This year the Departments of English Language and Literature and Cinema and Media Studies collaborated to recruit junior faculty members focused on Latino literary and media studies, introducing a new range of research interests to both departments. Rachel Galvin traces the assimilation of poetic forms across geographical and cultural boundaries, while Edgar Garcia, a postdoc and future Neubauer Family Assistant Professor, examines the overlap between Latino literature and Native American interpretations of texts, particularly nonverbal elements such as pictograms and textual performance.

Frances Ferguson, the Ann L. and Lawrence B. Buttenwieser Professor and Chair of English, says Galvin’s and Garcia’s work addresses literary forms that “both reflect and alter our sense of geography,” and that they both “speak to the strong current interest in thinking about literature as a phenomenon that shifts our ideas of nations and historical eras.”

Jim Chandler, AM’72, PhD’78, the Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke Distinguished Service Professor in English and chair of CMS, oversaw the English search and coordinated with the cinema search committee “in hopes that the recruitment chances would be mutually enhanced.” He was thrilled that this coordination also brought assistant professor Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky, an expert in Latin American cinema, documentary, ethnographic film, and migration studies.

The scholarly connections extend to a third department—Romance Languages and Literatures—that has made significant hires in Latin American Studies. Larissa Brewer-García studies race in the context of translation and Victoria Saramago is a creative writer and scholar of contemporary Brazilian literature. Together, all six will prompt conversations across departments while adding a new dimension to their own.


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