Greetings! I’m the department’s Peninsular specialist. This means that in addition to teaching a range of language classes, I regularly offer courses in which students and I explore the literature(s) and culture(s) of Spain. Having lived in this country on three different occasions and in three different regions (Castilla, Andalucía, and Catalunya), I provide students with a comprehensive portrait of Spain. In my classes students learn that Spain is a nation comprised of various cultures, some of which have their own languages, customs, and literary traditions.
In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I represent DISLS on the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences’s Assessment Team. This entails, among other things, engaging in an ongoing examination of the department’s curriculum to ensure we are setting the best goals for our students, and that students are consistently reaching those goals. For the past three years, I’ve also served as advisor for our department’s Sigma, Delta, Pi chapter, Zeta Sigma, a nationally recognized Hispanic honor society that promotes the dissemination of the Spanish language and its many cultures.
One of the non-academic things I enjoy doing during my free time is oil painting. In fact, if you visit me during office hours, you’ll get to see a couple of my paintings. I also like dancing, from ballroom to swing, to salsa and merengue. The Argentine tango is next on my list! On weekends I enjoy going to the farmer’s market and estate sales and working in my yard. I also love working on the ongoing project that is my home.
My primary interest in teaching lies with the contemporary Spanish novel. Over the last five years, I have had the opportunity to design and teach five seminar courses in my area of specialization: The Generation of ’98; The Spanish Novel in the Twentieth Century; The Spanish Detective Novel; Catalan Women Writers; and Barcelona: A Literary Portrait. In my classes, I explore contemporary Spanish literature with students from a cultural studies perspective, emphasizing a close reading of the text in conjunction with a thorough analysis of the cultural, social, political, and historical contexts in which the text was produced. In order to engage students in analyses of these contexts, I ask them to give PowerPoint presentations on topics related to each context. For example, in my class on the Spanish Detective Novel, students gave presentations highlighting the Franco dictatorship and the ensuing transition to democracy. In my Catalan Women Writers class, students presented on the Catalan literary tradition, Catalan women writers, the Catalan language, and on Barcelona since two of the novels we read were set in this city. In addition to these courses, I have taught Spanish Golden Age Literature, Nineteenth–Century Spanish Literature (Romanticism, Realism and Naturalism), and Introduction to Hispanic Literature. Future courses I would like to design and teach include The Spanish Novel in the Twenty-first Century and an interdisciplinary course on the Spanish Civil War.
My principal interest in research lies in the field of cultural studies with an emphasis on urban narratives. In line with the methodology employed in this field, my analysis of a narrative text begins with a close reading in conjunction with an examination of the historical, social, political, and cultural contexts within which the text was produced. I believe an analysis of this type provides an integral reading of a narrative text, because it underscores the interdependence between narrative and its social reality—that is, the dual nature of narrative as a product of and a response to a concrete historical moment within a particular society. My current research, thus, explores how urban narratives have created a dynamic dialogue with the social, historical, and political discourses, as well as with the economic and cultural phenomena taking place in Spain and, more specifically, Catalonia during the latter half of the twentieth century.
Another area of research in which I’m interested is Globalization and literary production in Spain. More specifically, I’d like to examine how the phenomenon of globalization is shaping literary production in Spain, especially literary production in the Comunidades Autónomas.
Selected Professional activities
“Montserrat Roig’s El temps de les cireres: ANostalgic Look at the Past. rdquo; Catalan Review. XX.1 (2006). (Forthcoming, fall 2007).
“On the Cusp of Postmodernity: Terenci Moix’s El dia que va morir Marilyn” Letras Peninsulares. 20.2 (2007). (Forthcoming, fall 2007).
Articles In Progress
“Competing Social Values in Juan Marsé’s El amante bilingüe” (to be submitted to World Langauge Review by 1 February 2008).
“The Spanish Detective Novel, Immigration, and Barcelona” (to be submitted to Letras Peninsulares by 1 July 2008).
“Vázquez Montalbán’s Los mares de Sur: A Pedagogical Tool for Teaching Spain’s Recent Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy (To be submitted to Hispania by 1 June 2008).
Conference Papers and Presentations
“Competing Social Values in Juan Marsé’s El amante bilingüe,” to be delivered at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, KY, April, 2008.
“Products, Practices, and Perspectives: An Integrated Analysis of Culture,” ACTFL 2006 40th Annual Convention and Exposition, Nashville, Tennessee, November 16-19, 2006
“On the Cusp of Postmodernity: Terenci Moix’s El dia que va morir Marilyn,” Twentieth-Century Literature Conference, Louisville, KY, February 23-26, 2006
“Montserrat Roig’s El temps de les cireres: A Nostalgic Look at the Past,” 58th Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, KY, April 23-26, 2005
“Montserrat Roig’s El temps de les cireres and the Reconstruction of Catalan National Identity in Post-Franco Spain,” South Central Modern Language Association, Hot Springs, Arkansas, October 30-November
“Symbolic and Real Spaces in Mirall Trencat and La Plaça del diamant,” Department of Spanish & Portuguese Annual Colloquium: Marginality and Otherness Revisited: A Colloquium on Catalan Studies and the Present of Hispanism, Indiana University, March 2-4, 2000
Ph.D. Indiana University, Bloomington, 2005
M.A. Indiana University, Bloomington, 1996
B.A. Indiana Purdue University at Fort Wayne, 1987