Roberta Fernández

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Roberta Fernández
Occupation novelist
Nationality USA
Period 1990–
Genres composite novel, short story cycle
Notable work(s) Intaglio: A Novel in Six Stories
Notable award(s) Multicultural Publisher's Exchange, Best Fiction (1991)
Texas Institute of Letters

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Roberta Fernández is a Tejana novelist, scholar, critic and arts advocate. She is known for her novel Intaglio and for her work editing several award-winning women writers. She was a professor in Romance Languages & Literatures and Women's Studies at the University of Georgia.[1]


Early life and education[edit]

Fernández is a fifth-generation tejana from Laredo, Texas. She received her B.A. and an M.A. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, and her Ph.D. in Romance Languages & Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation, "Towards a Contextualization of José Carlos Mariátegui’s Concept of Literary and Cultural Nationalism,"[1] examined the role of José Carlos Mariátegui in the early 20th century Peruvian cultural wars.

Fernandez held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Mexican American Studies at UT, Austin; she received a Rockefeller Fellowship from the Womanist Consortium of the Institute of African American Studies at UGA to study Chicana literary feminism and nationalism.[1] She received a second Rockefeller Fellowship from the CRIM [Centro Regional de Investigacion Multidisciplinarias], a research center in Cuernavaca associated with the National University of Mexico. The seminar topic for 2005 was "The Empowerment of Women." Her own topic dealt with "The Role Played by Community-Based Organizations in the Transculturation Process & Empowerment of Mexican Women Recently Arrived in Georgia."

Art advocacy[edit]


Editorial and curatorial work[edit]


  • Editor, Arte Público Press, from 1990-1994. Several of the writers whose manuscripts she edited received national awards for these works.
  • Curator, "Twenty-Five Years of Hispanic Literature of the United States, 1965-1990" (traveling exhibit), sponsored by the Texas Humanities Resource Center.

Marriage and children[edit]

Philosophical and/or political views[edit]

Published works[edit]

  • Intaglio: A Novel in Six Stories (1990)
  • Fronterizas: Una novela en seis cuentos (the author's own re-write into Spanish of Intaglio) (2002)
  • In Other Words: Literature by Latinas of the United States, ed. (1994; anthology)
  • Fiesta, Fe y Cultura: Religious Celebrations of the Mexican Community of Detroit, [Roberta Fernandez, Spanish editor and translator], Laurie Sommers, ed. (1995)
  • Twenty-five Years of Hispanic Literature in the United States, (a catalogue of a library exhibit of the same name) at the Main Library of the U of Houston, November 2, 1992-January 14, 1993).
  • Some of her short fiction and essays have appeared in Riding Low in the Streets of Gold, Judith Ortiz Cofer, ed.; Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States, Nicolas Kanellos, ed.; American 24-Karet Gold: Classic American Short Stories, Yvonne Colliud Sisko, ed.; Breve: Actualite de la Nouvelle (Paris), Martine Couderc, ed. & trans.; Barrios and Borderlands: Cultures of Latinos and Latinas in the United States, Denis Lynn Daly Heyck, ed.; Mascaras: Latina Writers on Their Own Work, Lucha Corpi, ed.; The Stories We Have Kept Secret, Carol Bruchac, ed.;The Massachusetts Review (Spring 1983); Cuentos: Stories by Latinas, Gomez, Moraga, Romo-Carmona, eds., and many more national and international publications.
  • Some of her scholarly articles have appeared in as The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature, Frances Aparicio & Suzanne Bost, eds. (2012); The Flannery O'Connor Review (Fall, 2009); Encyclopedia of Ethnic American Literature, Emmanuel Nelson, gen. ed. (2006); 'Abriendo Caminos in the Brotherland: Chicana Feminism in El Grito ' in Chicana Leadership: The Frontier Reader, Sue Armitage et. al, eds. (2002); 'La presencia de Jose Carlos Mariategui en el Repertorio Americano (Costa Rica, 1919-1959)' in Revista de Linguística y Filología de la Universidad de Costa Rica; Reconstructing American Literature, Paul Lauter (ed.); Women’s Studies and in other publications.

Literary Criticism on Intaglio: A Novel in Six Stories[edit]

  • Akins, Adrienne Viola. “’Each of Us Tell It As We See It’: Memory and Story-Telling in Roberta Fernandez’s IntaglioCritique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. 2010: 52 (1): 30-40.
  • Gómez-Vega, Ibis. “La mujer como artista en Intaglio.” The Bilingual Review, 1993 Jan-April, 18 (1): 14-22.
  • Jameson, Misty L. “Roberta Fernandez’s Intaglio as Short Story Cycle.” Lecture presented at the Aqui y Ahora Symposium on Latina/o Literature at the University of Georgia (Athens), November, 2001.
  • Kelly, Margot. “A Minor Revolution: Chicano/a Composite Novels and the Limits of Genre.” Ethnicity and the American Short Story (Wellesley Studies in Critical Theory, Literary History and Culture). Julia Brown, Ed. New York: Routledge, 1997: 63-84.
  • McCracken, Ellen. In chapter on “Remapping Religious Space” in New Latina Narrative: The Feminine Space of Post-Modern Ethnicity. Tucson: U of Arizona Press, 1999.
  • Muthyala, John Sermanth. “Roberta Fernández’s Intaglio: Border Crossings and Mestiza Feminism in the Border-Lands.” Canadian Review of American Studies/Revue Canadienne d’Etudes Américaines, 2000:30 (1); 92-110. (PDF On-line)
  • Muthyala, John Sermanth. Reworlding America: Myth, History and Narrative. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2006. [Chapter 4 is on Intaglio and on Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead.]

Awards for Creative Writing[edit]

  • Three-time DeWitt Wallace/Reader's Digest/MacDowell Fellow while a resident at the MacDowell Colony
  • Multicultural Publisher's Exchange award, Best Fiction (1991), Intaglio: A Novel in Six Stories
  • Inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters (1991)
  • [Finalist for the Schweitzer Fellowship in Creative Writing at SUNY Albany—Toni Morrison, judge, 1987]
  • [Finalist for the D.H. Lawrence Fellowship at the U of New Mexico, 1986]
  • [Finalist for the Dobie/Paisano Fellowship of the Graduate School at the U of Texas in Austin, 1983]

Scholarly Awards[edit]


  • [Scholar-in-Residence (by invitation of the Athens-Clarke County Public Library): led five book discussions on Latino/a literature at four public libraries in Georgia through a pilot program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association, Oct 2001-June 2002]
  • [Faculty Research Grant, Center for Humanities and Arts, University of Georgia, Spring, 2001]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Arte Público Press bio page, accessed 9 March 2008
  2. ^ UGA Institute for Women's Studies Newsletter (accessed March 2008)

Notes/Further reading[edit]

  • Gómez-Vega, Ibis. "La mujer como artista en Intaglio." The Bilingual Review/La Revista Bilingue, 1993 Jan-Apr; 18 (1): 14-22.
  • Kelley, Margot. "A Minor Revolution: Chicano/a Composite Novels and the Limits of Genre." Ethnicity and the American Short Story. Ed. Julia Brown. New York, NY: Garland; 1997. pp. 63–84.
  • Muthyala, John Sumanth. "Roberta Fernández's Intaglio: Border Crossings and Mestiza Feminism in the Borderlands." Canadian Review of American Studies/Revue Canadienne d'Etudes Américaines, 2000; 30 (1): 92-110. (PDF online)

External links[edit]