Serena Rivera

Assistant Professor of Portuguese and Spanish


1309B Cathedral of Learning


Serena J. Rivera joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2018 and is currently Assistant Professor of Portuguese and Spanish in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures. She also serves as an Advisor to the Luso-Brazilian Student Association and is involved in various diversity initiatives throughout the university. Dr. Rivera received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in 2013 and carried out her grant year as an ETA in the Departamento de Letras Estrangeiras Modernas at the Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Paraná, Brazil. Her current research explores the interconnected relationship between food, gender, race, and the construction of nation in the cultural production of the Lusophone world. Dr. Rivera approaches these themes through the theories of cultural tropes, food and eating studies, narratology, masculinities and postcolonial studies.


  • PhD, Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies and Theory, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • MA, Portuguese Studies, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • BA, Anthropology; Minor: English, Fordham University

Selected Publications

Edited Volume

(In)digestion in Literature and Film: A Transcultural Approach. Co-edited with Niki Kiviat. Routledge, May 2020.

Book Chapters

“Searching for Sustenance in (the Literatures of) Post-independence Mozambique.” Hispanic and Lusophone Voices of Africa. Vernon Press, forthcoming.

“Introduction: On (In)digestability and the Politics of Identity.” (In)digestion in Literature and Film: A Transcultural Approach. Routledge, May 2020.

Journal Articles

Co-author. “Edible Encounters and the Formation of Self in Baltasar Lopes’ Chiquinho and Paulina Chiziane’s Niketche: uma história de poligamia.” Modern Languages Open. April 2016.
Co-author. “Ensino de Português nos Estados Unidos: uma compilação.” Revista Multidisciplinar Vozes dos Vales da UFVJM 4 (2013): 2-19.

Areas of Specialization

  • Literatures and Cultures of Brazil and Lusophone Africa
  • Lusophone Cinema
  • Issues of race, gender and coloniality
  • Food studies
  • Portuguese Language pedagogy