As a professor, Liza Ann Acosta uses her infectious personality and Puerto Rican identity to introduce students to voices from around the world, incorporating texts from different cultures, nations, and ethnic groups so her classes can engage in comparative analysis. Her favorite course to teach is World Literature, where students explore literary voices from outside the United Kingdom and United States, presented in various forms of literature—short stories, essays, poetry, and more.
Dr. Acosta believes that, through all of these voices and forms, students can learn what it means to be an active member of our global society. “I believe in the power of literature to create awareness and lead to change,” she says.
Dr. Acosta appreciates North Park’s encouragement to be creative and grow as a professor alongside her colleagues in the English Department, who she calls “the most talented, dedicated, and caring English professors around.” Dr. Acosta encourages her students to explore creative experiences in Chicago, accompanying her classes to various theatre performances around the city, including the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. On campus, Dr. Acosta connects with students outside the classroom through the Alpha Rho English Honor Society, Q&A cultural group, and Knit and Chatter social club.
Paloma Martinez Cruz and Liza Ann Acosta. “El Macho: How the Women of Teatro Luna Became Men.” In Performing the US Latina and Latino Borderlands, edited by Arturo J. Aldama, Chela Sandoval, and Peter J. García, 283-95. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 2012.
Liza Ann Acosta. “Teaching in Sweden: My West Side Story.” Radio Essay. WRTE 90.5, August 2009.
Dr. Acosta expresses her own creativity and craft with Teatro Luna, Chicago’s only all-Latina theatre company. As a writer and performer with the group since 2005, she joins other Latina, Hispana, and Pan-Latina artists in staging shows and contributing to the social, political, and educational conversations of their communities.