What is your educational background?
I studied philosophy, literature, and pedagogy in Bogotá, Colombia. Then I completed an M.A. in literature in my home city, Medellín. I migrated to the United States in 2004 and pursued a Ph.D. in Romance Languages at the University of Cincinnati.
What are the main focuses of your research?
My research focuses on issues of representation and cultural imagination. I believe that literary and cultural representations--including events, spaces, characters, and narrative voices--are more than copies of real objects. I believe that authors build their representations by putting together diverse and sometimes opposing fragments. My research identifies the nature and background of those fragments, studies the way in which they are arranged, and explores the reasons that explain why they were included. While a great part of my research has focused on the way in which artists and political figures are represented in literature (particularly in novels), I am also interested in how space is constructed in travel and utopian literature.
What specific courses or specialties do you teach?
I am very passionate about all the classes I teach, whether on advanced language, linguistics, or my specialization in literature and culture. To stay up-to-date with the latest teaching methodologies, I attend conferences and present papers on these topics. In my teaching, I create ways that allow students to use and learn Spanish through real-life tasks and authentic texts. I also combine linguistic development with cultural content and provide students with possibilities to transfer skills to other areas of interest. For example, being able to justify and explain the way speakers pronounce a sound in one of the many Spanish dialects requires a lot of creativity and problem solving on the part of the student. Those skills are highly appreciated in the professional world.
When I teach classes on my specialization, I choose topics that spark an interest in my students and enhance their communicative, high-learning, creative, analytical, and professional skills. Last fall semester, for example, I taught a comparative class on public space in Latin America, Spain, and the United States. The course included meeting with the former manager of the revitalization process of Main Street in downtown Grove City. This fall I will teach a course that explores the history of businesses in the Hispanic world.
What is the most important piece of advice you give students to help them succeed?
My best advice for students is to create connections between their classes, their professional and personal interests, and the Grove City College community. Four years go very fast, so starting soon is important. Having a plan usually helps, but sometimes allowing oneself to be surprised and moved by certain courses, experiences, and people, and making changes and adjustments along the way are also good strategies.
Researching and publishing give me great intellectual joy and satisfaction, a fact to which my two books and numerous articles and reviews in peer-reviewed journals can attest. My first book, El poeta en la novela hispanoamericana, was published in Colombia in 2010 and explores the figure of the artist in 20th century Latin American narrative. La máquina dictatorial, my second book, was published in 2016 and compares images of the dictator in contemporary novels with previous depictions of this same figure popularized during the 1960s and 1970s. My articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as Journal of Utopian Studies, Delaware Review of Latin American Literature, Istmo, and Hispanic Issues, among others.
Recent Articles in Refereed Journals
- “Razón, sublimidad, desposesión: El gótico de Evelio Rosero en Los almuerzos”. Evelio Rosero y los ciclos de la creación literaria. Bogotá: Universidad Javeriana, 2017.
- “Defying Revolution in Venezuela: Biography as Utopic Discourse in Federico Vegas’s Falke.” Utopian Studies, vol. 28, no. 1, 2017.
- "Looking for Community Based Learning: Engaging Comparisons in an urban Studies Class." Let's Talk 2017: Relationships, Research, and Results. University of Notre Dame. March 31-April 1, 2017.
- "Beyond Mimesis: Decoding Desire in Contemporary Latin American Narrative of the Dictator." NeMLA. Baltimore, MD. March 23-26, 2017.
View a complete list of publications, courses taught, and conference activity.