Ibis Gómez-Vega

Ibis Gomez-Vega

Twentieth-Century American literature, Ethnic literature, American Drama, Gay and Lesbian literature

Office: RH 332
Email: ibis@niu.edu 

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. University of Houston, 1995
  • M.A. University of Houston, 1979
  • B.A. University of Houston, 1976



"Recovering Italian Ancestry in the Work of Italian American Poets." Humanities Bulletin 6.1 (2023): 9-23.

"Baseball, Manhood, and Fathering Gay Children in Tom Perrotta's 'The Smile on Happy Chang's Face.'" Athens Journal of Humanities & Arts 9 (2022): 1-17.

"Loss in Benjamin Alire Sáenz's 'Arriving at the Heart of Tragedy' and Alberto Ríos's 'Taking Away the Name of a Nephew.'" Humanities Bulletin 4.2 (2021): 99-114. Refereed.

"The American Hero Redeemed in Frances Khirallah Noble's The New Belly Dancer of the Galaxy." Humanities Bulletin 3.1 (2020): 128-146.

"The Laundromat as a Marker for Class in Tim Morris's 'Suds' and Lucia Perillo's 'For My Washer and Dryer.'" Humanities Bulletin 2.1 (2019): 185-196. Refereed.

"Ancestral Voices and Family History in Frances Khirallah Noble's The New Belly Dancer of the Galaxy." Athens Journal of Philology 6.2 (2019): 65-82.

"Censoring the Essentialist Call of the Wild in Amy Newman's 'Darwin's Unfinished Notes to Emma.'" Journal of American Studies in Turkey 48 (Spring 2018): 45-63.

"Marriage, Myths, and Fairy Tales in Diana Abu-Jaber's Arabian Jazz." Mosaic: An Interdisciplinary Critical Journal 49.2 (June 2016): 133-147.

"Flying to Save Her Life:  Bad Luck, Bad Choices, Bad Mothers in Gina B. Nahai’s Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith." Moments of Magical Realism in the Multi-ethnic Literature of the Americas. Ed. Lyn Di Iorio Sandín and Richard Pérez. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 65-88.

"Deconstructing the Latino Family in Novels by Lionel García, José Yglesias, Oscar Hijuelos, and Benjamin Alire Sáenz." Crítica Hispánica 33.1-2 (2011): 101-133.

"Naomi Shihab Nye’s Essays and Poems: Extreme Realities." Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 30 (Spring 2010): 109-133.   

"Inscriptions of Race, Class, and Gender in Mariana Romo-Carmona’s Living at Night." Confluencia: Revista Hispánica de Cultura y Literatura  24.2 (Spring 2009): 40-52. 

"Losing Everything in David Wong Louie’s ‘In a World Small Enough.’" Short Story 16.2 (Fall 2008): 63-77.  Came out in June 2009.

"The Memory of Loss in Diana Abu-Jaber’s Arabian Jazz." South Atlantic Review 72.3 (Summer 2007): 17-37.  Came out Summer 2008.

"Rationalizing the ‘Decentered’ White Male in Neil Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue." American Drama 16.2 (Summer 2007): 56-79.

"Urban Violence and Failed Myths in Raymond Carver’s ‘What We Talk about When We Talk about Love.’" Short Story 12.2 (Fall 2004): 71-83.  Came out in March 2006.

"Radicalizing Good Catholic Girls: Shattering the ‘Old World’ Order in Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies." Confluencia: Revista Hispánica de Cultura y Literatura 19.2 (Spring 2004): 94-108.

"Intersecting Oppressions and the Emotional Paralysis of the Working Poor in Anne Tyler’s ‘Average Waves in Unprotected Waters.’" The Southern Quarterly 41.3 (Spring 2003): 109-20.

"The Homoerotic Tease in Ana Castillo’s Work."  Crítica Hispánica 24.1 (2002): 1-22. 

"Hard Choices: Losing Everything in Helen Benedict's Bad Angel."  VOCES: A Journal of Chicana/Latina Studies 3.1&2 (2001): 94-114.  Came out in March 2002.

"Subverting the 'Mainstream' Paradigm through Magical Realism in Thomas King's Green Grass, Running Water."  MMLA: The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association 33.1 (Winter 2000): 1-19. 

"Hating the Self in the 'Other' or How Yolanda Learns to Hate Her Own Kind in Julia Alvarez's How the García Girls Lost Their Accents."  Intertexts 3.1 (1999): 85-96. 

"Metaphors of Entrapment: Caribbean Women Writers Face the Wreckage of History." Journal of Political and Military Sociology 25.2 (1997): 231-247. 

"The Journey Home: Defining Identity in Cristina García's Dreaming in Cuban." Voces: A Journal of Chicana/Latina Studies 1.2 (1997): 71-100. 

"Debunking Myths: The Hero's Role in Ana Castillo's Sapogonia." The Americas Review 22.1:2 (1994): 7-21. 

"La mujer como artista en Intaglio."  The Bilingual Review/La Revista Bilingüe 18.1 (1993): 14-22.

"Reading Ana Castillo: Gendered Readings from Texas to Illinois."  Encuentros (Summer 1996): 1-2. 



Send My Roots Rain.  San Francisco: Aunt Lute Press, 1991.

Short Stories

"La Tortillera." The Bilingual Review 25.3 (2000): 306-314.  Came out in May 2002.

"Other People's Memories."  VOCES: A Journal of Chicana/Latina Studies 3.1&2 (2001): 254-271.   Came out in March 2002.

"Telling Ribbons."  VOCES: A Journal of Chicana/Latina Studies 3.1&2 (2001): 272-292.  Came out in March 2002.

"Telling Ribbons." The Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly 1.1 (1999): 41-61.

"Unnatural Acts." VOCES: A Journal of Chicana/Latina Studies 2.1 (1998): 23-41.

Entries in books

"En mi familia."  Conversaciones: Relatos de padres y madres de hijas lesbianas e hijos gay.  Ed. Mariana Romo-Carmona.  San Francisco: Cleis Press, 2001.  85-91.  Awarded the Lambda Award for 2002.

"Ana Castillo." Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Novelists since World War II.  Volume 227. Sixth Series. Ed. Jim Giles and Wanda Giles. Detroit, Michigan: The Gale Group, 2000.  83-89.


"The Telling of Cuentos: A Conversation about Art and Politics with Mariana Romo-Carmona."  Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture  21.3 (1999): 229-250. 


Review for the companion DVD of And They Came to Chicago:The Italian American Legacy for the Illinois Humanities Council. November 2007.

Review of ¡Yo! by Julia Álvarez.  The Americas Review 25 (2000): 242-245.

Review of The Tree and the Vine by Dola de Jung.  MELUS 24.2 (Summer 1999): 207-210.

Review of Building with Our Hands: New Directions in Chicana Literature. Ed. Adela de la Torre and Beatríz M. Pesquera.  The Americas Review 21.3:4 (1993): 174-77.

Review of So Far from God by Ana Castillo.  The Americas Review 21.3:4 (1993): 177-80.

Review of Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature. Ed. Tey Diana Rebolledo and Eliana S. Rivero.  The Americas Review 21.3:4 (1993): 181-84.

Review Essays

"The Art of Telling Stories in the Poetry of Naomi Shihab Nye."  MELUS 26.4 (2001): 245-252.  Came out in May 2002.


Her Understudy, given a staged reading at NIU on April 7, 2009. 

Raise a Crow, given a staged reading by Theater Rhinoceros in San Francisco in 1985 and by At the Foot of the Mountain in Minneapolis in 1984.