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Department of English Language and Literature


Claire Jimenez

Title: Assistant Professor
McCausland Faculty Fellow
Department: English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: HUO 412
Resources: African American Studies
English Language & Literature
Claire Jimenez

PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
MFA, Vanderbilt University
BA, Colby College

Specializations and Areas of Research

Creative Writing
Ethnic Studies
Digital Humanities
African American Literature
Latinx/Afro-Latinx Literature
Puerto Rican and Caribbean Studies
African Literature

Current and Recent Projects

I am the author of Staten Island Stories (Johns Hopkins University Press), a loosely linked collection of short stories that travels across time to explore defining moments in Staten Island history, such as the 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash, the New York City Blackout, the Island’s opioid crisis, Eric Garner’s murder, and the 2016 presidential election. These stories examine how the characters within them navigate challenges posed by racism, classism, and addiction. My current project, What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, is a novel set during the 2008 recession, following Puerto Rican sisters Nina and Jessica Ramirez from Staten Island, New York. Nina and Jessica’s middle sister Ruthy disappeared in 1997, when she was thirteen years old. Ten years later the sisters believe they have spotted Ruthy on a raunchy reality TV show, in which a group of women live with and bitterly fight each other in the same house for six months. Told through the multiple rotating points of view of the sisters and their mother, this novel explores intergenerational violence, race, colonialism, and silence, as the Ramirez family searches for Ruthy. What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez is forthcoming from Grand Central at Hachette in the Spring of 2023. In addition to my creative writing, I have also worked for the African Poetry Digital Portal as a research assistant to help develop digital spatial visualizations and bibliographic profiles of key contemporary African Writers. In 2020 I co-founded The Puerto Rican Literature Project, a free digital archive, with a team of Puerto Rican writers and scholars from the archipelago and the diaspora, in partnership with the U.S. Latino Digital Humanities Program at the University of Houston. In 2021, our team secured a 1.3-million-dollar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to further develop the archive.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.