Author’s Biography

Readers must make some connections between the sexual violence 

of women, the historical objectification of people of 

color and the objectification of violence of the body of Mother Earth.

Joni Adamson, 2001

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. 

                  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963)

Lisette H. A. Espinoza Vazquez, M.A. Rhetoric, Ethnic and Third World & American Literature, UT at Austin

Associate Professor of English, Literature, and Spanish in the Dept. of English and Global Studies Program at Northern Essex Community College with IVE and COIL collaborations

Massachusetts, New England, U.S.

Born in Santa Monica, California, lived in San Francisco, CA, San José, Costa Rica, Austin, Texas, and Essex County, Massachusetts. Volunteer/Organizer/Campaigner for Greenpeace, Act Up, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society of WA, Indivisible-Rise of NBP, Catholic Charities, and for MA Teachers Association’s Educative Legislative campaigns, and in collaboration with SEIU (Service Employees International Union) & union member.

Professional Profile

My Personal Investment

When students ask me about my own concerns with the health and well-being of communities and their ecosystems, my answers usually reflect personal reasons and aspects of SDoH (Social Determinants of Health), which are quite revealing if you have had a working class upbringing that exposes communities to urban pollution, unregulated housing, and among many, a socioeconomic status reduced by a single-parent household. Yet, perhaps due to being the daughter of Costa Rican immigrants, I have always been drawn toward sustainable and ecologically responsible living as a value of my own worldview, even during childhood when my parents worked at an American fast-food joint or now when I think about recent anniversaries – like the 1991 Gulf War – as a citizen of the United States. I begin to imagine alternative landscapes and city dwellings ecologically responsible where communities, forests and the habitats of wildlife strive to coexist.

Why this Book?

As the book cover implies, the concept was simple yet ambitious: To write a culturally and ecologically relevant 200-level introduction to literary studies textbook. This project was only made possible by the coming together of my college students the last few semesters – from Freshman Composition, American Literature, Spanish Language classes, and with university students in Chiapas and Hidalgo, México and Paris, France. Students engaged with peers in the classroom and with peers abroad through virtual platforms. Students virtually crossed oceans and regions to collaborate and share concerns about sustainability close to all their homes. Access to equitable pedagogy transcends traditional educational boundaries in this teaching model with teaching methods that weave Critical Race Pedagogy together with ecocriticism, to enhance and guide transformative learning experiences to value the social and the ecological. These teaching methods uphold a student-centered teaching philosophy to serve students and their communities – locally and abroad – and challenge them as problem-solvers to identify and learn how social justice intersects with environmental justice and climate stability, regardless of academic major, creed, gender, language, nationality, and religion.

Acknowledgments & Indigenous Peoples’ Land Acknowledgement

Special thank you to those who supported my vision throughout conception to execution: Student-Reader Poet-Educator Diana Burke (she/her) of the Merrimack Valley, Northern Essex Community College CIT support Sue Tashjian, ROTEL Copyeditors Jess Egan and Rick Lizotte, Melba Acevedo, NECC’s Director of Institutional Technology and Online Education, and NECC Dean of Liberal Arts Amy Callahan. Book cover artists Sachiel Sosa and Marilyn Perez of Hidalgo, México, Graphic Designers Salvatore Serio of East Boston and Adam Katz of Summerville, Massachusetts, and Dominican Artist Wilfred Acosta (Elevated Thought, Lawrence, MA).


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Literary Studies For A Sustainable Future Copyright © 2024 by Lisette Helena Assia Espinoza is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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