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MemberJeanne L. Gillespie

Dr. Jeanne Gillespie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Purdue, a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies with concentrations in Anthropology and Art History from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate in Spanish with a concentration in Colonial Latin American Literature from the Arizona State University.Gillespie has published in peer-reviewed venues on Spanish colonial literary and cultural studies as well as in several areas related to innovative pedagogies and interdisciplinary inquiry. Her current research passion is the documentation of plant materials and healing practices in indigenous Mexican documents, especially poetic and dramatic texts that were collected during the Spanish colonial administration. In conjunction with that research avenue, she is preparing an article on women’s voices in the Iberian colonial record that examines Native American women whose words and accounts have been recorded in Spanish documents.Gillespie is also working on an article examining the letters to and from the Duchess of Aveiro, Maria Guadalupe de Lencastre, a driving force in the Jesuit missionary endeavors in Latin America and Asia. She is preparing a book manuscript Performing Spanish Louisiana: Isleño Décimas and the Narratives of St. Bernard Parish, an analysis of Isleño texts, images, and folklore from this Spanish-speaking community in south Louisiana. Gillespie exhibits a passion for finding fascinating stories and rendering them into accessible narratives for reflection and further investigation. She also actively participates in the dissemination of innovations in teaching and learning, including collaborative and integrative learning, online learning, digital initiatives, study abroad and other experiential learning pedagogies. She has taught courses at all levels of Spanish language and cultures. In addition, she teaches in the Women’s and Gender Studies program and in Interdisciplinary Studies. Gillespie is married to musician, John Palensky and is the mother of three vivacious children. Her home is filled with good food, great music and much love.

MemberSimone Pinet

I work at the intersection of discourses in medieval Iberian literatures, that is, I like asking questions that come up when one sees an apparently unrelated or distant sphere intervening in the literary, whether it be politics, or cartography, or economics, which is what I am currently working on for a book project. As an extension of this, I am interested in how the medieval intervenes in other periods, other geographies, that is, how the medieval informs (or disinforms) discourses about modernity or secularism or civilization, and how it shapes imperial and colonial projects, or contemporary Latin American literatures.

MemberAlexandra Méndez

Alexandra Méndez is a third-year Ph.D. student in Latin American & Iberian Cultures and the Institute for Comparative Literature & Society at Columbia University. She studies narrative and the circulation of information in sixteenth-century Iberian worlds. She is interested in the intersections of visual, literary, and material cultures. Before beginning the Ph.D., she spent 2013-2014 on a Henry Russell Shaw Traveling Fellowship in Sevilla, Spain carrying out research and creative writing. She is currently a Graduate Fellow with the cultural review Public Books (publicbooks.org). She holds a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University.