She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Chicano/a and African American literature and culture. Her current research interests center on the science fiction of multicultural America, specifically as it emerges within Chicano/a and African American contexts. Her work has appeared in MELUS: Journal for the Study of Multiethnic Literature, Aztlán:Journal of Chicano Studies, and Science Fiction Studies. She is the recipient of the 2013 Pioneer Award, which recognizes outstanding critical scholarship in the field of science fiction studies. Rivera currently serves on the editorial board for Femspec, an interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed journal devoted to the study of speculative fiction within feminist contexts.
- Science fiction of multicultural America, specifically within Chicano/a and African American contexts