Growing up in Guatemala, where I was born, I dreamed of becoming an architect and building houses and cities. Soon enough I realized that literature was my call because, while my classmates worked on their designs and drawings, I was at the library, reading novels. Given that situation, I switched universities and majors, and in the end, my Jesuit professors nominated me for a Fulbright-LASPAU scholarship that allowed me to do graduate studies in comparative literature in the United States. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I rekindled my love for Spanish American modernismo, and also discovered that the literature of the 19th century also has a lot to say to us, citizens of the 21st century. Now, I enjoy teaching language and literature, at the same time that I explore issues of national identity, history and politics in my research. Then, since I like to explore other lands, I have also taught courses on crime novels of Spain and Spanish America, and among my projects I intend to look into Spanish American science fiction some day. The things I like to do when I don't teach and grade are walk around with my cameras, and extoll the virtues of studying in Toledo, Spain, which is an NIU study abroad program I direct every other year.
- "'Búfalos de dientes de plata' en los textos de Rubén Darío ante el 98." Journal of Hispanic Modernisms. 7, 2016: 231-38. http://jhm.magazinemodernista.com/2016/02/06/jhm-7-2016/
- "De modernidad, tinta y escritorios en un texto inédito de José Milla y Vidaurre (1822-1882)." Revista Iberoamericana. 78, No. 241, 2012: 859-872.
- "Entre cartas y novelas de amor: literatura y modernidad en los Cuadros de costumbres (1861) de José Milla y Vidaurre." Chasqui: Revista de Literatura Hispanoamericana. 39.1, May 2010: 130-143.
- "La originalidad de las influencias en Rubén Darío" in Cuadernos del CILHA (Centro Interdisciplinario de Literatura Hispanoamericana). Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. by Alberto Acereda. Año 10, No. 11, 2009: 138-148.
- "El mito crítico: una construcción contestataria en El espejo de Lida Sal." Oralia Preble-Niemi, ed. Cien años de magia: ensayos críticos en honor del centenario del nacimiento de Miguel Angel Asturias. Guatemala: F&G Editores, 2006: 179-203.
Personal Photography Blogs
Office: WH 311
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Spanish, 1997
M.A., University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Comparative Literature, 1990
B.A., Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala, Literature and Philosophy, 1987