photo: Maria Alejandra Aguilar

María Alejandra Aguilar

Assistant Professor of Hispanic and Italian Studies

Degree/Institution: PhD Washington University, St. Louis
Office: HU 226


Academic Focus

Research: 19th Century Latin-American Literature, Latin-American Poetry, Caribbean Studies, Brazilian Studies, Gender Studies, African Diaspora in Latin America, Visual Arts, Latin American Intellectual History, Culture and State Formation, Nationalism.


Classes recently taught:
Seductive Latin America: Eroticism, Writing, and Revolution in Latin American Literature and Film (ASPN 443) – Online course Latin American novel from Modernismo to the Boom (SPN 536) – Online course Representative Spanish-American Authors (ASPN 316) Introduction to Literary Methods (ASPN 310)


María Alejandra Aguilar received her Ph.D. from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2014. She also completed a graduate certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies at the same institution. Prior to joining our department, she was an Instructor of Spanish at the State University of New York at Oswego.
Dr. Aguilar has published articles on Caribbean narrative and poetry in peer-reviewed journals such as Meridional, Confluence and Latin American Literary Review. She has also collaborated in the volume Cantos y poemas: antología crítica de autoras afro-descendientes de América Latina, edited by María Mercedes Jaramillo and Betty Osorio. In 2016 she presented papers in many different academic venues: the International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Conference, and Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies (MACLAS) Conference. She has been awarded the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies (MACLAS) Wadysaw Maryan Froelich Research Grant in support of her research project “Chasing Freedom: Black Criminalization, Leadership, and Writing in Colombia, Brazil, and Cuba.” Dr. Aguilar is currently working on a book-length project entitled Herederos de la libertad: criminalización, heroicidad y escritura de afro-descendientes en Colombia, Brasil y Cuba.