Graduate Students

Current Students

Alejandro Alvarez earned his BA and MA degrees in history in the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He is interested in the Baroque and Early Modern periods and studies the way in which semantics move from metaphor to concept and back. He has worked extensively the production of authors like Baltasar Gracián to try to find semantic traces that lead to an understanding of how Early Modern and Baroque productions thought and projected a notion of society before the concept of it was available. He hopes to continue studying the relationships between semantics and social structures in history through text in the Early Modern and Baroque periods.

Eric Avila Ponce de Leon

Alfredo Cumerma is a Gilman Research Fellow completing his PhD in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Before arriving at Hopkins, he received master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Aix-Marseille Université. As part of the new wave of humanist professionals, Alfredo’s trajectory is crossed between the traditional cultural focus of the humanities and the world of international affairs. He has served in a variety of roles through internships in his target sector. As a content writer for Borgen Magazine and Blog, Alfredo published 19 articles covering global poverty and U.S. foreign aid. He then worked as a research analyst for the Latin America and Caribbean Program (LACP) at The Carter Center for Peace, managing social media and tracking the democratic crises in Nicaragua and Venezuela. He was most recently appointed legislative aide to Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez in the Maryland House of Delegates, and has served as a communications assistant for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Cumerma’s academic research examines the works of Latin American intellectuals: how they write about the state, why they write about the state, and how American foreign policy has helped shape that human expression. In particular, he considers the fiction of former Cuban war correspondent Norberto Fuentes, who was involved in high state circles with the Castro brothers, and had intimate knowledge of the workings of Cuban intelligence during the Cold War. Cumerma’s perspective applies broad humanistic techniques to measure the impact that an author like Fuentes can have over time on nation-branding at the cultural level. Consequently, his work is of interest to practitioners of cultural diplomacy who seek to expand the transparency of their programs through an increased sense of restorative justice.

Liliana Galindo Orrego is a PhD student in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures. Her research interests include 20th and 21st century Latin America, poetry, cinema, urbanization, and philosophy. Her current research focuses on Latin American poetry and cinema since 1970, with special attention to how thought and vision emerge through images. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Literatura: teoría, historia, crítica. Prior to coming to Hopkins, she completed an MA in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where she wrote a thesis on the Colombian poet José Manuel Arango and Emily Dickinson. She also graduated cum laude from the Universidad de los Andes and her senior honors thesis, titled “Opereta al vacío o lo teatral en Colibrí de Severo Sarduy,” was published by the Universidad de los Andes.

Ryan Hill is a PhD student in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures. His research interests include 20th and 21st century Latin America, post-dictatorship literature, soccer culture in film and literature, noir and detective literature, and jazz and literature. His current work examines the connection between soccer and society in Latin America and Spain. His dissertation focuses on literary and filmic representations of soccer to explore how it has been appropriated to both perpetuate, as well as subvert and disrupt, traditional political and economic power structures. Prior to Hopkins he received his BA and MA in Spanish Literature from Brigham Young University where his research focused on narrative fiction of the post-dictatorship period of Southern Cone Latin America. His thesis, titled “The Inefficacy and Expediency of Confession in Post-Dictatorship Literature: A Case Study of Qué solos se quedan los muertos and Cuestiones interiores by Mempo Giardinelli,” focused on the role of confessional literature as a means of coping with the experience of violence and loss suffered during the dictatorships of 1970s and 1980s Argentina.

Tanavi Jagdale is a PhD candidate in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures. Her research interests include 20th and 21st century Latin American literature, science fiction, fantastic literature, and comparative literature. She is also interested in examining fictional representation of economic crisis periods in Latin America as well as how cross-cultural narratives emerge—an interests that comes from her rich cultural and multilingual Indian background. Prior to coming to Hopkins, Tanavi completed her MA in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune, and received the equivalent of a BA in Spanish from University of Pune, India. She taught Spanish for six years at Symbiosis Institute for Foreign and Indian Languages (SIFIL) and University of Pune, and also worked as Spanish Section Head at SIFIL, Pune. Tanavi has presented at the V Encuentro Práctico de Profesores de Español organized by Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi in 2015. She was one of the five recipients of a MAEC-AECID scholarship from India in 2010. In addition to her academic work, Tanavi is a trained Indian Classical vocalist and holds a Bachelor equivalent degree in Indian Classical Music.

Lauren Benjamin Mushro is a PhD student in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures. Her current work comparatively examines the Iberian Peninsula, specifically political regimes and gender politics within Spain and Portugal during the 20th century. In 2018, Lauren was a semi-finalist for a Fulbright research grant in Spain. Prior to arriving at Hopkins, Lauren earned a BA in Political Science and Hispanic Studies at Boston College, where she graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and won the Andrés Bello Award. She wrote her senior honors thesis on gender performance in the literature of Emilia Pardo Bazán and Carmen de Burgos. In 2019, she received Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships to study Portuguese and Catalan.

