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Department ofModern Languages and Literatures


José Ortigas

José Ortigas

New Faculty profile: José Ortigas (Spanish Studies)

I received my Ph.D. in Peninsular and Latin American literature and culture with a designated emphasis in Critical Theory from the University of California, Davis. My work focuses principally on the analysis of contemporary popular fiction and film as denunciation of the deleterious effects of neoliberal capitalism in the Spanish-speaking world. In particular, I examine how novela negra, the Ibero-American interpretation of hard-boiled detective fiction, both responds to social injustice and serves as counter-discourse to state rhetoric in Mexico and Spain. Other areas of recent investigative interest are the literary and filmic representation of violence in Mexico as well as border studies and migrant narratives. In recent and forthcoming articles, I study how Mexican novela negra, narco-literature, and documentary film address corruption, impunity, and the state’s complicity in the wave of violence unchained by the drug war initiated in 2006.

I have taught courses across the Spanish program curriculum and on a variety of topics, including contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature and film, introduction to Spanish culture, representations of the US-Mexico border, migrant narratives, introduction to literary analysis, Spanish composition, Spanish for heritage learners, as well as beginning to advanced language and culture courses. In academic year 2019-20, I will be teaching courses on representations of the migrant experience in Spain, detective fiction in Spain and Latin America, and narco-narratives.

Before coming to Santa Clara, I was an Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy traveling with my wife and two sons, playing and coaching soccer, painting, playing guitar, and cycling.