Alejandro Herrero-Olaizola

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Alejandro Herrero-Olaizola

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Spanish

Office Location(s): 4142 MLB 1275
Phone: 734.647.2336
Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Romance Languages & Literatures
  • About

    My primary research interests are 20th-century Latin American literature, critical theory, comparative literature, and cultural studies. I am particularly interested in the points of contact between Latin American and Spanish literary and cultural traditions.  My other research interests include: popular culture, postmodernism, historical fiction, biographical and testimonial narratives, and North and South American literary and cultural relations. After my recent experience as a US Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá (2009-2010), Colombia has also become one of my areas of research and teaching.

    My current book project The Colombian Condition: Global Violence as Cultural Commodity explores the transnational and inter-cultural forces that have resulted in the heterogeneity and fluidity characteristic of today’s Latin America. I am interested in exploring Latin America as a cultural and intellectual space that expands beyond the American continent in response to the diminishment of nation-state powers.  In this project, I examine mass-marketed media products (i.e., “dirty” best-sellers, film and art about violence, narco-stories) that perpetuate the “gritty side” of Latin America for the benefit of the culture industry and worldwide consumption under globalization.

    In addition to my books Narrativas Híbridas (Verbum, 2000), and The Censorship Files: Latin American Writers and Franco' s Spain (SUNY Press, 2007), I have guest edited a special issue for Symposium on "New Latin American Narrative" (2007) and co-edited Market Matters, a special issue of the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies (2005).  I am currently co-editing a volume on the Latin American Boom, and a cultural studies reader about Colombia. 

    Recent and Selected Publications

    “Gabriel García Márquez Global: literatura latinoamericana e industria cultural.”  Literatura y Globalización (Special Issue).  Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana Volume 69 (2009): 193-206.

    “Crimen Sin Castigo:  Narco-dramas para el mercado global.” Literatura, Crimen y Control Social (edited volume).  Universidad de Antioquia,  Medellín, Colombia. [forthcoming]

    "Introduction: Market Matters" Special Issue (co-edited with Prof. Christine Henseler, Union College), Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies 9 (2005): 1-6.

    "Publishing Matters: The Latin American 'Boom' and the Rules of Censorship."  Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies  9 (2005): 51-63.

    “Sujetos a la censura: Mario Vargas Llosa y el mercado literario de la España franquista.” Journal of Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 9.1-2 (2003): 59-79.

    “Publishing Matters: Francoist Censorship and the Latin American Book Market.” Literary Research / Recherche Littéraire 19 (2002): 21-8.

    “Writing Lives, Writing Lies: The Pursuit of Apocryphal Biographies.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 35.3 (2002): 73-88.

    Recent graduate courses taught: 

    Globalization, Latin America, and Cultural Consumption
    All About Almodóvar: Camp, Melodrama, and Latin America
    Reading the Trans-Atlantic
    The Politics of Publishing: Censorship, Marketing, and Revolution in Latin American Fiction
    The Novel of the “Boom”

    Recent undergraduate courses taught: 

    Colombian Narco-Stories
    The Latin American Best-Seller
    Autores Super-estrella: Film Adaptations of Latin American Novels
    Jorge Luis Borges as Genre
    Manuel Puig’s Moviehouse
    Latin America’s Narrativa Breve

  • Education
    • B.A., Universidad de Valencia, (Spain)1987
    • M.A., West Virginia University, 1989
    • Ph.D., University Southern California, 1994
  • Awards
    • 2003-2004, Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies
    • 2002, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
  • Research Areas of Interest
    • Latin American Literature, Critical Theory, Comparative Literature, Trans-Atlantic Studies, The Politics of Publishing, Censorship and Literary Markets, The Culture Industry