Christian Pack graduated from Towson University in 2011 with a dual BA in Spanish and electronic media and film. His dissertation, titled “Hellbound in El Salvador: Heavy Metal as Philosophy of Life in Central America,” examines how heavy metal has become a driving force of underground culture in El Salvador since the Civil War in the 1980s. His main areas of interest include Central American literature, Latin American film, and the discourses of heavy metal.

Francisco Pérez Marsilla is a PhD student in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures and the Graduate Assistant for the Center for Africana Studies. His current research looks at the interplay of race, origins, diaspora, and literature in the Caribbean, paying special attention to its relationship with the U.S. His articles have appeared in Variaciones BorgesAula Lírica, and elsewhere. Prior to arriving at Hopkins, he received master’s degrees from Yale and Northern Illinois, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Navarra. In 2019, he received a Sydney Mintz Student Fellowship for Field Research.

Christian Quattrociocchi is a PhD student in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures. His research interests include Golden Age Spanish literature, the Spanish Picaresque, Colonial Latin American literature, as well as the Spanish Baroque and Latin American Neo-Baroque. His work examines both Spanish and Latin American literature produced during the colonial period in a transatlantic, comparative framework. Prior to coming to Hopkins, Quattrociocchi received his BA in History and Spanish Language and Literature from Colgate University in 2016.

Ian Q. Rogers is a PhD candidate in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures. He has been Graduate Liaison for the Program in Latin American Studies and Gilman Fellow. His research interests include (post) colonial theory, Aztec philosophy, counter-reformation theology, crypto-Islam in Spain, 16th century art in Iberia, and the literatures of “early modernity.” His dissertation comparatively examines forced baptisms in the early modern Spanish empire in Granada and Mexico.

Mariangela Ugarelli Risi is a PhD student in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures. Her research focuses on 20th century Latin American literature, with a focus on fantasy, gothic, and science fiction. She has published several articles and book reviews and has received a scholarship from the DAAD. Prior to arriving at Hopkins, she received her licenciatura from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú, where she wrote her thesis on Leopoldo Lugones.

Recent Graduates

Matteo Cantarello is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies at William & Mary. He received his PhD from the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures in 2018. His work analyzes fictional representations of organized crime in contemporary Mexican and Italian literature from the 1950s to the present, with a specific focus on the relationship between territory, violence, and the question of national identity. As in a recent essay for Marginalia Review of Books, his research promotes a constant dialogue between literature and other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Other research interests include the condition of the woman and youth within criminal organizations as well as the contrast between indigenous and foreign filmic representations of Mexican and Italian organized crime.

Francisco Gómez Martos received his PhD from the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures in 2018. His dissertation research focused on literary patronage and theatrical representations of favorite ministers during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Western Europe. He is the author of Historiografía del Postmodernismo (2014), an analysis and critique of postmodernism in the historical field, and La creación de una historia nacional. Juan de Mariana y el papel de la antigüedad en la edad moderna española (2018), which analyzes how ancient history was recorded and examined in Spain during the Renaissance. His research broadly focuses on historiography, early modern history and theater, and Golden Age Spanish literature. Prior to his time at Hopkins, he completed a M.A. in Early Modern and Modern History at the University of Málaga and a Ph.D. in History at the University Carlos III of Madrid with a dissertation on Spanish historiography, which received an Extraordinary Thesis Award. His most recent article is “La paciencia en la fortuna: An Unprinted Play by Lope de Vega,” which recently appeared in Arte Nuevo.

Lauren Reynolds is the Editorial Assistant for the Hispanic Issue of MLN and Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of North Alabama. Her research and teaching focuses on 20th and 21st century Latin American literature, Latinx studies, and border studies, with particular interests in the comparative representations of youth across the region. She is presently completing a book tentatively titled Youthful Protests: Representing Juventud in Latin American and Latino Literature and Film, which examines how assumptions of innocence found in the works of Junot Díaz, Roberto Bolaño, José María Arguedas, and other writers reveal how youth are capable of understanding social injustices in ways that remain inaccessible to older members of their communities.

Mary Speer is teaching a Latin American literature class at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She received her PhD from the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures in 2018. Her research focuses on cross-cultural encounters between the Latin American and Chinese Literary Worlds. Her article, “Tutoring the King: Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda’s Victory Over Bartolomé de las Casas” is forthcoming in the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies and she has presented her work at the Latin American Studies Association, American Comparative Literature Association, and the Congreso internacional de literatura hispánica.