Personal profile

Personal profile

I was born in Caracas, Venezuela,  the granddaughter of Spanish exiles and daughter of immigrants. I was raised in Spain since I was six. I moved to California to do my PhD.and I have lived in the United States since then. 

From 2013-15 I lived in Barcelona, where I was the resident director of the University of Illinois-University of California Education Abroad Program.

Research Interests

Modern and Contemporary Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies. Cultural Construction of Identities. Ideology and Culture. Public emotions and Collective Affects.

Professional Information

The focus of my current research and teaching  is the cultural construction of Spanish national identity in the democratic period. I have two other lines of research underway: one analyzes the state of Hispanism and explores alternative ways to conceptualize the discipline --including, but not limited to, transnational and/or Iberian Studies approaches. I have a forthcoming book, a Cultural History of Modern and Contemporary Spanish Literature, co-authored with Jo Labanyi (Polity Press). The book will also have the collaboration of experts in Catalan, Basque and Galician literatures.

My other area of research now is the study of emotions and affects in the public sphere, and the relationship between politics and collective emotions. Part of that research is included in the co-edited volume (with Pura Fernandez and Jo Labanyi) Engaging the Emotions in Spanish Culture and History (Vanderbilt University Press, 2016). An updated version appeared in Spanish in 2018 (Las emociones en la cultura y la cultura de las emociones, Catedra). Along those lines, I am now working on how emotional and political attachments intersect and function in narratives of citizenship at moments of crisis: the movement of the Outraged in Spain (2011- 2015), the independence referenda in Scotland and Catalonia (2014, 2017); the peace agreement referendum in Colombia (2016); and the internationalfeminist demonstrations against inequality and abuse (2017- present).

Last, but certainly not least, I am interested in the connections between academic research and public life, as well as in the debates and practices that define democratic citizenship.


Ph.D University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Madrid (Complutense) B.A and M.A

Honors & Awards

2009-2010 Humanities Council Teaching Excellence Award. (University of Illinois).
2010-11 Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory Nicholson Fellow.
2015 Finalist, Premio Nacional de Ensayo (National Literature Award, Essay). Spain's Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.
Honorable Mention, Best Research in the Humanities, Illinois Program for Research In the Humanities (for "The Sound and the Red Fury")
2016-17 Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities Fellow.
2017-19 Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory Senior Fellow
2018-19 University Scholar


2007 Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spanish Ministry of Culture and North American Universities
2009 Centre for Scientific Research (CSIC- Spain).
2009 Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation
2017-20 Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS, France)


Intro to Cultural Analysis (Sp 254)
Debating Spain (Sp320)
"Alienated Hearts. Affects, Subjectivities and Identities in Modern Spanish Culture" (Span 528)

Office Address

4080 FLB

Office Phone


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