Teaching Professor of Hispanic Studies
Education: Ph.D., University of Michigan, Spanish Language and Litereatures, 2004
My research centers on 20th and 21st century Latin American cultural studies, analyzing countercultural artistic expressions and representations of political violence across literature, film, music, and comics/graphic novels. As a native Spanish and near-native Portuguese speaker, I incorporate an integrated approach to studying Latin American literatures and cultures. My published works include co-edited volumes and introductions providing critical perspectives on the seminal literary production of Colombian authors Andrés Caicedo and Evelio Rosero. I have also published numerous articles analyzing tropes of death and self-destruction in the works of Caicedo and other Latin American authors, and analyses of the independent films of Luis Ospina, Carlos Mayolo, and others. My current research examines the emergence of Hispanic/Latino comics/graphic novels in US and Latin American academic and cultural contexts. This project explores cultural, racial, and gender issues within the medium, amidst its growing presence in academic contexts and agency within local academic/cultural structures. Additionally, I have made notable Digital Humanities contributions, including the award-winning Latin American Comics Archive, highlighting my leadership in digitally preserving and analyzing Latin American comics. My diverse research provides in-depth, critical perspectives on modern/contemporary Latin American cultures and countercultural expressions.
Areas of Interest
- 20th-21st century Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies
- Comics Studies
- Digital Humanities
- Language Acquisition and Technology
- Podcasting en español: Cultural Storytelling for Spanish Speaking Communities
- Community Connections: Working with Spanish-speakers in the Local Context
- Topics in Hispanic Studies:
- Después del Fin: Post/Apocalyptic Visions of Latin America
- Comics, Community and Coding: Electronic Textuality and Culture in Latin America
- Popular Music and Countercultures in Latin America
- Latin American Monsters
- Latin America: Language and Culture
- Intermediate Spanish I & II
Selected Awards and Honors
- Martin Schüwer Prize for outstanding comics research
- Carnegie Mellon University Teaching Innovation Award and Provost’s Inclusive Teaching Fellowship
- Premio Humanidades Digitales Hispánicas
Selected Community, University, and Professional Service
- Coordinator and Faculty Advisor for the Major, Hispanic Studies program
- Co-founder & co-director, “El Círculo Juvenil de Cultura,” CMU Hispanic Studies Outreach Program
- Associate and Reviews Editor, Revista de Estudios Colombianos
- Editorial Board, Journals Pirandante and Polifonía
- Advisory board, “Comics Studies: Aesthetics, Histories, and Practices,” series, De Gruyter Press
- "Evelio Rosero y los ciclos de la creación literaria" (co-edited with Dr. Maria del Carmen Saldarriaga). Colección Ópera Eximia. Bogotá (Colombia): Editorial Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, 2017. Print.
- "La estela de Caicedo: Miradas críticas". (co-edited with Dr. Juan Duchesne-Winter) Serie Nueva América. Pittsburgh, PA: Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana; U. of Pittsburgh, 2009. Print.
- “Will it be possible? Apocalypse and Resistance in Latin American Graphic Novels.” Paradoxa (2021) 32: 201-24.
- “Círculo Juvenil de Cultura: A 10-Year Experiment in Service Learning and Community Engagement.” (co-authored with Mariana Achugar and Kenya C. Dworkin y Méndez). Project-Based Learning in Second Language Acquisition: Building Communities of Practice in Higher Education. Adrián Gras-Velázquez (Ed.) Routledge Research in Language Education Series. Routledge: New York and London, 2019. 153-71.
- "Virus tropical: Presencia y relevancia del personaje autobiográfico femenino en la novela gráfica colombiana". In: Dossier “Arte, ideología y estrategias de producción: la historieta latinoamericana como forma de aproximación a lo real,” Iberoamericana XV.57 (2015): 85-102. Print.