Language & Literature; Translation; Comparative Literature; Brazilian Literature; Mexican Literature; Spanish; Portuguese; Ecocriticism; Ecopoetry
I was born and raised in Mexico and received my BA (magna cum laude) with Departmental Honors in Philosophy and a Major in Mathematics from Wellesley College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, in 1991. From there I went on to live in Europe for several years, mainly Prague, where I taught languages and co-managed a trading company, and briefly in Italy and Portugal. In 1997 I moved to New York to pursue a PhD in Hispanic Literatures at New York University. I received my doctorate in 2003, with a thesis on the question of nationalism in the Mexican and Brazilian avant-garde movements. I was hired by the University of Alberta in 2003, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009.
Among my personal interests are cooking and capoeira (Brazilian martial arts).
A multilingual comparatist and translator, I have published on the historical and postwar literary avant-gardes, Latin American poetry (Mexico and Brazil), and literary translation. Recent research focuses on ecopoetics and ecocriticism. My work has been funded by numerous grants. I have earned teaching distinctions, mentored Canadian and international students, and worked with many community partners. I have served the profession in diverse capacities and leadership positions and edit the scholarly journal Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos. Recent international engagement includes a visiting professorship and research collaboration with scholars at UFSC in Florianópolis, Brazil.
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
• Latin American Historical Avant-gardes & Comparative Modernisms
• Modern and Contemporary Brazilian and Mexican Poetry and Literature
• Literary Translation (Theory and Practice)
• Ecocriticism and Environmental Humanities
RESEARCH FUNDING (MAJOR GRANTS)
· 2021-2024: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Insight Grant; Title: “Haroldo de Campos: Innovative Poetics for a Plural World”; $80,278; PI
· 2019-2022: SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Journals: Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos: $90,000; PI
· 2018-2021: SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant: Title: “Empowering Communities through Translation: The Case of the Newcomer’s Guide to Edmonton”; $24,959; PI, with co-investigators Sathya Rao and Ann De León
· 2016-2019: SSHRC Insight Development Grant. Title: “ecopoesia.com: An Online Resource on Environment and Poetry in Latin America”; $45,964; PI
· Total (2016-2024): $241,278
Refereed Articles in National and International Journals:
1. “Haroldo de Campos’s ‘planetary music for mortal ears’: A Latin American Postmodern Global Poetics” Journal of Lusophone Studies 6.1 (Special Dossier: Thinking World Literature from Lusophone Perspectives) (Forthcoming Spring 2021).
2. “The Newcomer’s Guide to Edmonton and Community Translation: Materially and Culturally Situated Practices.” With Ann De León. TTR: Traduction, terminologie, rédaction 33.2 (2020): 95-123. https://doi.org/10.7202/1077713ar
3. “O último sopro de Clarice: Um sopro de vida como ars poetica.” Revista da Anpoll 5.1 (Special Issue: Clarice Lispector) (2020): 83-94. https://doi.org/10.18309/anp.v51iesp.1524
4. “Augusto de Campos’s Outro: The Limits of Authorship and the Limits of Legibility.” Journal of Lusophone Studies 5.1 (Spring 2020): 38-63. https://jls.apsa.us/index.php/jls/article/view/371
5. “Religious Traditions and Ecology: An Ecocritical View of Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Poetry.” Letterature d’America 38, no. 170 (2018): 87-104.
Refereed Chapters in Books:
1. “Disney’s Success in Latin America: A Case of Translation?” Literatura contemporânea: comparatismo, tradução e interartes. Eds. Fioruci, Wellington, et al. Campinas: Editora Pontes, 2021 (forthcoming).
2. “Divergence and Convergence: Avant-Garde Poetics in Twentieth-Century Spanish America and Brazil (1950-1980).” Latin American Literature in Transition Volume 4: 1930-1980. Eds. Amanda Holmes and Parvathi Kumaraswami. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2022 (forthcoming).
3. “Translation and Radical Poetics: The Case of Octavio Paz and the Noigandres.” Transpoetic Exchange: Haroldo de Campos, Octavio Paz and Other Multiversal Dialogues. Eds. Tom Winterbottom and Marília Librandi Rocha. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2020. 73-83.
4. “Concrete North America: Some Questions of Reception.” Concrete Poetry: Translation & Transmission. Eds. John Corbett and Ting Huang. New York: Routledge, 2020. 168-83.
5. “Desafios e Oportunidades na Tradução Inglesa dasGaláxias de Haroldo de Campos.” [Challenges and Opportunities in the English Translation of Galáxias by Haroldo de Campos.] Haroldo de Campos Tradutor e Traduzido. Eds. Andréia Guerini, Walter Costa, e Simone Homem de Melo. São Paulo: Perspectiva, 2019. 241-52.
