Victor Rivas

Assistant Professor
Jackman Humanities Institute, Room 535, 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Colonial and contemporary Latin American literatures and cultures.
  • Testimonio, narratives of resistance, oral histories, and creative non-fiction
  • Cultural, decolonial, and postcolonial studies
  • Critical disability theory and postmodern critical theory
  • Insurgencies and other political movements in Latin America
  • Indigenous movements in Abya Yala
  • Transnational media and the politics of culture


Victor Rivas is Assistant Professor of Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies. Originally from Venezuela, Professor Rivas worked as a journalist, media Specialist, and educator before receiving his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. His research focuses on Latin American testimonio, narratives of resistance, and contestatory discourses emerging from political movements and other social justice struggles including accessibility issues, decolonizing knowledge, and indigenous rights. He is conducting research on 21st Century emerging narratives of resistance from the Bolivarian nations of Colombia, Perú, and Venezuela. His latest research proposal titled “New Latin American testimonios: Venezuelan Diasporic Narratives in Canada and Abroad,” is generously funded by a Connaught New Researcher Award.

Professor Rivas is the author of Incursiones culturales: el testimonio posmoderno de Alí Gómez García (2016), published by Fundación Editorial El perro y la rana, under the auspices of the Centro Nacional del Libro (CENAL) in Caracas, Venezuela. He has produced a series of documentary films dedicated to the work of socially committed artists and cultural practitioners from Venezuela. These include:

  • Estado cultural: hacia un nuevo paradigma de la cultura venezolana (2007). A documentary exploring the dynamics between politics and culture under the Bolivarian Revolution of Hugo Chávez.
  • Sanoja, tambor  y canto: andanzas y memoria de un decimista (2008). This Memoir of an urban Oral Poet, premiered at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Caracas as a featured documentary of the 2009 FILVEN, the International Book Fair of Venezuela.
  • Canta y cuenta el Caimán: retrato del Caimán de Sanare (2012). One of the last recordings sessions of José Humberto Castillo, the iconic cuentacuentos popularly known as El Caimán de Sanare.

Recent Graduate Seminars include: New Latin American Narratives of Resistance, The Latin American Novel in the 20th and 21st Century, Issues in Literary Theory and Hispanic Texts.

Latin American Studies course offerings include: Introduction to Latin American Studies, The Postcolonial Imaginary in Latin America, Latin American Thought, Indigenous Realities in Abya Yala, Critical Perspectives on Development and Volunteerism in Latin America.


PhD, University of California, Berkeley
MA, University of Oklahoma
BA, University of Oklahoma

Administrative Service

Associate Chair of Latin American Studies, 2019-present