Lima is the author of The Latino Body: Crisis Identities in American Literary and Cultural Memory (NYU Press, 2007), Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing, with Felice Picano (U of Wisconsin Press, 2011), Trevor Young: The Aesthetics of Displacement (Museum Arts Press, 2013), Being Brown: Sonia Sotomayor and the Latino Question (U of California Press, 2019), and the executive producer and co-writer of two documentary films, Las Mujeres: Latina Lives, American Dreams (Deronda Productions, 2016), and Rubí: A DACA Dreamer in Trump’s America (Deronda Productions, 2019). His films have been showcased at the Smithsonian Museum of American History's Warner Brothers Theater, the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, Fem Flicks and other venues.
He is the recipient of grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Library Association, and many other institutions. The film Rubí: A DACA Dreamer in Trump’s America was recently awarded a BEA "On-Location Documentary" Award of Excellence. Lima's research, scholarship and creative work has appeared in the popular press, edited volumes, and academic journals including American Literary History, The Journal of Transnational American Studies, Revista Iberoamericana, A Corracorriente, The Wallace Stevens Journal (WSJ), and many other journals and public humanities venues. Lima currently serves on the board of The Journal of Transnational American Studies.