6. “Can Literature Save the Planet: Lessons from Latin America.” Foreign Language Teaching and the Environment: Theory, Curricula, Institutional Structures. Ed. Charlotte Melin. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2019.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
• 2017: Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
• 2016: Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Student Teaching Award
• 2015: Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Student Teaching Award Nominee
• 2008: Provost’s Award for Early Achievement of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Nominee
Undergraduate Courses taught at the University of Alberta:
Professional Development Courses:
Courses Taught at Other Institutions:
Guest Lectures in Courses:
Committee Member or Examiner:
Committee Member or Examiner in Other Departments:
Committee Member or Examiner at Other Institutions:
Graduate Mentorship Activities:
COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING
Since 2012, I have engaged in numerous partnerships with community organizations that require translation services—including NGOs, historic sites, and schools—through the University of Alberta’s Community Service-Learning (CSL) initiative. In the CSL component in my translation courses SPAN 405 and SPAN 406, students translate documents for community partners and receive real life work experience while earning academic credit. Organizations and projects include:
Translation problems and strategies illustrated with examples from a variety of languages. Prerequisite: *6 in a foreign language at the 150-level or above.Fall Term 2022
Prerequisites: *3 in SPAN at the 300 level excluding 300 and 306, or consent of the Department. Note: This course can also be applied to the MLCS Certificate in Translation Studies.Winter Term 2023
Prerequisite: consent of Department.Winter Term 2023
201607 to 20190630
ecopoesia.com: An Online Resource on Environment & Poetry from Latin America
Summary of Project
This research project aims at creating a trilingual (Spanish, Portuguese, English) online resource mapping the relationships between contemporary Latin American poetry and the environment. This website will be addressed to both general readers of poetry and to students and researchers in the areas of environment and literature.
Though nature has always been present in literature as a theme, the scholarly study of these connections—green literary studies or ecocriticism—only really blossomed in the last twenty years. With the rise of environmentalism and parallel to this scholarly interest, contemporary poets have also consciously begun to address ecological issues in their creative work. In Europe and North America, anthologies of ecopoetry and scholarly works on ecocriticism and ecopoetics attest to the growth of this field.
Latin American writers have also, in word and deed, long engaged with the environment, but their contributions are less known. As early as 1985, the Mexican poet Homero Aridjis successfully called for action against air pollution and lobbied to protect vulnerable species such as tortoises and whales. Aridjis’s activism is exemplary, but arguably his most enduring contribution, as that of many other fellow poets, lies in his words. In an indirect yet powerful way, his eco-centered poetry teaches us about the connection between humans, others forms of life, and the environment. Ecocriticism convincingly argues that the ways we imagine nature shape our relationship to it. Poetry is a privileged medium in this process for its ability to generate compelling images that reach deeper levels of consciousness. As the Canadian critic Jonathan Butler argues, “for real change [in environmental attitudes] to occur, we must look to the language of the poets who understand that human thought, human embodiment, and the natural world, are not separate from each other but intertwined and interconnected” ( This proposal believes that making such poetry widely available is an invaluable tool in generating environmental responsibility.
Our goal is to bring this important poetry, scattered across many venues and often untranslated, to the attention of both academic and general audiences in Canada, Latin America, and beyond. As a research and pedagogical tool, this online resource will feature biographical notes, critical commentaries, bibliographies, and a generous selection of poems, both in the original as well as in translation. We will showcase established figures such as Homero Aridjis, Ernesto Cardenal, and José Emilio Pacheco, and newer voices, including Astrid Cabral and Sérgio Medeiros, highlighting their unique environmental vision. General audiences will be able to read this poetry in various languages, and experts in the academy will have access, for the first time, to a rigorous corpus of environmental poetry from an important region of the world. In my own program of research, this project will serve as spadework towards a scholarly monograph I plan to write.
The resource’s digital platform will make access possible from any location and will allow different ways of mapping texts. Beyond the traditional “author/work” format, the website will create digital maps of poetry focusing on specific topics (for instance, pollution, endangered species, indigenous ecological knowledge). Through links to actual maps, images, and sounds, it will also allow readers to link poetry to place, text to geography.
Supervised by the principal investigator, two graduate students and two undergraduates will participate in all stages of the project: from selecting the authors and works, to translating, writing commentaries, and designing the website. Besides creating awareness of the field of environment and poetry, the project will train students in a number of specific areas: literary scholarship, editorial work, literary translation, digital humanities & web design, and knowledge mobilization.
Latin America is a key region for Canada in many ways. Latin American populations are growing, and Canada has a presence there, particularly in terms of natural resource extraction. This project mobilizes environmental poetry and insights from that region to new audiences within the academy and beyond. It challenges audiences to rethink our obligations to the environment and generates knowledge about populations and cultures that Canada needs to thrive responsibly in an interdependent world.