Lindstrom studied at the University of Chicago and is the Gale Family Foundation Professor in Jewish Arts and Culture, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, and Associate Director of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Lindstrom is the daughter of the noted sociologist Frederick B. Lindstrom (1915–1998), best known as a student of popular culture and historian of the Chicago school (sociology) , and the two collaborated and co-authored conference papers and articles.
Elements of sociological thought influence Naomi Lindstrom's literary criticism, especially her 1989 book Jewish Issues in Argentine Literature and her 1998 study The Social Conscience of Latin American Writing. During the latter part of her career, Lindstrom has increasingly focused on the field of Latin American Jewish studies, both in her research and in her administrative roles. Since 1996, as part of her work with the Latin American Jewish Studies Association (LAJSA), she has managed lajsa-list, a listserv on Latin American Jewish topics; the URL is email@example.com. She is the content manager of the website of LAJSA, which features research bibliographies for Latin American Jewish Studies, a filmography, and a continually updated registry of dissertations and theses, both completed and in progress, on Latin American Jewish topics. The site also has a page of resources for teaching courses in both Sephardic Studies and Latin American Jewish Studies. Hosted at the University of Texas at Austin, the LAJSA site has the URL www.utexas.edu/cola/orgs/lajsa/. As Associate Director of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Lindstrom coordinates the Edwin Gale Collaborative for the Study of Jewish Life in the Americas. In 2012 Lindstrom was awarded the President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Texas. She organized the International Research Conference of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association held at the University of Texas June 9–11, 2013.