Esther Whitfield is a scholar of contemporary Latin American and Caribbean literature, with a particular focus on Cuba. She received a B.A. in Modern Languages from Oxford University in 1994 and a Ph. D. in Romance Languages & Literatures from Harvard University in 2001. She taught for a year as a lecturer in Harvard's Program in History and Literature before joining the faculty of Brown's Department of Comparative Literature in 2002; as of 2012, she is jointly appointed in the Department of Hispanic Studies.