Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World (2017) and “‘A World Where Many Worlds Fit:’ Zapatismo and the Reconstruction of a Mayan World in Chiapas” in the anthology Violence and Indigenous Communities: Confronting the Past and Engaging the Present by Northwestern University Press (2021).
At SSU, she teaches courses that focus on Chicanx/Latinx and Latin American Literature, the Latin American Indigenous diaspora experience, comparative/relational indigeneities of the Americas, and intersections of gender and decolonial theory. Her approach to research and teaching is always relational, transnational and hemispheric.
Prior to joining Sonoma State, she was a visiting assistant professor and a postdoctoral research fellow in American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she also taught courses on Native American and Indigenous literatures and Indigenous worldviews and knowledge systems.