Joy Castro's Profile Image
Willa Cather Professor of English and Ethnic Studies
Director of Institute for Ethnic Studies


How Winter Began: Stories. University of Nebraska Press, 2015.

Editor, Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family. University of Nebraska Press, 2013.

Nearer Home. St. Martin's Press, 2013.

Island of Bones: Essays. University of Nebraska Press, 2012.

Hell or High Water: A Novel. St. Martin's Press, 2012.

The Truth Book: A Memoir. New York: Arcade Press, 2005.

Series editor, Machete. The Ohio State University Press.

Selected Stories & Essays


“Betrayed.” Gulf Coast, Fall 2019.

“Fox Hollow.” Ploughshares, Spring 2019.

“Little Painter.” Terrain, 2018.


“Intimate Terrains: Contemporary German Cinema, Migration, and the Films of Aysun Bademsoy.” Senses of Cinema 92, October 2019.

“Genre as a Vessel for Presence.” Brevity 61, May 2019. 

“‘The People Are Missing’: New Refugee Documentaries and Carceral Humanitarianism.” Senses of Cinema 90, March 2019.

“Gender, Race, and Credibility in the Age of Trump.” Women's Review of Books, February 2018.

“‘A Place without Parents’: Queer and Maternal Desire in the Films of Christian Petzold.” Senses of Cinema 84, September 2017.

“Unsettling the World: Memoir as Sociopolitical Intervention.” AWP 2018.

“Racial and Ethnic Justice in the Creative Writing Course.” Gulf Coast, Fall 2015.

“Hip Joints.” Indiana Review, November 2017.

Considering Garlands: On Anthologies. Curated by David Lazar.

“Where the Story Begins and Ends: Practically a Fairy Tale.” Origins, February 2015.

“Tartt's Multicultural Fantasy.” Salon, June 13, 2014.

“On Length in Literature.” Brevity 40, Fall 2012.

“On Becoming Educated.” Scholar & Feminist Online 8.3, Summer 2010.

“Turn of Faith.”New York Times, August 2008.

Additional stories and essays in Mid-American ReviewNorth American ReviewCream City ReviewChelseaQuarterly WestThe New York Times Magazine, and others. Scholarly work on Naomi Shihab Nye, Sandra Cisneros, Jean Rhys, Tess Gallagher, Josephine Herbst, Meridel Le Sueur, and Margery Latimer.

Awards and Honors

American Council of Learned Societies Grant for “New Storytellers: The Research Institute in Digital Ethnic Studies.” With Jeanette Jones, Kenneth M. Price, and Will Thomas.

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar

College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award

The Truth Book selected as a BookSense Notable Book

Bread Loaf Writers' Conference scholarship in nonfiction

McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Research Scholar Award

Norcroft Writers' Residency


Ph.D., Texas A&M University

M.A., Texas A&M University

B.A., Trinity University

Areas of Interest




U.S. Ethnic Literatures

Women's Literatures