Faculty-in-Residence (FIR) are selected faculty who live in the residence halls with their families. The FIR program bridges the academic and Residence experiences in a seamless living/learning environment by integrating Pitzer faculty members into the Residence experience and facilitating their active participation in student learning. The FIR will sponsor a wide range of activities designed to enhance the intellectual, social, and civic development of students living on the Pitzer campus. The FIR helps plan and implement educational, recreational, artistic, social and cultural programs while serving as a role model, mentor, adviser, teacher, and leader in the Residence community.

For 2015-2016, Pitzer’s Faculty-in-Residence are:


laura_harrisLaura Harris
Professor of English and World Literature and Africana Studies
West and East Hall’s Faculty-in-Residence

Professor Laura Alexandra Harris researches and publishes in the areas of 20th century African American literature and culture, Feminist and Queer Theory, Harlem Renaissance Studies, African Diaspora Studies, and Performance Studies. Harris’s early work, Femme: Feminist, Lesbians and Bad Girls (1997), a co-edited collected anthology, sought to more centrally situate femme lesbian gender and sexual identities within the domain of queer studies and as paramount to feminist histories. Another manuscript, Notes from a Welfare Queen In the Ivory Tower (2002) is both an individual essay and also the title of a short book collection of poetry, fiction and essays which treats the paradox of the “barbarians” making it into the academy and advocates, among other things, stealing your education and the continued necessity of making guerilla warfare within the academy.

Harris has published work in Feminist Review, St. Martin’s Gay and Lesbian Biography, Journal of Lesbian Studies, African American Review, and Callaloo as well as in collected anthologies. Harris teaches community poetry classes at Prototypes Women’s Center where she introduces students to the work of black radical writers such as Angela Davis, bell hooks, James Baldwin, Sonia Sanchez and Lucille Clifton.

As Faculty-In-Residence Professor Harris finds joy in the pristine desert landscaping, community garden birds, and communal life of Pitzer’s residential halls. She enjoys student interactions from spontaneous neighborly discussions to regularly scheduled dinner conversations, poetry events, and yoga classes. Please keep an eye out for her activities announcements in the coming academic year.


Espinoza-FacultyRoberta Espinoza
Associate Professor, Sociology
Pitzer, Atherton and Sanborn Hall’s Faculty-in-Residence

Professor Roberta Espinoza has taught at Pitzer for 2 years. She received her BA from Pomona College and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research examines issues of equity, access, and achievement for underrepresented students in the American educational system. She examines the role of social and cultural capital in the educational advancement and success of first-generation students of color in higher education. She has written two books on minority and working-class students’ routes to college, and numerous articles on women of color in doctoral education and Latino undocumented students. As the newest Faculty-In-Residence, Professor Espinoza looks forward to being a part of Pitzer’s residential life and interacting with students at the various events she has planned for the upcoming academic year.