B.A., Mills College, English/Creative Writing and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2007)
M.A., Mills College, English Literature (2009)
Sierra Lomuto is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in how ideologies of race and orientalism developed within pre-colonial global histories. Her dissertation project, Exotic Allies: Mongol Alterity in the Global Middle Ages, traces the relation between two competing discourses of Mongol representation—the Christian savior and the ferocious monster—in various medieval texts, from thirteenth-century Latin crusade documents, chronicles, and travel narratives to fourteenth-century Middle English romances. Her analysis demonstrates how these discourses were together constitutive of the ideological narrative that racially constructed Mongols as "exotic allies," a term this project coins to describe their particular relation of alterity to Latin Christendom, one characterized by admiration, fear, desire, and control.
Sierra has taught writing and literature courses in Mills College's English Department and Penn's English Department, Critical Writing Program, and Pre-Freshman Program. She is a founding member of Medievalists of Color (MoC), an international professional organization that advocates for the advancement of racial minority scholars working in Medieval Studies. She has co-chaired the Medievalists @ Penn reading group (2012-2014); and co-organized MoC's first event, the Whiteness in Medieval Studies workshop at the International Congress on Medieval Studies (2017). She was an LPS/English Research and Teaching Fellow (2016-2017), and is the current Graduate Research Assistant Fellow with the Wolf Humanities Center and the Price Lab for Digital Humanities (2017-2018).
She has written about the appropriation of medieval iconography in white nationalist movements for the popular blog In the Middle: White Nationalism and the Ethics of Medieval Studies. She has also written for Public Books: Chaucer and Humanitarian Activism.
Sierra will join the English Department faculty at Macalester College in Fall 2018.