I was born and raised in Seville, Spain, a city known world-wide through the literary and operatic traditions of Don Juan, Figaro and Carmen. Its Guadalquivir River, the first stop for many who traveled from the Americas to Spain, made Seville one of the most important ports of the XVI and XVII centuries. The traditions of my city have greatly shaped my interests. Early in my life, I became attracted to vocal performance, particularly opera. No one knew then that performance would become the core of my studies and main topic of my later dissertation. Understanding the opportunities that learning languages would provide, I studied English Philology at the University of Seville in addition to taking music classes at the Conservatory of Seville. I arrived to the U.S. in 1998, and continued my college studies at the University of Minnesota. Under the mentorship of great teachers, I graduated with a PhD in Hispanic Literatures and a Graduate Minor in Women Studies from the University of Minnesota. My dissertation topic was on gender performance in Don Juan Manuel’s El Conde Lucanor (1335), one of the most studied works of the Spanish Middle Ages.
Beyond my dissertation topic and the medieval period, I am also interested in Colonial literature as the cultures of medieval Spain formed the foundation to the way Spaniards understood the “New World.” Thanks to the Program for Cultural Cooperation Between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and United States’ Universities and Gustavus’ Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Grant, I am currently working on a project with a focus on colonial travel. Other works in progress point to my interests in Women’s writing and 20th Century Spain, especially Francoist ideology. In addition, I enjoy teaching about cinema, an area of my scholarship, which I plan to develop further in the near future.
You are most likely to see me around April in my Spanish traditional dress in celebration of the Fair of Seville, and possibly dancing Sevillanas at the International Festival or other campus events. If you take my culture class, we are likely to cook a new Spanish dish and learn about the different cheeses, and the careful process of making Serrano Ham, one of the most exquisite, and my personal favorite Spanish food. I enjoy making chorizos from scratch and cooking many other Spanish dishes (don’t forget to check out my website!). I view myself as a divulgator of Spanish cultures. For this, I have dedicated my life to teaching language, literature and other aspects of Spanish culture. I am passionate about teaching cultural aspects of the world I grew up in, as I know that it will open new opportunities to my students, just as it did for me.
Performance, in the widest sense of the word, has been one of my biggest interests throughout my life. As I have studied performance in literature, I have also been a performer myself. I had the great opportunity of performing opera professionally as a soprano in the choruses of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Madama Butterfly by Puccini at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, Spain. Once in Minnesota, I was selected from yearly auditons to perform with the Minnesota Opera in the choruses of Verdi’s Macbeth, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, I Capulleti e I Montecchi by Bellini, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Oriazi e Curiazi by Mercadante, Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Rusalka by Dvořák, and Verdi’s Il Tovatore. What has been most rewarding about these experiences is to have been able to sing on a stage with great singers of our time. Having witnessed the work ethic of these professionals during daily rehearsals as well as their master performances has been a priceless opportunity.
Beyond opera, I am also thankful to have had the opportunity to perform with Zorongo Flamenco, a local flamenco company whose main mission is to enrich our community through the beauty and energy of flamenco as an art form, and expanding on that tradition to explore issues of contemporary life. My collaborations with this flamenco company have undoubtedly impacted my teaching, as I now understand the basic principles (musical and political) that shape this improvisational performance. I continue to use my skills as a musician to serve our local community in many ways as translator, coach, soloist, etc.
Ph.D. University of Minnesota, September 2007. Hispanic & Lusophone Literatures & Linguistics and a Minor in Feminist Studies. PhD Dissertation: Gender in Medieval Iberian Didactic Literature: a performative reading of El Conde Lucanor; M.A. University of Minnesota, 2002. Hispanic Literatures; B.M. University of Minnesota, 2001. Voice Performance; B.A. University of Minnesota, 2000. Spanish Studies (Magna Cum Laude)
Areas of Expertise
|Synonym||Title||Times Taught||Terms Taught|
|SPA-321||Faces of Spain||14||2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2009/SP, and 2008/SP|
|SPA-102||Hispanic World II||10||2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2012/SP, 2011/FA, 2011/SP, and 2010/FA|
|SPA-101||Spanish I||7||2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2008/SP, and 2007/FA|
|SPA-280||Literature & Film||6||2015/SP, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2010/FA, 2010/SP, and 2009/FA|
|SPA-103||Hispanic World III||2||2015/SP|
|SPA-390||Film in Spanish Lab||2||2013/SP and 2009/SP|
|SPA-390||Film in Spanish||2||2013/SP and 2009/SP|
|SPA-322||Masterworks of Spanish American Literature||2||2011/FA and 2007/FA|
|SPA-250||Crossing the Border||1||2014/SP|