Solimar Otero

Solimar  Otero 

Associate Professor

Bachelor's Degree(s): Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, (Suma Cum Laude), 1994
Master's Degree: Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania, 1997
PhD: Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania, 2002.
Phone: (225) 578-3046


Office: 223-C Allen Hall






Solimar Otero is Associate Professor of English and a Folklorist at Louisiana State University.  She is the director of LSU’s Program in Louisiana and Caribbean Studies, and the director of the Ogden Honor’s College Summer Study Abroad Program in Cuba.  She received her PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Her research centers on gender, sexuality, Afro-Caribbean spirituality, and Yoruba traditional religion in folklore, literature, and ethnography. She is the author of Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World, (University of Rochester Press, 2013, 2010). She is also the co-editor of Yemoja: Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in Latina/o and Afro-Atlantic Diasporas (SUNY Press 2013), which was selected as a finalist for the 2014 Albert J. Raboteau book prize. Dr. Otero is the recipient of a Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund grant (2013); a fellowship at the Harvard Divinity School’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program, (2009 to 2010); and a Fulbright award (2001). She is currently working on a book, Ritual Sensibilities: Gender, Cultural Practice, and Caribbean Spirituality is about the affective relationship between ritual, gender, and cultural practice in the circum-Caribbean.  Her work has also appeared in The Journal of American Folklore, Western Folklore, Africa Today, The Black Scholar, Atlantic Studies, Phoebe, and The American Journal of Psychoanalysis. 

Awards & Honors

H.M. “Hub” Cotton Award for Faculty Excellence, LSU, 2013.
Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund Fellowship, 2013.
Research Associate and Visiting Faculty, Women’ Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School, 2009-2010.
Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Outreach Grant, 2007.
Fulbright IIE Grant for Research in Nigeria, 2000 – 2001.

Selected Publications


Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World. Series: Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2010.
Kindle and paperback editions, 2013.

Yemoja: Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in Latina/o and Afro-Atlantic Diasporas co-edited with Toyin Falola. Albany: State University of New York Press (SUNY), 2013.
Short listed for the 2014 Albert J. Raboteau book prize.


Book Chapters and Journal Articles:

“Entre las aguas / Between Waters: Interorality in Cuban Vernacular Religious Storytelling,”  The Journal of American Folklore 2015 128 (508): 195 – 221.

Getting There and Back: The Ontological Journey in Nuyorican Memoir and Fiction.” Writing Of(f) the Hyphen: Critical Perspectives on the Literature of the Puerto Rican Diaspora, eds. Jose L. Torres-Padilla and Carmen H. Rivera. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008, pp. 274 -292.

“The ruins of Havana: representations of memory, religion, and gender,” Atlantic Studies, June 2012, 9(2): 143 – 163.

“Spirit Possession, Havana, and the Night:  Listening and Ritual in Cuban Fiction,” Western Folklore, Winter & Spring 2007, Volume 66 (1/2): 45 – 74.

"Iku and Cuban Nationhood: Yoruba Mythology in the Film Guantanamera."  Africa Today, Spring 1999, 46:116 - 130.


Courses offered by Dr. Otero at LSU

English / Anthropology 2423, Introduction to Folklore
English / Anthropology 3401, The Study of Folklore
English 4480, Folklore and Literature
English 4493, Women and Folklore
English 7423, Topics in Folklore: Afro-Caribbean Folklore and Literature
Comparative Literature 7139, Topics: Gender, Ritual, Sexuality and Caribbean Lit
African and African American Studies 3902, African Religions in the Diaspora
Film and Media Arts 3001: Cuban Cinema


Curriculum Vitae