Solimar Otero

Solimar Otero

Professor, Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Professor, Gender Studies

Editor, Journal of Folklore Research

Affiliated Professor, Religious Studies


  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2002

Research interests

  • gender
  • sexuality
  • Afro-Caribbean spirituality
  • Yoruba traditional religion in folklore, literature, and ethnography

About Solimar Otero

Solimar Otero is Professor of Folklore and Gender Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is also the editor of the Journal of Folklore Research. Her research centers on gender, sexuality, Afro-Caribbean spirituality, and Yoruba traditional religion in folklore, performance, literature, and ethnography. She is the author of Archives of Conjure: Stories of the Dead in Afrolatinx Cultures (Columbia University Press 2020), which won the 2021 Albert J. Raboteau Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions. She is also the author of Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World, (University of Rochester Press, 2010); co-editor of Yemoja: Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in Latina/o and Afro-Atlantic Diasporas (SUNY Press 2013); and co-editor of Theorizing Folklore from the Margins: Critical and Ethical Approaches (Indiana University Press, 2021). Dr. Otero is a Folklore Fellow of the American Folklore Society; the recipient of a Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund grant; a fellowship at the Harvard Divinity School’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program; and a Fulbright award.

Recent articles & other publications

  • Critical Folkloristics: Critical and Ethical Approaches for the 21st Century, co-edited with Mintzi-Martinez Rivera, Indiana University Press, in press, est. pub. date 2021.
  • “In the Water with Erinle: Siren Songs and Performance in Caribbean Southern Ports,” Southern Quarterly, Summer 2018, 55(4):144-162.
  • “Residual Transcriptions: Ruth Landes and the Archive of Conjure,” Transforming Anthropology, April 2018, 26(1): 3-17.
  • Special Editor, (with Mintzi Martínez-Rivera), “Introduction: Poder y Cultura, Latinx Folklore and Popular Culture,” Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures 2 (1), Fall 2017, pp. 6 – 15. Selected for the Project Muse Journal of the Month (February 2018).
  • “Traveling Transcriptions, Unfinished Stories, and the Living Archive,” Afro-Hispanic Review, (2018).
  • “Crossing Spirits, Negotiating Cultures: Transmigration, Transculturation, and Interorality in Cuban Espiritismo,” in The Caribbean Oral Tradition: Literature, Performance, and Practice, edited by Hanetha Vete-Congolo. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 85 – 107.
  • “Entre las aguas / Between the Waters: Interorality in Cuban Vernacular Religious Storytelling,” The Journal of American Folklore, Spring 2015, 128 (508): 195 – 221.

Recent courses

  • Afro-Caribbean Folklore and Literature (grad seminar)
  • Gender, Ritual, Sexuality, and Caribbean Literature (grad seminar)
  • Performance Studies (grad seminar)
  • African Religions in the Diaspora
  • Introduction to Folklore
  • The Study of Folklore
  • Folklore and Literature
  • Women and Folklore
  • Cuban Cinema
  • Multi-Ethnic and Latinx Folklore

Awards & Honors

  • Albert J. Raboteau Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions for Archives of Conjure, 2021
  • Elected Fellow of the American Folklore Society, 2021
  • Reed Foundation Grant, ​2019
  • Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund Fellowship, Research in Cuba and at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2013
  • Research Associate and Visiting Faculty, Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School, 2009-2010 academic year
  • Fulbright IIE Grant for Research in Nigeria (2000)