Dr. Jesus Montaño

Associate Professor of English
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Jesus Montaño is a teacher/scholar of Latinx literatures and cultures, with special interest in children’s and young adult literary and cultural production in Our Americas. His teaching and research, in this way, examine the transformative and reparative power of writing and reading on young minds and spirits.

Tactics of Hope in Latinx Children’s and Young Adult Literature, his 2022 co-authored monograph, elucidates the role of knowledge and awareness in countering pernicious oppressions that Latinx youth face. The beating heart of this project is that books and reading transform lives. With these restorative and reparative principles as the governing ideas, Tactics of Hope shows ways in which the imagination is utilized to better our world. Social justice is likewise the primary imperative in Jesus’s current book project, Young Latinx Shakespeares: Race, Justice, and Literary Appropriation (which is under contract with Palgrave Macmillan). Latinx literary transfigurations of Shakespeare open new terrains wherein to imagine new versions of self and of community. In this, they showcase the potent force inherent in putting together Shakespeare and Latinx to propel social justice initiatives and movements. Jesus’s program of study also includes articles and book chapters published, or soon to be published, in leading journals such as The Lion and the Unicorn and Children’s Literature Quarterly and books such as Liberating Shakespeare (Arden Shakespeare).

Jesus’s popular and timely classes center relevant literary texts, art and films that more accurately represent peoples and cultures that otherwise are missing or misvalued in many curricula. Utilizing culturally sustaining pedagogies, Jesus invites students to engage with anti-racism processes and practices, with the ultimate goal that they discover worlds and peoples who are at once similar on many levels and yet whose differences highlight the genuine gifts gained from seeing multiple perspectives. The classes he teaches include multi-ethnic American literature (Survey of Ethnic American Literature and Introduction to American Ethnic Studies), children’s and young adult literature (Ethnic American Young Adult Literature), Latinx literature (The Latina Novel), hemispheric literature (Literature of Our Americas), and Shakespearean adaptations (Global Shakespeares).

Jesus often shares his stories with the Hope College community and the greater West Michigan community. His coming-of-age experiences tell of the promise of the American Dreams, its potential, and where it falls short. Jesus’s experiences in higher education illuminate the beautiful possibilities of following one’s dreams as well as describe the struggles of forging a path in academe.

His speaking engagements have included talks for the Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony and Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates. He delivered Hope College’s Commencement address in 2011.  


  • Latinx literary and cultural studies
  • Children's and young adult literatures and cultures
  • Shakespeare, race, and adaptation 
  • Multi-ethnic American literatures 
  • Science writing in the humanities 


  • Ph.D., English, Ohio State University, 1999
  • M.A. English, Ohio State University, 1996
  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1991

Selected Publications

  • “When Romeo and Juliet Fought the Texas Rangers: Race, Justice, and Appropriation in Shame the Stars by Guadalupe García McCall,” in Liberating Shakespeare (ed. by Deborah Uman and Jennifer Flaherty), Arden Shakespeare series, Bloomsbury, forthcoming in 2023
  • Tactics of Hope in Latinx Children’s and Young Adult Literature (co-authored), University of New Mexico Press, 2022
  • “Confronting the Whitewashing of (My) History: The Reparative Value of Latinx YA Historical Novels and Testimonio,” The Lion and the Unicorn, 2022
  • “Latin American Heroes in Latinx Picture Books: Toward Creative Resistance and Transnational Solidarity,” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 2022
  • “Bordercrossing in Children’s and Young Adult Literature,” Multicultural Review, 2009


  • “Stories of Equity and Hope,” Andrew W. Mellon Community-Based Partnership Initiative, 2021
  • “Young Adult Latinx Literary Appropriations of Shakespeare,” Hope College Jacob E. Nyenhuis Faculty Development Grant, 2020
  • “#OwnVoices Scholars and Latinx Young Adult Historical Novels,” Children’s Literature Association Diversity Grant, 2020
  • “Secrets of the Universe,” Technology and Society Pathway, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grand Challenges Initiative at Hope College, 2018
  • “Tactics of Hope in Latinx Children’s and Young Adult Literature,” Hope College Jacob Nyenhuis Collaborative Faculty Grant, 2018
  • “The Power of Immigration and Acculturation Narrative to Cross Borders and Build Bridges,” Borders and Bridges Pathway, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grand Challenges Initiative at Hope College, 2017


  • “US/Mexico Borderscapes” and “Descansos: Latinx Public Mourning Spaces,” photo essays in Rostros: Intermediate Spanish Language and Culture (ed. by Lee Forester and David Antoniuk), Evia Learning, 2020
  • “Dignity of Work,” photography, Martha Miller Center, Hope College Permanent Collection, 2009
  • “Imagining Blue and Red,” photography, Van Zoeren Hall, Hope College Permanent Collection, 2006

View Dr. Montaño’s photography


Jesus is fascinated with photography and art. Via his photography, Jesus attempts to tell a story of the land and the sky and the peoples from which he came. His photographs, in this way, trace in light, color and shadows his “roots” and his “routes.”

He loves lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) and chupacabras (blood sucking creatures of Latinx legend). His dreams thus include donning a mask in the ring. He also believes that his pup is a chupacabra, as attested by numerous wrecked shoes and the times she has provided students feedback on their papers by tearing into them, literally.

Profile photo of Dr. Jesus Montaño
Dr. Jesus Montaño

Phone Number616.395.7973

Lubbers Hall-Room 309 126 East 10th Street Holland, MI 49423-3516
A map showing the location for Dr. Jesus Montaño Lubbers Hall-Room 309 126 East 10th Street Holland MI 49423-3516