Author Archives: Michael Gomez

Hispanic Studies Student Focus, October 2021: Ms. Mollie Zuyus

Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus for October 2021 is Ms. Mollie Zuyus (’22).

On her impressive curriculum vitae, Mollie describes herself as “a driven student”—an apt description to be sure, judging from her demanding course of study, which is split between a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Spanish (to say nothing of her being named to the College’s prestigious Dean’s List on multiple occasions).

Within the context of Hispanic Studies, Ms. Zuyus has distinguished herself by having been granted admission to the department’s chapter of the National Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi. She has also shared her expertise through her valuable contributions as a Spanish Tutor with the Center for Student Learning.

Beyond this, Mollie has served as both Treasurer and President of the College of Charleston Climbing Club, formed and played guitar in a cover band, Recharged, and made a difference through fundraising for such groups as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, through her membership on the Chi Omega Fraternity Philanthropy Committee.

In her own words:

The Hispanic Studies department has sparked my curiosity of the world around me and provided an academic balance I didn’t realize I needed.  This department has taught me the importance of history, culture, and literature while I also work to grow as a student of science.  The excitement and passion for these topics I’ve witnessed from each of my professors in this department is incredibly inspiring and I can say I’ve learned just as much from the actions of my professors as I have their course curriculum. With my time as an undergraduate student coming to an end soon, my professors have been extremely supportive of continuing my Spanish language development by helping me translate resumes and get organized for an international move post-graduation.  I am extremely grateful for the role the Hispanic Studies department has played in my growth as both a student and an individual.”

Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus, October 2021: Prof. Soledad Francis

Prof. Soledad Francis is Hispanic Studies’ Faculty Focus for October 2021.

Armed with a B.A. from the Universidad de Concepción in Concepción, Chile and a Master of Education in Languages from the College of Charleston, Prof. Francis has been an integral member of the Hispanic Studies faculty since 2018, during which time she has expertly delivered classes at all levels of the Basic Spanish Language sequence.

Besides her fine work at the College of Charleston, Soledad has taught (among other places) at Purdue University, Colorado State University, Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary, Westminster Preschool and The Citadel. Certainly, this experience in such a wide range of educational contexts confirms something that students and colleagues in HISP well know: Prof. Francis can teach.

In her own words:

There are two aspects that I like about being part of the Hispanic Studies Department: to be able to hear Spanish everywhere–in the halls, offices, etc.– as well as my interactions with students. It is a privilege to be able to be part of their journey as a student and of their life.”

Hispanic Studies Student Focus for September 2021: Ms. Emma Burton, Class of 2022

The fall semester is upon us, once again, and with it comes another installment of Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus.

Featured this September of 2021 is Ms. Emma Burton (’22)—a double major in Spanish and International Studies (with a concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean), a minor in Marketing and, last but not least, a Senior in CofC’s prestigious Honors Program.

Outside of her chosen fields of study, Ms. Burton has distinguished herself with varied and impressive activities, ranging from studying abroad in Havana, Cuba (spring 2020), to volunteering with Student Action with Farmworkers in conjunction with the Wake Forest School of Medicine (June – August 2020) and with Amigos International, Ministerio de Salud in Panonomé, Panamá (May- July 2019), to serving in leadership roles as a Peer Facilitator within both the Department of Hispanic Studies and the Honors College (2019), to engaging in market research by way of an internship with Platino Educa (summer 2021), a locally-based Spanish language film streaming service start-up.

Of course, the challenge in summarizing the experiences and accomplishments of HISP’s Student Focus features is adequately conveying just how much they have been involved with during their time at the College. Having failed, yet again, with my own words, I will give the last ones of this Student Focus to Emma herself:

I love learning Spanish with the Hispanic Studies department. My Spanish has improved more than I could have imagined as a first year, but I have gained so much more than Spanish language skills through the department.

In my classes, I can pursue my passion for literature and writing while developing my Spanish. I believe that my communication skills in both English and Spanish have improved as a result of my education in the Hispanic Studies department. I was also given the opportunity to live in La Casa Hispana, where I made many great friends and practiced Spanish frequently in my day-to-day life. Studying abroad in Havana was especially meaningful because I could speak with my host family and people I met in the neighborhood.

Learning Spanish has opened so many doors for me in my time at the college. I feel more connected to the Charleston community because I can communicate with more of its members. Every internship or opportunity I have had during college has been tied to the Spanish skills I have learned from my professors at CofC. Professors in the Hispanic Studies department are invested in my learning and are always willing to go the extra mile to help a student succeed.

This upcoming year, I will be completing a Bachelor’s Essay about cinema under dictatorship in Spain and Latin America, with Dra. Divine as my advisor. She was the professor who inspired me to declare my Spanish major, so I couldn’t be happier to finish my studies by working on this project with her! I am so grateful to every professor I have had in the Hispanic Studies department, who have all helped make me a better student of Spanish and citizen of the world.


Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus for September 2021: Dr. José Chávarry

The Department of Hispanic Studies is very happy to dedicate its Faculty Focus for September 2021 to Dr. José Chávarry.

Dr. Chávarry, who joins HISP as an Assistant Professor of Spanish during fall 2021, comes to Charleston by way of Franklin & Marshall College, where he served as Visiting Assistant Professor from 2019 to 2021.

