Gabriella Alvarado

Gabriella Alvarado

B.A in Spanish, California State University,  Fullerton 2020.

M.A in Spanish, California State University, Fullerton 2022.

Author of 2 poetry books. 

Research interest: indigenous literature, discrimination and racism of indigenous communities and women in the Mexican Revolution.

Natalia Álvarez Zanza

M.A. in Literary Studies (Universidad Complutense Madrid).

B.A. in Education (Universidad de Valladolid)

B.A. in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).

Research Interests: Medical Humanities, Modern and Contemporary Spanish literature, Literature and Cinema, Literature and Music,  Critical Theory.

Alejandra Castellanos

M.A. in Spanish Literature, University of California, Irvine (Spanish Literature)

B.A. in Spanish, an English-Spanish translating certificate, and a minor in Chicano Studies, Cal State University, Channel Islands.

My research interest is the deconstruction of the narrative of masculinity in contemporary Latin American literature. In addition, I would like to hold literary workshops for immigrants with a focus on the exchange of ideas and experiences of masculinities.

Luis Fernando de la Cruz Herrera

Luis FErnand

M.A., Spanish, Ohio University. 

B.A., Humanidades y Filosofía, Universidad Mesoamericana de San Agustín, in Yucatán, México.

I have published over twenty titles mostly of poetry (lyric, satirical, and for children). I believe in a sense of community based on understanding and unconditional love. I also believe that poetry (and the arts) can be an instrument for that (for building community and understanding), but not always is.

Professional interests: Pedagogy, creative writing, literary translation, & language teaching/acquisition. Research interest: Poetry in its many forms, particularly in native Mexican languages.


Manuel Del Alto

Del Alto
M.A. Latin American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
B.A. English, University of California, Irvine

Karem Delgado

Spanish M.A. at UCR
Spanish B.A. at UCLA

My name is Karem Delgado and I am a PhD student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.  A course in Medieval Spanish literature I took at UCLA as an undergraduate led me to pursue the study of Jewish literature from Spain and Latin America in the UCI Spanish and Portuguese PhD program.  I have been lucky enough to have a great mentor, Professor Jacobo Sefamí, who has inspired me even more about Spanish Jewish literature and more specifically Jewish Literature from Latin America that ranges from the Middle Ages up to present-day.  My specific interest is in Spanish Early Modern Converso (Jewish converts to Christianity and their descendants) literature from the XVI and XVII centuries.  I analyze Inquisition documents against female Conversos and investigate differences in gender, among other topics.  I am looking forward to helping other UCI graduate students through the new Humanities Center initiative, so that we can all receive the maximum benefit from our graduate education here at UCI.

B.A. Spanish, University of Redlands

M.A., Spanish and Portuguese
University of California, Irvine

Areas of research: 19th and 20th-century Latin American poetry; critical theory; film and media studies; gender studies; poetry translation
Pedagogy: Second language acquisition; task-based instruction; heritage language learners; composition; pedagogical training; curriculum design

Melinda Franke


Ph.D. Candidate, Spanish, University of California, Irvine, 2022.

M.A., Spanish, University of California, Irvine, 2019.

B.A., Spanish & Physics, DePauw University, 2018.

Research Interests: Early Modern Spanish Literature  and Culture, Sound Studies, Critical Theory.

David Fuchs


David obtained his B.A. in Spanish and French (double major) from UCLA as student of the year in the Spanish and Portuguese Department in 2015. David obtained his Masters in Spanish from UCI and passed his Ph.D. qualifying exams with honors. Native of Belgium, David speaks 7 languages and his interests are focused in translation and culture, through knowledge of language (epistemology), being (ontology), and religion (metaphysics). His doctoral thesis encompasses the identity within exile of republicans after the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War and of Jews during and after WW II, while his general research interests include the representation of Judaism in Spanish and potentially French literature as well as the compromised conversion of Jews to Christianity. In 2019, David was named teacher of the year at UCI’s Spanish & Portuguese Dept.

Blanca Garcia


Julia Verónica Gómez Rodríguez

Julia Verónica Gómez

M.A., Comunicación de la Ciencia y la Cultura. ITESO, México.

B.A., Letras Hispánicas, Universidad de Guadalajara, México.

Research interests:

Representations of violence in non-fiction narratives, particularly in contemporary Mexican Chronicles.

Fernanda Hernández Paredes

Fernanda Hernández Paredes

B.A. in Hispanic Literature from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

Her work focuses on material poetics, the intersections between activism and literature, and women writers of the 20th and 21st century in Mexico. Along with her academic work, she also writes fiction and non-fiction exploring themes such as language, pain, and violence.

Marco Antonio Huerta Alardín


Ph.D. Candidate, Spanish, University of California, Irvine, 2021.

M.F.A., Cross-genre & Hybrid Writing, University of California, San Diego, 2017. 

B.A., Comunicación, Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México, 2009.

