Professor of Spanish
Phone: (805) 565-7173
Office Location: Reynolds Hall 206
and by appointment
20th-Century Latin American Novels; Contemporary Latin American Women Writers; Ekphrastic Writing; Cuban Literature
I was born in Cuba. Due to living on an island the ocean became an intricate part of my childhood.The sea brings such fond memories that I consider living on the Pacific a rich blessing. Even before attending my first day of kindergarten, my mother tells me that I would seat my dolls in rows and “play school.” A few years later along with my parents and older sister, my family immigrated to the United States. Grand Rapids, Michigan, became my second childhood home. Fortunately, although there was no ocean, the Great Lakes were a colder, but welcomed, substitute. For my undergraduate work, I chose to study at Calvin College where I rediscovered my vocation as a teacher. Subsequently, I earned an M.A. from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, where I met my husband, Keith Lungwitz. We currently reside in Ventura with two rescue cats and dog. Komet, Karma, and Kismet have graciously consented to sharing their home with us as long as they are fed each day. My research interests include contemporary Latin American novels by women, Cuban literature and ekphrastic writing.
- University of Texas, Austin. (1992-1997). Doctor of Philosophy. Three-field exam included Baroque, Twentieth Century Latin American Narrative, and Women Writers of Latin America. Dissertation Reinaldo Arenas: The Agony is the Ecstasy. Member Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
- University of South Florida, Tampa. (1982-85). Master of Arts Degree in Foreign Language Education and Spanish.
- Calvin College, Grand Rapids. (1977-81). Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish Education, minor in English. Member Sigma Delta Pi Honor Society.
- “Delirio by Laura Restrepo: A Re-foundational Novel” Hispanic Women Writers in the 21st Century: Shaping Gender, the Environment, and Global Politics. Eds. Estrella Cibreiro and Francisca López. Rutgers University Press, 2012.
- “Self-Actualization is Paradise in La nada cotidiana by Zoé Valdés.” Journal of Caribbean Literatures. 6.3 (2010).
- “’El árbol’ de María Luisa Bombal y “La caverna ‘ de Platón.” Cuaderno internacional de estudios humanísticos y literatura. 9 (Spring 2008): 47-56.
- “Lobas de mar: Women Pirates and the Postmodern.” Into the Mainstream: Essays on Caribbean and Latin American Literature and Culture. Ed. Jorge Febles. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar’s Press, 2006
- “Café nostalgia: Art and Exile,” Neophilologus. 89. 4 (October 2005): 563-573
- “Celestino antes del alba: The Family as Agent of the Community,” The Ties That Bind: Questioning Family Dynamics and Family Discourse in Hispanic Literature and Film. Ed. Sara E. Cooper. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2004
- “Bosch and Arenas: Two Gardens of Delights,” Cuaderno internacional de estudios hispánicos y lingüística I.I (2001):62-67
- Translations of León Gutiérrez’s poems “San Francisco Bay” and “Sketches of Galveston.” Austin International Poetry Festival ‘97: Antología. Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and U of Texas Panamerican, 1999. 173-77
- “La amortajada: una lectura cubista,” Literatura, historia e identidad: Los discursos de la cultura hoy. Mexico City: U Autónoma Metropolitana, Azcopotzalco, Centro de Cultura Casa Lamm, and U of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1996. 37-42
- Translations of León Gutiérrez’s poems “Infancy’s Well” and “Good Night.” Voices of Land and Sea. Austin: Ediciones Navegante, 1995. 15-26.
- Carta lírica” (short story), Navegante: Revista literaria. Mexico: Ediciones, 1994.
VII Congreso Internacional de la Asociación Hispánica de Humanidades. Santiago de Compostela, Spain. June 2014. Presented “Surrealist Praxis in La cazadora de astros by Zoé Valdés.”
3rd International Conference on Caribbean Studies. Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI. April 11-13, 2013. Presented “The Doppelgänger in La cazadora de astros by Zoé Valdés.”
NACFLA Conference. Westmont College. March 2012. Presented with Leonor Elías "The Garden Labyrith of the Libro de Buen Amor."