A graduate of the CUNY Graduate Center—with a Master of Philosophy in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages (2016) and a doctorate in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures—Dr. Chávarry’s fascinating dissertation work focused on Working Lives: Artistic Solidarity in Revolutionary Peru (1960-1980).

Among his most recent publications are “Viaje a la Revolución: vitalismo y cultura política en las crónicas chinas de Bernardo Kordon” [Revista de Estudios Hispánicos 54.3 (2020)], “Alimentar el espíritu, alimentar el cuerpo: marginalidad y lectura en Patíbulo para un caballo, de Cronwell Jara Jiménez” [Latin American Literary Review 48.95 (2021)] and the forthcoming “‘Desespérate como nosotros’: Hora Zero Oriente y el ‘Memorándum Colectivo’ a Pablo Neruda” (Romance Notes).

Of course, besides being an impressive scholar, Dr. Chávarry is also an accomplished teacher, who makes the subject matter imparted (whatever it may be) come alive for his students—a fact that is plain from his below comments.

For these reasons, and for many others, Hispanic Studies is proud and pleased to welcome Dr. José Chávarry as one of its own.

In his own words:

I think what I love the most about being in the classroom is the discussions we can have around contemporary social and cultural topics, and the ways in which literature and language can bring us to ask questions (and, sometimes, elaborate partial answers) about issues that matter to us. This is why I am very excited to join the Department of Hispanic Studies at the College of Charleston, and look forward to many exciting conversations and collaborations with students and faculty. 

The College Today Features Dr. Carrillo

Be sure to check out the following piece on Hispanic Studies’ Dr. Raúl Carrillo—published CofC’s The College Today—in which Dr. Carrillo speaks about his recent novel, Hotel Francés, and its being awarded the Premio Internacional de Narrativa “Ignacio Manuel Altamirano.”

HISP / Dr. Carrillo-Arciniega Receives Literary Prize for Hotel Francés.

Congratulations to Hispanic Studies’ Dr. Raúl Carrillo-Arciniega, who was recently awarded the Premio Internacional de Narrativa ‘Ignacio Manuel Altamirano’ for his novel, Hotel Francés.

This prize, sponsored in part by the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, was granted to Dr. Carrillo Arciniega following a careful consideration of 750 novels, submitted by authors from 17 countries.

HISP / Dr. Carl Wise’s Article in the Bulletin of the Comediantes

Congratulations to Dr. Carl Wise, whose article, “The Atlantic Metropolis: Ships and Seafarers in Lope de Vega’s El Arenal de Sevilla,” is slated to appear in the  Bulletin of the Comediantes, vol. 73, no. 1 (2021).

Dr. Sarah Owens’ Health and Healing in the Early Modern Iberian World Now in Print

Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Owens, whose co-authored work, Health and Healing in the Early Modern Iberian World: A Gendered Perspective (University of Toronto Press, 2021), is now in print and ready for consumption.

The following description, provided by the publisher, gives a little idea of the focus of this fascinating study:

“Recognizing the variety of health experiences across geographical borders, Health and Healing in the Early Modern Iberian World interrogates the concepts of “health” and “healing” between 1500 and 1800. Through an interdisciplinary approach to medical history, gender history, and the literature and culture of the early modern Atlantic World, this collection of essays points to the ways in which the practice of medicine, the delivery of healthcare, and the experiences of disease and health are gendered.

The contributors explore how the medical profession sought to exert its power over patients, determining standards that impacted conceptions of self and body, and at the same time, how this influence was mediated. Using a range of sources, the essays reveal the multiple and sometimes contradictory ways that early modern health discourse intersected with gender and sexuality, as well as its ties to interconnected ethical, racial, and class-driven concerns. Health and Healing in the Early Modern Iberian World breaks new ground through its systematic focus on gender and sexuality as they relate to the delivery of healthcare, the practice of medicine, and the experiences of health and healing across early modern Spain and colonial Latin America.”

HISP Faculty Focus for April 2021: Dr. Raúl Carrillo-Arciniega

Dr. Raúl Carrillo-Arciniega is Hispanic Studies’ Faculty Focus for April 2021.

Dr. Raúl Carrillo-Arciniega, a member of HISP since 2005, received his doctorate from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2004), where he specialized in Latin American Literature. Prior to this, he earned his Licenciatura (with honors) in Hispanic Literature from the Universidad Autónoma de México (1999).

As anyone who has had the pleasure of conversing with Dr. Carillo-Arciniega well knows, his interests are as varied as his reflections upon them are deep. Ample testament to this is to be found in his record of publication and works in progress, which contain—among other things—his study “El pensamiento poético fenoménico en David Huerta,” as well as his poetic compilation, China Girl (Silla Vacía Editorial, 2020) and award-winning novel, Tenesí River (2017).

For all these reasons, and more, Hispanic Studies is proud to number Dr. Raúl Carrillo-Arciniega among its own.

In his own words:

Teaching literature is teaching students how to use a language, to be sure. It is also, for me, teaching them to think beyond; to go deeper and to penetrate into the author’s mind. I enjoy sharing my passion for literature, art, philosophy, and cinema—all being fields where we explore what make us human–here and in Latin America. I believe in the power of language to resolve all our problems, and the classroom is a good place to start looking for solutions.”