Author of four poetry collections, his work has been published in Mexico, France, Spain, Poland, Uruguay, Canada, and the United States. His research focus includes Creative Writing, Poetry, U.S. Chicanx/Latinx literatures, Indigenous literatures from Abiayala, translating queerness across cultures, and Language Justice.

Marlyn Maldonado

M.A. Spanish, San Diego State University
B.A. Social Sciences, Psychology, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

Research Interests: Caribbean Studies: Illness in Literature and Visual Culture; Feminist Geography; Biopolitics; Medical Humanities.

María Elizabeth Massena

María Elizabeth Massena

M.A., Spanish, California State University, Northridge, 2020.

M.A., Education, Universidad Adventista de Chile, 2016.

B.A., History, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, 2010.

Research interests: Latin American Chronicles, 20th Century Latin American literature, Narcoliterature, Narcoviolence and Feminist Literature in the Southern Cone.

McKenna Middleton

McKenna Middleton

M.A., Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Irvine, 2021.

B.A., Spanish and Journalism, Baylor University, 2019.

Research Interests: 20th Century Spanish Literature; Feminist Theory; Motherhood Studies; Memory Studies

Gilberto Nunez

Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature at California State University, Fresno.

Area of research: My academic interests include masculinity from the 20th century to the present in Mexico and Colombia; Narcoliterature with a particular focus on the novel of sicariato.

Fiona O'Connor

Fiona O

B.A. in Comparative Literature and International Political Economy, Fordham University

Research Interests: 20th and 21st century Latin American literature and film, especially in Chile and Colombia; gender and sexuality studies; indigenous studies; post-dictatorship cultural production; neoliberalism; critical theory.

Gwendolen Christine Caroline Pare

Gwendolen Pare

M.A., Latin American Cultural Studies, Birkbeck College, 2016.

B.Sc., Political Science, Universidad de Granada, 2015.

Research interests: Latin American and Caribbean literature and performance of the twentieth and twenty-first century, critical theory, psychoanalysis, medical humanities, media studies


Patricia Quintana


Areas of Interest: Relación de la literatura con la tecnología y las artes, especialmente el cine. Literatura lúdico-fantástica Rioplatense. Periodismo narrativo latinoamericano

Mell Rivera

B.A. Comparative Literature, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
Research Interests:  Contemporary Caribbean Literature, Feminist Theory, Affect Theory, Postcolonial Studies

María Carina Saiidi Padilla

Carina Saiidi

M.A., Urban Education, Language & Culture, Loyola Marymount University, 2014. 

B.A., History, Spanish & Portuguese, UCLA, 2011.

Research interests: Transnational Mexico-USA. Trauma and healing in the immigrant, Chicano community.

Ángeles Torres Méndez

Ángeles Torres Méndez

Ph.D. Candidate, Spanish, University of California, Irvine.

M.A., Spanish Literature, Middlebury College.

B.A., Spanish, Channel Islands.

Research  Interests: My research focuses on the presence of dystopian and apocalyptic imaginaries in contemporary novels from the Spanish Caribbean: Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Key concepts: Latin  American and Caribbean science fiction, disaster, utopia/dystopia, decolonial studies, environmental humanities, ocean studies.

Jeanie Toscano

Spanish Literature, University of California, Irvine
German, Spanish and Social Work, University of Portland

Fulbright Research Fellowship to Germany: 2008-2009

Gender & Sexuality, Female Masculinity, Narcoliterature, Mexican Revolution, Power and Violence, Queer Theory, Postcolonial Theory, Feminist Theory.

Research Interests: I study depictions of women as agents of violence in Mexican fictions, to include 20th and 21st century literature and film. I focus on two major incidences of widespread national violence in Mexico: the Mexican Revolution and the contemporary context of the so-called Narco State.

José María Urdaneta Azuero

José María Urdaneta Azuero

M.A., University of California, Irvine, 2019.

B.A., Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, 2016.

My research focuses on autobiographical writings, diaries and documentary cinema. Amongst others, I study the works of Luis Ospina, Joao Moreira Salles, Albertina Carri, Fernando Vallejo, Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Alejandra Pizarnik, Ricardo Piglia and Andrés Di Tella. More broadly, I am interested in literary theory and media studies.

Jennifer Vasquez

Spanish, University of New Mexico, 2019
English Comparative & Literary Studies/ Spanish Literary Studies, Occidental College, 2016

Research Interests: Latin American literature and culture in the 20th and 21st century; Central American immigration; Post-colonial studies; Feminist theory

Isabella Vergara


Ph.D. Candidate, Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Irvine.

M.A., Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Irvine, 2017.

B.A., Literature, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, 2015.  

Research interests: My research focuses on Intermedial experiments in contemporary Latin American literature and visual arts with an emphasis on Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. My  research includes visual narratives, critical and feminist theory and their critiques of neoliberal ideologies  through the archive, the documentary and residual materialities.