Ph.D. in Spanish, Stanford University
M.A. in Spanish, Arizona State University
B.S. in Psychology, Georgetown University
Biographical Information and Teaching Interests
Growing up in Puerto Rico in a bilingual-bicultural home has marked my academic trajectory in many ways, from my chosen field of study, Latin American literatures and cultures, to how I study these literatures and cultures comparatively, as part and parcel of global flows of ideas, values, and styles.
I teach a wide range of courses using a variety of approaches, yet regardless of the course, my goal in the classroom is to better understand ourselves and one other through the vicarious experiences afforded by the narratives and perspectives we discuss and study.
I began to research Latin American cinema as a graduate student, and what has sustained my interest over the years is cinema’s unique ability to engage us emotionally and intellectually, as well as its versatility as an instrument to better understand a region as culturally and geographically diverse as Latin America.
My contributions to the field include a book on Cuba's foremost film director (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea: The Dialectics of a Filmmaker. New York: Routledge, 2002), and the first comprehensive history of Latin American narrative cinema (Latin American Cinema: A Comparative History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016), which the Modern Language Association recently honored as "a tour de force that explores the cultural, economic, and artistic evolution of Latin American cinema," and "a timely and excellent contribution to the field, demonstrating breadth and a deep knowledge of the medium’s social and cultural contexts."