Alejandro Herrero-Olaizola Awarded Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship
Herrero-Olaizola is associate chair and professor of Spanish and latin American cultural studies in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. He is an internationally respected scholar of Latin American literary and cultural studies. In the last twenty years his research has steered a steady course from the traditional textual analysis of twentieth century Latin American literature to wide-ranging cultural, social and critical approaches to cultural history. His research builds on meticulous archival work, theoretical reflection, and detailed close readings that allow the cultural texts—novels, photography, paintings and film—to dialogue across the disciplinary, national, and cultural boundaries of the Hispanic world. Professor Herrero-Olaizola is one of the most popular instructors in our Spanish program, and his devotion to teaching has been reflected consistently in his outstanding evaluations from his students. These evaluations demonstrate that his classes always show the unmistakable marks of a dedicated and brilliant teacher: leadership, warmth, ability to identify and frame important issues, respect for complexity, pedagogical innovation, technological knowledge, desire for clarity and appreciation for student’s needs. He is admired for his ability to meld inspiring teaching, welcoming advising, and transformational leadership. As a student has commented, Professor Herrero-Olaizola “is encouraging students to step outside of their comfort zone and embrace cultural immersion in new environments".