Carlos Mejia Suarez


"Digo esto para que los jóvenes insistan en lo que no comprenden, que vuelvan sobre lo que no entienden, porque al final los ojos se abrirán ante un mundo maravilloso" ["I say this so that young people insist in what they don't comprehend, so that they go over what they don't understand, for at the end their eyes will be open before a wonderful world." [José Lezama Lima. Paradiso]

As a scholar in Latin American literature and culture, and in literary studies, I have always followed these words that Cuban novelist José Lezama Lima uses to begin his novel… And even before I had read his work, I constantly faced what I could not understand with a spirit of curiosity and a desire to make sense of what unfolded before my eyes: years of violence, the heat of my hometown and the cool heights of the Andes where Bogotá sits… the words of the masters, the images on huge screens… reading Der Zauberberg and seeing myself in it as much as I could relate to Cien años de soledad. I wondered how dinosaurs could ever appear before my eyes in the big screen, and how someone could prompt the images in the news that showed the devastation of bombs, or rockets lighting the sky. The path that my curiosity took in order to find answers was that of literature, and that of communicating to others this desire to understand what is not clear at a first glance.

My research currently covers the following topics: narratives of demonic pacts in Latin American literature (from the Nineteenth Century to the present),  Colombian contemporary narratives of violence and conflict, and representations of masculinities in Latin American literature (mainly focusing on Salvador Novo, Alonso Sánchez Baute, Fernando Molano Vargas, Tomás González, and Héctor Abad Faciolince).

In my teaching I strive to make students find out what they want to explore. For this reason, I encourage students to embrace liberal arts, go beyond the merely practical, and constantly question what we see and what we think we know. It is my belief that if we look at a language, read a literary piece, or appreciate a work of art, we all in the classroom can start by questioning first impressions, go on to compare our opinions with those of others, and finally create new perspectives on the subject matter that brings us together. I approach classroom experience as an act of self-discovery where we all need each other.

I am also committed to establish connections between research, teaching and community engagement. This is part of the process of discovery. Experiences in the community allow students to see how their coursework can serve a greater purpose, and at the same they bring new questions to what students have learned in their coursework.

Click here to visit my website.

If you want to schedule a meeting to talk about LALACS, GWSS or the Spanish major and minor programs, feel free to schedule an appointment with me by clicking here to go to my google calendar.


I completed my undergraduate degree in Literary Studies at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, and did an M.A. in Latin American literature at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well. I obtained my PhD degree in Spanish at The University of Iowa in 2010.

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
SPA-102 Hispanic World II 14 2023/SP, 2018/FA, 2018/SP, 2017/SP, 2016/SP, 2015/FA, 2015/SP, 2014/FA, and 2013/FA
SPA-250 Neg Diff Hispanic Wld 8 2017/FA, 2017/SP, 2016/FA, 2016/SP, 2014/FA, and 2014/SP
SPA-280 Lit., Film & Society 5 2022/SP, 2021/FA, 2021/SP, and 2019/SP
SPA-322 Lit Cities of Latin Am 5 2021/FA, 2020/FA, 2017/FA, 2015/FA, and 2013/FA
LAS-399 LALACS Senior Capstone 4 2023/SP, 2022/SP, 2021/SP, and 2019/SP
FTS-100 FTS:War on Drugs-Lit 4 2022/FA, 2020/FA, 2016/FA, and 2015/FA
CUR-250 Literary Experience 3 2019/SP, 2018/SP, and 2017/SP
SPA-320 Latin Am Culture 3 2018/FA and 2014/FA
SPA-344 ST:Armed Conflict LA Lit 2 2019/SP and 2015/SP
NDL-213 War on Drugs Stories 2 2016/JN and 2015/JN
MLC-255 Lat.Am Spain Challenges 1 2023/SP
SPA-101 Hispanic World I 1 2022/SP
PCS-211 Introduction to Peace Studies 1 2022/SP
SPA-099 Global Lang Portfolio 1 2019/SP
SPA-225 Lang/Service in Spain 1 2019/JN
PCS-119 Colombian War & Peace 1 2018/JN
PCS-220 PostConflict Lit/Film 1 2017/JN
SPA-103 Hispanic World III 1 2014/SP