Licia Fiol-Matta grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She received an AB from Princeton University and a PhD from Yale University, both in Comparative Literature. Prior to joining NYU she taught at Barnard College and the City University of New York. Fiol-Matta teaches courses on feminism in the Americas; modern and contemporary Latin American literature, film and art; and music and popular culture.
Fiol-Matta has published two monographs: the critically acclaimed and widely influential A Queer Mother for the Nation: The State and Gabriela Mistral (Minnesota; translation forthcoming from Editorial Palinodia, Chile) and the award-winning The Great Woman Singer: Gender and Voice in Puerto Rican Music (Duke; translation forthcoming from Editorial Callejón, Puerto Rico). She is co-editor, with José Quiroga, of the series New Directions in Latino American Cultures (Palgrave), with over 50 cutting-edge titles on Latin American and Latinx literature, gender, sexualities, race, film, art, and popular culture. Fiol-Matta’s recent work has appeared in the edited volumes Psychoanalysis in the Barrios: Race, Class, and the Unconscious; Critical Terms in Latin American and Caribbean Thought (translation Términos críticos en el pensamiento caribeño y latinoamericano); and Cocinando suave: ensayos de salsa en Puerto Rico. Peer-reviewed publications have appeared more recently in Current Musicology, Radical History Review, PMLA, Papel máquina, and women and performance.
Fiol-Matta has received various grants and awards over the course of her career, among them from the Ford Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, City University of New York; the Editorial Board of Social Text; the Advisory Boards of Nomadías (Chile) and Revista Hispánica Moderna (New York); and, currently, the Editorial Board of Revista de Estudios Hispánicos (St. Louis).