- MLA 126th Conference. Los Angeles, CA. January 2011. Presented "Zoé Valdés's Cazadora de astros: Creating a Space for Exiles." Chaired the session for the Cuban and Cuban Diaspora Cultural Production Discussion Group.
- WASC Level II Conference.Anaheim, CA. October 2010. Presented the Spanish Program's modified Oral Proficiency Interview t the "Best Practices Poster Session."
- V Congreso Internacional de la Asociación Hispánica de Humanidades, Sevilla, España. June 24-27, 2009. Presented “Somewhere Between Word and Image, or Surrealist Praxis, in Cazadora de Astros by Zoé Valdés.” Chaired the session entitled “Palabra e imagen.”
- 2008 Joint Conference of the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, San Francisco, California, March 18-22, 2008. Presented “Zoé Valdés’ Cazadora de astros.” Chaired session on Latin American Culture and Literature
- 89th AATSP Conference, San Diego, CA. August 2-5, 2007. Presented “Ekphrastic Synesthesia: Café nostalgia by Zoé Valdés.” Chaired session.
- VI Congreso Internacional de Literatura Hispánica, Riviera Maya, México. March 7-9, 2007. Presented “Memory in Laura Restrepo’s Delirio.”
- IV Congreso Internacional de la Asociación Hispánica de Humanidades, Madrid, Spain. June 24-27, 2006. Presented “‘El árbol’ y ‘La caverna.’”
- 88th AATSP Conference, Salamanca, Spain. June 27-July 2, 2006. Presented “Cinematographic Influences in La eternidad del instante by Zoé Valdés.” Chaired the Latin American Women Writers panel.
- 2005 PAMLA, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA. November 11-13, 2005. Presented “Plato’s Cave and Bombal’s Tree: Two Stories of Epiphany”
- 2005 Joint Conference of the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, San Diego, California, March 23-26, 2005. Presented “Lobas de mar: Women Pirates and the Postmodern”
- Fourth Biennial Florida International University Conference on Spanish and Latin American Literatures and Film, Miami, Florida, Feb. 26-28, 2004. Presented “La nada cotidiana: A Künstlerroman Subverted.” Chaired the Literatura cubana panel
- Fifth International Conference of Caribbean Literature, Freeport, Bahamas, November 5-7, 2003. Presented “Café nostalgia: Art and Exile”
- Marquette University’s Women’s Studies Conference “Women and Creativity” Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 27-29, 2003. Presented “Self-Actualization is Paradise in La nada cotidiana by Zoe Valdes”
- Western Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature “The Gift of Story: Narrating Hope in Film and Literature, Azusa, California, March 14-17, 2002. Presented “Creating Hope for a Hopeless World: Cielos de la Tierra by Carmen Boullosa”
- South Central Modern Language Association 57th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, November 9-11, 2000. Presented “Cielos de la Tierra: History, Language, and Limits”
- First International Conference of Caribbean Literature, Nassau, Bahamas, November 3-7, 1998. Presented “Bosch and Arenas: Two Gardens of Earthly Delights”
- Mid-America Conference on Hispanic Literature, Boulder, Colorado, October 12-14, 1995. Presented “Otra vez el mar de Arenas”
- Jornadas Metropolitanas de Estudios Culturales en México y América, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Azcapotzalco, Mexico City, July 4-8, 1994. Presented “La amortajada: una lectura cubista”
- World Poetry Reading, Europa Books, Austin, April 22, 1993. Read my own translations of León Gutiérrez’s poems
- Tenth Cincinnati Conference on Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Cincinnati, May 16-18, 1990. Presented “The Other Self”
- Re-Visioning Knowledge and the Curriculum: Feminist Perspectives, Michigan State University, East Lansing, April 19-22, 1990. Presented “Rosario Castellanos and Lucía Lockert-Fox: Two Short Stories.”
- All levels of Spanish Language/Grammar (SP 1,2, 3,4)
- Advanced Spanish/Composition (SP 100)
- Survey of Latin American Literature I, II (SP 103, 104)
- Hispanic Cultures: Latin America (SP 111)
- Hispanic American Women Writers (SP 180)
- Seminar "Gabriel García Márquez and His Magical World" (SP 195)
- Native proficiency: English, Spanish
- Advanced proficiency: Portuguese
- Reading knowledge: French, Latin