Professional and Biographical Information
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 Boricua 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.
In my courses I use a variety of pedagogical methodologies, including circle practice and learning communities. Regardless of the course, however, my goal in the classroom is to better understand our selves and one another 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 cinema's versatility as a means to help us 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. University of California Press, 2016; Una historia comparada del cine latinoamericano. Trans. Juana Suárez, Iberoamericana Vervuert, 2020.)
Since finishing this project, I have published a short history of Latinx cinema plus several videoessays, including one on the Brazilian film Limite (1929) and another on the Cuban film Memories of Underdevelopment (1968). I also recently co-translated a book on Casa Pueblo, an extraordinary community-based organization in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. My current research centers on community-based filmmaking in Abiayala.