My teaching and research are grounded in Latin American and Latinx studies. The cultural history of the Americas in the 20th and 21st centuries is the context of most of the courses I offer and of my previous and ongoing research. Literature, popular culture, and visual art all feature prominently in my teaching as well as in my research.
Most of my scholarly work revolves around matters related to art and aesthetics. Questions about how sensibilities change during a given moment in history are at the center of my first long-term research project, where I studied poetry and visual art produced in Mexico and Brazil during the consolidating years of consumer culture. The way in which the senses operate when faced with the facts of violence is the subject of my forthcoming book, titled “A Nervous Archive: Sensationalism and the Potency of Horror.” In this book and in seminars I teach on the subject, I explore the nature of sensationalism as an archive of violence, a vast depository of documents of a certain kind of violence: the violence that falls on the most marginalized segments of society, the ones marked most viciously by gender and class, by race and ethnicity, by dispossession, by sexuality. For this project, I draw on the work of writers, filmmakers, journalists, and artists from Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and the United States. Essays related to this project have appeared in Pop América, 1965-1975 (ed. Esther Gabara), in Critical Times , and in The Routledge Companion to Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Latin American Literary and Cultural Forms (eds. Guillermina De Ferrari, Mariano Siskind
The U.S/Mexico border , Latin American and Latinx Pop art, and Latinx landscapes, and the cultures of Greater Mexico are the subjects of some of the graduate and undergraduate courses I have recently taught. An ongoing project on Chilean art during the years of dictatorship will be the subject of a course I’ll offer this academic year.
Prior to my arrival at UChicago, I was Associate Professor at Emory University and at Harvard University. I earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures from Princeton University. My undergraduate education is from UC Berkeley, where I was granted a B.A. in Philosophy and in Spanish Language and Literature.
Recent Courses in RLL
- SPAN 27660/37660 Chilean Art and Literature During the Dictatorship (Spring 2023)
- SPAN 29400 Greater Mexico: Chicanx/Mexican/Mex-American Literatures and Cultures (Spring 2023)
- SPAN 46000 A Nervous Archive: Sensationalism and the Arts in the Americas (Winter 2023)