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Associate Professor of Spanish This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
University Hall 3116
(205) 372-7864

Research and Teaching Interests: Afro-Hispanic literature and culture, the Caribbean, US-Brazil-Hispanic comparisons, Ways of understanding the body (medicine, gender, race)

Office Hours: By appointment


  • PhD, Vanderbilt Combined PhD in Spanish and Portuguese

UAB Scholars ProfileOpens an external link.

I am from Georgia, but great teachers inspired me to study Spanish so I could be like them. This led me to travel the world: Europe, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Cambodia. I taught high school Spanish for five years. Studying the African Diaspora has given unity to my varied interests and gives me a sense of pride in discovering often under-appreciated writers, artists, and approaches.

I try to make my classes a place where students get to hear many voices, including their own. Students talk to international conversation partners via Skype and Zoom in my classes. I have multiple guest speakers each semester. I led a 2016 May mini-term trip to Puerto Rico to do community service and learn about local culture, and I chaperoned a May mini-term trip to Spain in medicine, language, and culture. My Medicine and Literature course uses a student-centered approach to study Latin American history and culture through these two disciplines. I have taught our first courses on Brazil and the Portuguese language. I am founder and co-sponsor of the Latin American Film Club. I am passionate about contemporary Latin American literature and culture, and I enjoy sharing them with my students.

  • Recent Courses
    • Spanish 414/514: African Hispanophone Writers
    • Spanish 404/504: Medicine and Literature in the Spanish-Speaking World
    • Spanish 499/599: Music and the African Diaspora in Latin America
    • FLL 485: World Language Capstone: Brazil, the Other Half of South America
    • Spanish 310: Cultures of the Spanish-Speaking World: Human Rights
  • Select Publications
    • Under Contract: “Tide of Blood and Fire: Between Alabama and Latin America.” University Press of Kentucky. Est. publication: 2024.
    • Fractal Families in New Millennium Narrative by Afro-Puerto Rican Women. University of Wales Press, November 2022/February 2023.
    • With Anita de Melo and Ludmylla Mendes Lima: Literary Connections between South Africa and the Lusophone World. Lexington University Press, 2022.
    • “La diáspora africana y la conciencia doble según Paul Gilroy y Manuel Zapata Olivella”. Revista Iberoamericana 280 (2022). Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana, Pittsburgh.
    • With Thomas M. Stephens: Dictionary of Latin American Identities. University of Florida Press, 2021.
    • Challenging the Black Atlantic: Manuel Zapata Olivella and Ana Maria Gonçalves. Bucknell University Press, 2021.
    • “Los poemas inéditos de Changó el gran putas: El papel del poeta, las armas y las letras”; “Apéndice: Poemas inéditos de Manuel Zapata Olivella”. Visitas al Patio 14.1 (2020): 44-63. Unpublished Poems by Manuel Zapata Olivella: 201-15. University of Cartagena, CO.
  • Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies
    • Three Teaching Awards: Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching 2023. AATSP Teacher of the Year, 2021-22. AWLA Educator of Excellence 2021.
    • UAB Signature Core Faculty Fellow, 2020-2021 ($6,000 total)
    • AATSP Coordinator of Graduate Student Day Competitions 2021, 2022, BOD 2017-2019, 2022-Present.
    • Two UAB Faculty Development Grants, 2016 and 2020 ($17,900 total)
    • Guest Editor (with Uju Anya and N. Michelle Murray), Special Issue on United Nations Decade for People of African Descent, Hispania (2024). In Progress.
    • Comité Científico, Primer Encuentro Internacional de Investigadores en Estudios Afrolatinoamericanos, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. June 2021.
    • Three UAB CAS Dean’s Grants, 2015, 2018, 2021 ($5,500 total).
    • Guest Editor (with Graciela Maglia, Instituto Caro y Cuervo). Special Issue on Maroons. Co-Authored Introduction (pp.12-21), peer-reviewed article “The Pedagogy of the Possessed in Nei Lopes’s Novel Oiobomé,” (pp.143–61) Afro-Hispanic Review 36.1 (Spring 2017).
    • 2015 AATSP Outstanding Scholarly Publication Award for “AfroReggae: Antropofagia, Sublimation, and Intimate Revolt in the Favela.” Hispania 97.3: 463-76.
    • Editorial Board, Afro-Hispanic Review, 2011-Present. Assistant Editor, 2010-11.
  • Student Groups

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