Elena Machado Sáez is an Associate Professor of English at Florida Atlantic University. She received her doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook in English and attended the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University as part of a seminar led by Maryse Condé. Having joined the FAU English department in 2003, Machado Sáez has been the recipient of Scholarship, Creative Accomplishment, and Teaching Development Awards, SCAF Arts and Letters Fellowships, the University Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, a full-year Sabbatical, and was also nominated for the Owl Award in Graduate Mentoring. Some of the courses she has taught at FAU include surveys of American, Caribbean and US Latino/a literatures as well as more specialized courses in Caribbean Fabulist Fiction and US Latino/a Performance.
She is the coauthor of The Latino/a Canon and the Emergence of Post-Sixties Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, Hardcover 2007, Paperback 2013), which discusses parallels between Cuban-American, Dominican-American, and Puerto Rican literatures. The book identifies two approaches in US Latino/a cultural studies—multiculturalist and anticolonial perspectives—revealing that these politically opposed theorizations of Latino/a studies agree upon a historical division that situates Civil Rights Era cultural production as resistant to the market while framing post-Sixties texts as apolitical and assimilationist because of market popularity. Citing this critical consensus, the book makes the important contribution of analyzing how contemporary US Latino/a literature challenges established notions of the relationship between politics and the market. The Latino/a Canon has received positive reviews in Anthurium, Camino Real, Centro, MELUS, Latino(a) Research Review, Latino Studies, and Sargasso.
Selections from Machado Sáez’s current book manuscript, The Market Aesthetics of Caribbean Diasporic Historical Fiction, have appeared in the journals Anthurium and Contemporary
Literature. The book analyzes historical fictions by Julia Alvarez, Dionne Brand, David Chariandy, Michelle Cliff, Junot Díaz, Edwidge Danticat, Marlon James, Andrea Levy, Ana Menéndez, and Monique Roffey, as part of a global literary trend that troubles the relationship between ethnic writers and their audiences. The novels rely on a symbolic rhetoric that addresses the problematic of intimacy and ethics in relation to readership by focusing on how gender and sexuality represent sites of contestation in the formulation of a Caribbean diasporic identity and history.