associate professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies in the Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures at Union College.
teaching and research interests
Trained in the analysis of English & Hispanic literatures (alongside comparative literature theory), I am interested in the literary and iconographic as well as social creation of meaning, with an eye always on the political economy of things. Although my original work falls within transatlantic crossroads—early modern European drama and colonial evangelistic theater, New Spanish historiography and processes of evangelization and transculturation—I’ve developed an interest in popular religion across cultures and times and expanded my work and research influenced by certain critical trends in colonial, postcolonial, and cultural studies (in the ways theories do manage provisionally to affect our interpretations); and by disciplines in the social sciences, especially anthropology and history. Having taught courses on Latin American film and having co-directed/produced two documentaries (the latter of which debuted in various film festivals, including the 2007 New York African Diaspora Film Festival 2008 & the Chicago Latino Film Festival) have allowed me to explore, as well, film topics related to my own research and teaching interests, giving me the opportunity to learn as well as present on and teach about this medium. I am also a published translator. My most recent translation into English was of Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s seventeenth century religious allegory El Gran teatro del mundo.
In a general and always in a critical sense, I am interested in history as well as in how history is constructed; in memory as well as in the mechanisms deployed to build, preserve, and legitimate it. In its uses. All my published work and the courses I have had the opportunity to teach are informed by this drive. Currently, I am working on the relationship between corporate industries and popular cultural production and memory, namely the privatization of popular cultural expressions; as well as on examining Mexican popular religion and passional cultures.
Besides having over 15 years of experience teaching languages (English, Spanish), I teach Latin American colonial literature, courses on popular religion and politics, postcolonialism and Latin America, North / South diasporic politics (crosslisted and co-taught with the history dept.), Neorealism and cinema verite in Latin America, introductions to peninsular and Latin American literatures, and Mexican women's short fiction. I have also taught at Union various versions of Freshmen Preceptorial, an introductory course to writing and critical reading/thinking. I plan to teach a course on translation and translation theory in the near future.
selected work & publications
"The Great Theater of the World," translation into English of Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s El Gran teatro del mundo. 2008. In Nahuatl Theater, Volume 3: Spanish Golden Age Drama in Mexican Translation. Edited by Barry D. Sell, Louise M. Burkhart, Elizabeth R. Wright. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
Book review of Mexico, from Mestizo to Multicultural: National Identity and Recent Representations of the Conquest by Carrie Chorba. Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, vol 12 (fall 2008).
"San Pacho es pa'l que lo goce" (English: "Sanpachando: St. Pacho is for the Revelers"). 2006-2007. Documentary. 48 min. & “San Pacho, ¿para quién?” (St. Pacho for Whom). 2003-2005. Documentary, 28 min.(Both under review for distribution by DER and Las Americas Films).
"In Search of the Political within and without the Politics of Theory" (special volume on the Latin American Subaltern Studies initiative). 2006. Dispositio. Volume 52, 6, 6, 265-284.
"Consecrated Transactions: Of Marketplaces, Passion Plays and other Nahua-Christian Devotions." 2005. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. Volume 14, 2, 171-193.
"Nahuatl Catechistic Drama: New Translations, Old Preoccupations." 2004. In Nahuatl Theater, Volume 1: Death and Life in Colonial Nahua Mexico. Ed. by Barry D. Sell and Louise M. Burkhart. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
“Re-constituting Chocó: the feast of San Pacho and the Afro question in Colombia." 2004. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. Volume 13, 2, 171-194.