I’m often asked:
“What exactly does a Spanish (literature) professor research*?”
*insert (not so) subtle sarcasm or incredulity here*
I created this blog to provide insight into my own research and teaching projects for a broad audience – including but not limited to my students, friends, family, and colleagues in other disciplines. My posts focus on my teaching experiences and research interests. I generally do not write in great detail, or in a typical “academic” manner about my research projects. Instead, I aim to make my projects’ most pertinent themes and topics engaging and accessible to a wide range of readers. For example, I recently started writing “blog-style” versions of my academic book reviews:
- The Body, Blood, and Soul of Spanish Modernity: review of Life Embodied (2019)
- A New History of Iberian Feminisms (review) (2018)
- Multiple Modernities: New essays on Carmen de Burgos (review) (2018)
- Matilde de la Torre and the Republican Courts in 1930s Spain (review) (2017)
Creating these short posts allows me to work on my writing skills and develop future research or teaching ideas by making connections to contemporary images, pop culture, or news articles. I also use the informality of blog-style writing to re-visit and further explore my love for art and its connection to my research — especially surrealism and Salvador Dali, two topics that first sparked my interest in Spanish cultural history almost 20 years ago (!), but had been set aside while working on what became my main areas of research inquiry: cultural representations of motherhood and the development of feminism in early 20th century Spanish narratives, journalism, and the visual arts.
ay to learn to write accessibly and to engage with a broader audience. – See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/473-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-blog?cid=VTKT1#sthash.3mSPYhfA.dpuf
Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Kansas State University, in the “Little Apple,” Manhattan, Kansas. I have taught intermediate and advanced Spanish conversation and grammar courses, as well as Peninsular and Latin American literature courses, including our Don Quijote seminar, Spanish Civilization and Culture, most recently Gender and the City in 20th-century Spain. Since the 2016-17 academic year, I have been teaching a graduate seminar on AP Spanish literature, which has varied in focus each year (from Latin American, to Transatlantic, to Peninsular). The course’s main goal is to prepare graduate students — and advanced Spanish-Education majors — to be efficient (AP) Spanish literature and culture teachers. Previously, I spent two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish at Grinnell College in Iowa, where I taught courses ranging from basic Spanish language to mid-level literature seminars, like my transatlantic seminar, “Refashioning the Self: Hispanic Women’s Literature in the 20th Century.” You can see the syllabi from courses, as well as several posts about readings, lessons, and student work from this women’s literature seminar on my Teaching page.
I encourage all my students to study abroad, even if they are not language majors, as I believe spending time outside one’s own country, culture, and comfort zone offers enormous opportunities for learning and personal growth. As an undergraduate students, a graduate student assistant, and now as a Professor, I have studied and/or lived in Madrid, Pamplona, and Barcelona, Spain; Adjuntas, Puerto Rico; Copán Ruinas, Honduras; Puebla, Mexico; and Atenas, Costa Rica. In January 2018 I took Kansas State Students to Costa Rica for a 2-week service-learning experience.
My newest project, and an accomplishment of which I’m quite proud, has been the creation of an annual 5-week summer program in Spain that I designed for Kansas State students: “Spain Today: Madrid, Pamplona, and Barcelona”. This program will offer K-State students the opportunity to take advanced courses in Spain — including a senior seminar with a research component — over the summer, which is helpful for double-majors or dual-degree students who may initially think they cannot study abroad or finish advanced Spanish classes and still graduate on time. In its first year (2019), 10 students participated; I’m hopeful to take at least that many in 2020. You can see some of the research projects completed by my students enrolled in the advanced course on the K-State Spanish blog: Spanish Majors & Minors Present Research from the Summer in Spain Program (Nov. 2019)
Finally, in the years since I’ve started this blog (in 2015), it seems that “Academic blogging” has become more common. I’ll link to a few of my favorite articles on the topic that got me started here. First, Katherine Moos wrote about the benefits of making blogging a regular practice: “How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog.” Rachel Hope Cleves, a history professor at the University of Victoria, has echoed Moos’ sentiment on writing for a broader audience and “finding your voice” in “Is Blogging Scholarship?” Cleves’ fascinating personal and professional blog, The Not So Innocents Abroad, features her “historical ramblings on sex, food, and other bodily pleasures, in Paris, Capri, and Beyond.” Megan Kate Nelson at Historista gives “4 Reasons Blogs are Great for Academia“, including experimentation, bringing a sense of humor and personality to your writing, creating community, and engaging in real time (not “academic” time) feedback and conversations. Even this short NPR article is spot on: blogging can make us more articulate, clearer communicators, which just might make us smarter.
Overall, I have enjoyed, an continue to enjoy, this always-evolving digital project – especially in terms of the connections I’ve made, the feedback I’ve received… often from students(!), and the new projects it has inspired. I try to post something new at least once per month.
Disclaimer – Since I write so many posts linking to books or media that can easily be purchased on Amazon, I chose to become a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites like mine to earn small advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.