Darío Sánchez-GonzálezFaculty

“Well, as I was telling you, it costs a lot to be authentic, ma'am. And one shouldn’t be stingy with these things, because you are more authentic the more you resemble what you’ve dreamed about yourself.”

La Agrado, in All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999).

The words of La Agrado, a character in one of the finest Spanish films ever, reflect on the many sacrifices we make and the many pieces we gather to form what we claim to be our authentic self. She also attests to the pride that we may take in the process.

Growing up in Xixón/Gijón (Asturies, Northern Spain), countless films and books, many of them gay-themed, functioned as a window out into the world—and into myself. Snuggled up at home, in the movie theater (I spent many rainy evenings there, quite a few in the Gijón International Film Festival), sitting with friends at a coffee house, or wherever time and money allow, stories help us recall places we have never been to and faces unseen. Through narratives, we channel dreams and nightmares of ourselves. We gather all that we never bring to the surface, and much of what we push to the cellar (or the attic). We may lose innocence, shake our beliefs, and refashion our way of thinking, speaking and acting. To “know thyself” suddenly requires to find oneself in the voices of others we hear on the way—written, filmed, spoken.

My teaching career has become an extension of such gathering. Teaching languages, film and literature entails giving students more tools to represent, understand representations, communicate and negotiate meaning with the world. In my classes, I value mutual respect, creativity, willingness to push the limits, and constant questioning. I remember the best classes that I had as a student as an almost dizzying experience, a bodily challenge—standing up and walking outside would feel eerie at times, until I had recomposed myself and gathered, once more, all the pieces. It cost a lot.

By the same token, my research is often linked to all the things that I am, or at least some of them. (Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa said, “put everything that you are in the smallest thing you do”—on the pen of his alter ego Ricardo Reis, truth be told.) My main research fields are Spanish and Latin American LGBTQ-themed film, queer studies, and the intersection of sexuality, gender identities, and national/ethnic affiliations. Currently, I am working on an article on Argentinian drama A Year Without Love (Anahí Berneri, 2005). I am also revising a seminar paper I presented at the ALCESXXI conference (July 2017; Zaragoza, Spain) on gay-themed Basque films Hidden Away (Mikel Rueda, 2014) and Ander (Roberto Castón, 2009), analyzed through the lenses of transnational studies and affect theory.

My interest in addressing the root causes why discrimination and exclusion occur (be it of sexual outlaws as Pablo in A Year Without Love, or undocumented migrants such as Ibrahim in Hidden Away) has lead me to participate in service projects such as the Cultural Agility Collaboration initiative of the Minnesota Campus Compact (see more at http://mncampuscompact.org/what-we-do/initiatives/cultural-agility-collaboration/cac-working-groups/), as well as to get involved in interdisciplinary programs at Gustavus, such as Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, and Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies. The strong focus on social justice in the Spanish section at Gustavus makes these two other programs a natural fit.

Last but not least, I consider study abroad one of the essential components of my students' academic experience. During my years at Gustavus I have participated in a community-based learning program in Chimbote, Perú, where Gusties offer a two-week English course during the Peruvian summer break. Both in 2016, when I shadowed the program with Education faculty Deb Pitton, as well as in 2018, when I took the lead, I was constantly reminded of the life-changing experiences that were for me studying in Portugal and in the United States. Study abroad gives one endless possibilities to tune in to other voices and other languages, and to refashion oneself.

Outside of my professional life, I spend most of my personal time in Minneapolis or in my hometown of Xixón.


BA in Romance Languages and Literatures, Universidad de Oviedo '07; MA in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures, University of Massachusetts Amherst '10; PhD in Spanish, Rutgers University '14

Courses Taught

FTS-100 (FTS:Now You See It), SPA-102 (Hispanic World II), and SPA-250 (Neg Diff Hispanic Wld)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
SPA-102 Hispanic World II 13 2022/SP, 2021/SP, 2019/SP, 2017/FA, 2016/FA, 2016/SP, and 2015/SP
SPA-250 Neg Diff Hispanic Wld 12 2023/SP, 2022/FA, 2020/SP, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/FA, 2018/SP, and 2015/FA
SPA-375 Hispanic World Identity 5 2022/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2016/FA, and 2014/FA
SPA-323 Love/Sex/Pwr Span Lit 4 2022/SP, 2020/SP, 2018/SP, and 2016/SP
FTS-100 FTS:Now You See It 4 2021/FA, 2018/FA, 2017/FA, and 2015/FA
SPA-103 Hispanic World III 4 2021/FA and 2017/SP
SPA-390 Film in Spanish 3 2023/SP, 2019/SP, and 2017/SP
SPA-101 Hispanic World I 3 2015/FA and 2014/FA
SPA-390 Film in Spanish Lab 2 2019/SP and 2017/SP
SPA-321 Faces of Spain 2 2015/SP
SPA-225 Placing Valencia 1 2023/JN
SPA-344 ST: La Espana Vacia 1 2021/SP
GWS-240 Soc Jus:Nethlnds/Grmny 1 2020/JN
SPA-099 Global Lang Portfolio 1 2019/SP
SPA-267 Peru: Community Bldg. 1 2018/JN
EDU-267 Peru: Service Learning 1 2016/JN