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Elvira Pulitano

Elvira Pulitano

Professor, Ph.D. English

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Areas of Interest

  • Indigenous and Afro-Caribbean Studies
  • Post Colonial Literatures
  • Theories of race, ethnicity, migration
  • Human rights discourse

Contact Information

About Elvira Pulitano

Dr. Pulitano’s research and teaching interests include Indigenous and Africana Studies, Caribbean Studies, theories of race and ethnicity, migration, diaspora, and human rights discourse. She joined the ethnic studies department at Cal Poly in fall 2006. A Fulbright scholar from Italy, Dr. Pulitano holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of New Mexico where she specialized in Native American literature and postcolonial studies. Prior to her appointment at Cal Poly, she taught postcolonial literatures and theory at the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne, in Switzerland.

Dr. Pulitano's most recent work is a monograph titled Mediterranean ARTivism: ART, Activism, and Migration Europe (Palgrave Macmillan 2022). Previous publications include Transnational Narratives from the Caribbean: Diasporic Literature and the Human Experience (Routledge 2016), Indigenous Rights in the Age of the UN Declaration (Cambridge UP 2012), Transatlantic Voices: Interpretations of Native North American Literatures (The University of Nebraska Press, 2007), and Toward a Native American Critical Theory (The University of Nebraska Press, 2003).

Dr. Pulitano is also a strong advocate for international education and has taught in the Cal Poly Global Programs in Spain and Perú. She recently developed Cal Poly's new study abroad program, “Language and Culture in Sicily,” a four-week program based in Palermo, Sicily, which launched in Summer 2023. 

In Winter and Spring 2023-24, Dr. Pulitano will lead a BEACoN Mentorship project working on a collaborative research with one of the students who participated in the Sicily Global Program. 

In 2024-25, Dr. Pulitano will serve in the role of director in the CSU IP Program in Florence, Italy.

Selected Publications

Pulitano, Elvira. Mediterranean ARTtivism: ART, Activism, and Migration Europe. Palgrave Macmillan 2022).

Pulitano, Elvira. Transnational Narratives from the Caribbean: Diasporic Literature and the Human Experience. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.

Pulitano, Elvira, ed. Indigenous Rights in the Age of the UN Declaration. Afterward by Mililani B. Trask. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Pulitano, Elvira. “‘You’ve Heard It Now’: Traveling Through Stories While Teaching Indigenous Studies at a Polytechnic University in California’s Central Coast.” Iperstoria—Testi Letteratura Linguaggi, Special Issue on Native American Studies, IX Spring 2017.

Pulitano, Elvira. “The Right to Enjoy all Human Rights”: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Potential for Decolonial Cosmopolitanism.” The World, the Text, and the Indian: Global Dimensions of Native American Literature. Ed. Scott Richard Lyons. New York: SUNY Press, 2017.

Pulitano, Elvira. “Re-storying Justice: Questions of Citizenship, Home, and Belonging in Amy Serrano’s The Sugar Babies (2007). TRANSMODERNITY: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the LusoHispanic World 3.1 (2013).

Pulitano, Elvira. “In Liberty’s Shadow: The Discourse of Refugees in Critical Race Theory and Immigration Law/Politics.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. 20.2 (2013): 172-189.

Pulitano, Elvira. “Kānāwai, International Law, and the Discourse of Indigenous Justice: Some Reflections on The Peoples’ International Tribunal in Hawaii.” Indigenous Rights in the Age of the UN Declaration. Ed. Elvira Pulitano. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Pulitano, Elvira. “Indigenous Rights and International Law: An Introduction.” Indigenous Rights in the Age of the UN Declaration. Ed. Elvira Pulitano. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Verma, P., Vaughan, K., Martin, K., Pulitano, E., Garrett, J., & Piirto, D. (2016). “Integrating Indigenous knowledge and western science into forestry, natural resources and environmental sciences.” Journal of Forestry, 114(6), pp. 648-655.


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