I am currently Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature and I am affiliated with the Departments of Spanish and Women’s Studies. I was hired with tenure at Penn State in Fall 2003, after six years at Illinois State University. In Spring 2003, I had a Fulbright fellowship to Peru, and in 2006, I held a second Fulbright to Canada as a Research Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies. (Read my full academic bio here. Access my full CV here.)
I teach courses on culture and globalization, cross-cultural conflict resolution, critical theory, human rights, inter-American studies, and media. My pedagogical focus is on the development of critical knowledge that shapes how my students engage with the world around them. In particular, I teach students about the ways cultural forms are integral to how we make meaning and how aesthetics –the ways that stories are told and understood–relate to the contexts and embedded ethics of texts. For instance, in a large General Education lecture class I developed on “Human Rights and World Literature,” I ask students to consider how Art Spiegelman’s famous graphic novel of the Holocaust, Maus, works to de-familiarize a familiar story and thereby offers readers a new view of this immensely tragic event. In graduate classes, I prepare students to be successful on the job market by building their disciplinary knowledge, critical thinking skills, and successful writing practices, while also encouraging the type of passionate engagement with our fields of study that is essential for success as an academic and a professional. In addition to my teaching, I have written a number of course proposals and have co-authored a graduate minor in Latin American Studies.
Office: 244 Katz
Office Hours: By appointment.
Office Phone: 865-2333
- Cinergia: A Web Resource for the Study of Spanish, Latin American and Latino Cinema
- An Ariel Dorfman Resource Page
My Student Resources
- Guide to Dissertations (and Theses) in Comparative Literature
- Close Reading Guide
- Useful Information for Students Writing in Spanish
- Vocabulario Clave para el Análisis de la Literatura/Cine/Televisión (con términos especiales para el análisis de la poesía, el drama y los movimientos literarios
- Diccionario Español/English of film terms
- Diccionario de conceptos claves para el estudio de cine
- Abreviaturas para la redacción de trabajos escritos
- Paper Grading Rubric