Assistant professor of Spanish
Spanish American literature and culture; Central American detective fiction and novela negra; social/literary theory; philosophical and theological ethics
Study abroad in France, Ecuador, Mexico, and Guatemala
As you can see from my education, I was in school for a long time. The truth is that I love being in the classroom, and I love reading. Why would I not want to become a professor? Teaching in college means that I have the opportunity to dedicate myself daily to the practice of life-long learning.
Indeed, I am constantly seeking to develop new courses and that bridge multiple disciplines. In my time here at Franklin I have taught courses on detective fiction in Latin America (SPA 331), philosophical ethics (PHL 220), coffee and chocolate (Immersive Term in Guatemala), psychoanalysis and serial killers, and gender expression and fashion (IHE 100).
Teaching at a liberal arts school provides so many opportunities for interdisciplinary work and transformation that I cannot imagine doing anything else.
My teaching approach varies from course to course, and from semester to semester. My approach depends greatly on the students in the class and their learning needs. Always, though, I try to conduct myself as a facilitator of learning and less as a dispenser of knowledge.
In my philosophy and upper-level literature courses, I generally devote class time to discussion and debate, as I believe it provides greater opportunity for critical thinking and engagement with the texts. In language courses, I generally employ a communicative approach to language learning. I try to simulate real-world situations that create an environment for creative inquiry and experimentation with the target language. I push students to use circumlocution when they encounter linguistic barriers in order to demonstrate the plurality of creative means for expression.
“Borderlands and Homosocial Sites of Transgression: An Analysis of Rolando Hinojosa’s Partners in Crime.” Border Crossings: Boundaries of Cultural Interpretation. Ed. Pablo Martínez Diente and David P. Wiseman. Nashville: Vanderbilt University, 2009. 11-23.
“‘Entre sueño y vela’: Violence as Norm in Rodrigo Rey Rosa’s El cuchillo del mendigo.” Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference (MIFLC). James Madison University. October 2016.
“‘Que siempre los sueños allí están todavía’: Language and Psychic Rupture in Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Insensatez.” Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference (MIFLC). Furman University. October 2014.
“‘No pudo atravesar su fantasma’: Memory and Trauma in Ronald Flores’ Último silencio.” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (KFLC). University of Kentucky. April 2014.
“‘El sueño fantasmal’: The Unarchivability of Terror in Rodrigo Rey Rosa’s El material humano.” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (KFLC). University of Kentucky. April 2013.
“‘Yo no estoy completo de la mente’: Fear and Psychological Exile in Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Insensatez.” Mid-America Conference on Hispanic Literature (MACHL). University of Nebraska-Lincoln. October 2012.
“Los vacíos oscuros de la razón: Memoria, trauma y tortura en la imaginación latinoamericana contemporánea.” Representaciones de la violencia política en la literatura latinoamericana contemporánea. Santiago, Chile. October 2011.
“‘Un vacío colmado’: Specters of Violence in Guatemalan Post-War Literature.” Latin American Studies Graduate Student Symposium. University of Kentucky. February 2011.
“‘Atado de pies y manos’: Torture, Resistance, and the Sacred in Los compañeros.” Mid-America Conference on Hispanic Literature (MACHL). Washington University. October 2010.
“The Erotic Word: Torture and Desire in Arturo Arias’ Después de las bombas.” Symposium on Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Transylvania University. October 2010.
“‘The Striptease of Power’: The Rhetoric of Torture in Marco Antonio Flores’ Los compañeros.” Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference (MIFLC). Radford University. October 2010.
“The Masking of Violence in Guatemalan Fiction.” Latin American Studies Graduate Student Symposium. University of Kentucky. February 2010
“Sonámbulos hechos de humo: Poder, melancolía y libertad en Conversación en la Catedral.” Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference (MIFLC). Furman University. October 2009.
“Borderlands and Homosocial Sites of Transgression: A Spatial Analysis of Rolando Hinojosa’s Partners in Crime.” Border Crossings: Boundaries of Cultural Interpretation. Vanderbilt University. October 2008.
“Sites of Illusion and Subversion: A Spatial Analysis of Carlos Fuentes’ La muerte de Artemio Cruz.” Working Paper Series. University of Kentucky. April 2008.
“A Prophetic Vision: Faith and the Grotesque in Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away.” Conference on “Epiphanies of Beauty: The Arts in a Post-Christian Culture.” University of Notre Dame. November 2004.
Ute Seibert, “Springtime: September in Chile” (trans. from Spanish). Dissident Daughters: Feminist Liturgies in Global Context. Ed. Teresa Berger. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2001.
I am a devourer of books and, with Borges, have “always thought of Paradise / in form and image as a library.” I will read (and re-read!) anything and everything. The idea of choosing five books to take with me on a desert island leaves me short of breath and on the verge of a mild panic attack (not the desert island part, just the limit of five). Choosing only one…I cannot begin to fathom such a thing.
So as not to avoid the question entirely…some of my favorite authors are probably Jorge Luis Borges, Neil Gaiman, Donna Tartt, Gabriel García Márquez, Friedrich Nietzsche, Robert Jordan, Franz Kafka, Flannery O’Connor, Roberto Bolaño, Dan Brown, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, J. D. Salinger, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Cormac McCarthy, though not necessarily in that order.
I tend to like books that are a little “off.” I like books that subvert and undermine, that problematize vision and language, and that force me to look at the world differently. I like books that make me think…and wonder.