Associate Professor of English
on faculty since 2010
As I survey the global landscape of religion, race, and politics, I can’t help but feel that language, originally designed to unite us, is working fiercely as culprit to tear us apart. It’s easy to talk at or past someone different from oneself, but real, deep communication that reveals and unites: now that’s a lot harder.
“What role does the thinking, feeling Christian stand to play, however, in the work of healing?”
In his courses, Dr. Erick Sierra seeks to boldly confront this fractured condition as it presents itself in 20th century literature. “I seek to challenge students to mourn over this condition while also raising their gaze toward the greater work God is doing, through his living breathing body on earth, to restore wholeness and peace.”
“This is where the study of literature and Christian love meet.”
What drew him to Trinity:
Sierra had always dreamed of being able to marry his intellectual interests with his faith through the art of teaching. “When I discovered a community that fully embraced this vision of teaching, I knew I had found my home. And it didn’t hurt that the campus is just minutes from one of the most vibrant cities in the country!”
Sierra’s research interests are in postmodern American literature and thought. “So much of our contemporary world has forsaken faith in a universal Truth. In my writing and research I seek to ask, Why? To what extent does the Christian community, through earnest introspection and diligent study, stand to grow in how it has long represented the Truth it believes? At the core of my work lies the hopeful suspicion that postmodern literature, despite its claims to the contrary, is still very much yearning for something out there that’s wonderful, loving, real, and true. Something more.”
When he’s not teaching:
Sierra enjoys yoga, experimenting in the kitchen, and world travel with wife and child.
Ph.D., Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2010
M.A., Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2006
Teaching Licensure, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, 2000
B.A., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1996
Courses and Publications/Research
- Transatlantic Twentieth-Century Literature
- Contemporary Literature and Spirituality
- Postcolonial Literature
- Introduction to Narrative: American Fiction
- Teaching in the Writing Center
- Introduction to Literature
- Expository Writing
Selected Papers and Publications
“Threshold of Revelation”: The Invisible Face of the Other in Contemporary American Culture.” Keynote address at the annual Seaver College Graduate Colloquium and Dinner. Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA. 20 Oct 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVWPfDMVew4&feature=youtu.be
“‘Threshold of Revelation’: Don DeLillo, Tony Kushner, and an Epistemics of the Encounter.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 57.1 (2016): n. pag. Web. 30 December 2015. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/riP9zxTIdQF8szesjUNT/full
“Visioning the Body Mosaic: Enchanted Transracial Selfhood in Postsecular American Literature.” European Journal of American Studies 10.2 (2015): n. pag. Web. 14 August 2015. http://ejas.revues.org/11082
Review of Rhetorics of Religion in American Fiction: Faith, Fundamentalism, and Fanaticism in the Age of Terror, by Liliana M. Naydan. Religion & Literature 48.1 (Spring 2017). https://religionandlit.nd.edu
“The End of Reason: Approaching the Unthinkable Thought of God.” Patheos. “Public Square” series, “Is Faith Rational, Irrational, or Arational?” Web. 13 July, 2016. http://www.patheos.com/Topics/Faith-and-Reason/Approaching-the-Unthinkable-Thought-of-God-Erick-Sierra
“How a Google Spreadsheet Saved My Literature Class,” The Chronicle Review, the magazine of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Print and web. 15 April 2016. http://media.wix.com/ugd/b3220f_d5d10f2d8d24473a84c9458c079424ae.pdf
“The ‘Story Behind the Story’: Making Lit Matter.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. Web. 9 April 2015. http://chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2015/04/09/the-story-behind-the-story-making-lit-matter/
"The Certain Problem With Worldview: A dialogue on truth and love.” Trinity Christian College. Palos Heights, IL, 24 April 2013. Co-authored and co-delivered with Tiffany Kriner of Wheaton College.
“‘More Life’: Suffering and Epistemology in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America,” 2012 Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature: “Theatrum Mundi: Faith, Representation, and Multiculturalism.” Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City, OK. 5-6 October 2012.
"Killing to Live: Violence and Belief in Don DeLillo's White Noise,” 2012 Western Regional Meeting of the Conference on Christianity and Literature: “Belief and Unbelief in Postmodern Literature.” Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA. 24 May, 2012.
“Love Conquers All: In a Brooklyn barrio, one Puerto Rican grandmother was a force of nature.” Saveur Magazine, May 2009: 36. http://media.wix.com/ugd/b3220f_12748bf6eac643c1bf82a9b6109cc4c4.pdf
“Confessions: My Two Months Driving Lyft in Chicago.” Cult of Americana magazine. http://cultofamericana.com/city-life/lyft-confessions/
“With Eyes to See: Toward a Multi-Culture/Multi-Intelligence Classroom.” Faculty lecture and workshop. Teacher’s College of Columbia University (Masters Program in Education). New York, NY. 3 April 2008.
“The Ecstatic Limits of the Psychoanalytic Subject,” American Comparative Literature Association 2005 Annual Conference: “The Human and Its Others.” Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. 25 March 2006.