Montana Marie Ray is Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies, Writing and Translation. She holds an MFA in poetry and translation and a PhD in comparative literature from Columbia University.
Ray translates from Portuguese and Spanish, mainly feminist writers of the 1970s; recent projects include Chilean icon Pedro Lemebel's baroque chronicles of travesti culture in 1970s Santiago and the essays of Brazilian artist Yhuri Cruz. She is also a widely published poet: the author of several artist books and the collection of concrete poetry, (guns & butter). As a scholar, Ray synthesizes archival research, genealogy, and elements of ethnography (interviews and photography); she is working on To thicken it: family and history in the plantation Americas, a conversation-filled travelogue exploring connections between the US South and Central and South America. Following her own family’s moves and migrations, the project considers expressions of white nationalism and Black Power in historical (re)enactments from São Paulo to New York. Recent pieces have covered Southern belles in Brazil for The Point and Black beauty queens remaking a crass centenary legend in Cuba, forthcoming from The Baffler. Ray aims to model rigorous inquiry into personal and collective history through writing and translation for her students.
Prior to joining NYU, Ray taught writing at Columbia University.