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Graduate students 2012-2013

Lizandro Arbolay Alfonso

Currently a student of the M.A. in Hispanic Studies, Lizandro comes to McGill with a background in pedagogy, translation, and TEFL. His current research interests sway from canon construction and (trans)nationalism in the 18th and 19th centuries to contemporary diasporic literature in the Hispanic world.

René Bautista Ruiz

Holds a BA in Letras Españolas from UACH University, followed by a MA in Hispanic Literature at New Mexico State University and a second MA in Hispanic Studies from UBC. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the Hispanic Literature.

Sophie Begin

Is a Ph.D. Candidate in Hispanic Studies at McGill University. She holds an M.A. in Hispanic Literatures with specialization in Spanish-American literature as well as a B.F.A. in Visual Arts and has worked in different museum settings in Canada and Mexico. Her research focuses on the roles of literary and anthropological representations in the mediation of autochthonous identities and the creation of national myths in Mexico. She was granted Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Bombardier scholarship for her ongoing research project on the institutional ethics, museological configuration and architectural aesthetics of Mexico’s National Anthropology Museum.

Melanie Bosnjak

Ximena Aldana DCosta

I was born on the summer solstice of 1975, but being born in Bogota that doesn’t really mean much. We have no seasons in Colombia, but for better or worse that’s about the only thing we don’t have. If literature proves to be the financial disaster my father has foreseen I think I’ll just start my own moving company. Moving is the field in which I have the most experience at. You don’t have to believe this but I’ve moved 25 times in 37 years. Most often some blocks away, but sometimes, I’ve ended up going really far from home. The most difficult issue about moving is books. You can’t always take them with you. Finding where they are to be kept and who is to take care of them can be a difficult matter. You know, books do have a tendency to end up at second hand bookshops. So far, my books are mainly stored in two trustworthy sites, in Bogota, where I received my literature diploma at Universidad Javeriana, and Brussels, where I received an MA in Film Analysis “avec la mention distinction” from Université Libre. In both cities I left behind much more than books. As a McGill PhD candidate I intend to use the library but I guess I might end up leaving a lot behind.

Lilia Eskildsen-Torres

I am currently a candidate for a PhD in Hispanic Studies in the Languages, Literatures and Cultures department. I was born and raised in México, but lived in Texas for 6 years, where I got my B.A. with a double major in Spanish and English language and literature, and my M.A. in Spanish. I am currently interested in Mexican contemporary literature, specially the emergent literary movement of Northern Mexico. Having been a folklórico dancer, I am also interested in Mexican culture and folklore and its representations, especially in dance, play and literature.

Jennifer Faucher

Katia Karen Garcia Gomez

Andrea González Márquez

Is an M.A. candidate in Hispanic Studies at McGill University. For her Bachelor, she graduated with honors from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where she wrote a thesis analyzing Juan Carlos Onetti’s Para una tumba sin nombre from the viewpoint of Postmodern Theory. Henceforth, she has worked on projects that study the bond between Postmodernism and the writing of Mexican authors such as Rosa Beltrán and Carlos Monsiváis. Her research interests include Gender & Cultural Studies, Postmodern Theory, and Contemporary Latin American Literature.

Patricio Kobek

I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. I completed my B. Com. in 2006 from the University of Alberta, and my M.A. in Spanish with a focus on Latin American Cultural Studies in 2012. I am currently a PhD student and a language instructor in the Department of Hispanic Studies at McGill University. My primary interests include Colonial Latin America and the complex relationships between religious orders and the Indigenous population.

Dana Levy

I’m from Buffalo, New York.  My interests in Hispanic Studies include the Judeo-Spanish language and its origins, The Franco regime, and Spanish and Mexican cinema.  I am very interested in the conservation of Judeo-Spanish because it was spoken by my family and is at risk of dying out due to assimilation into modern Spanish.  Within the Franco regime, I am specifically interested in the Spanish Maquis.

Valérie Maurer

I obtained a B.A. in Literature from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 2003 and I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies at McGill University. My area of research is the literary and cultural representations of the frontier in the early years of consolidation of the Latin American republics, with the particular aim of shedding light on indigenous representations and their political impact. My interest lies on the fields of book history, literary theory, history and anthropology.

Anna Mitchell

Is a first year Master's student.  Completed her undergraduate degree at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania with dual degrees in Spanish and International Studies.  Looking forward to exploring Montreal!


Marie-Eve Monette

I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Studies. My area of specialization is the representation of identity formation in 20th Century Argentine literature and cinema, especially as a result of migration movements in and to this region. The focus of my thesis is the construction of hybrid identities through the production of space in Argentine drama of the 1930s and early 1940s. I am also a Spanish Language Instructor for the same department. Teaching for the department, as well as a class taken on indigenism in Latin America, led me to complete an Education Internship in Peru in 2010. As a result of this internship and my interest in cinema, I have also dedicated part of my research to indigenous representations in Peruvian Hispanic cinema since the early 1990s.

Manuel Moya Valdivia

I was born one July 28th in Manzanillo, Mexico. I lived in my native country for just 11 years; I resided in the U.S. for the following 14 years. I obtained a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in “Spanish” from Texas A & M International University at Laredo. Growing up in one of the most conflictive borders in the world gave me an idea of living in two different worlds colliding at each single second. Therefore, I developed a likeness for artistic representations of this conflictive place.  In my thesis for my Master’s degree, I wrote about how Mexican detective fiction has been approaching this reality for the past twenty years and how this border incentivizes postmodern discourses. Here at McGill, I wish to diversify my areas of study and hopefully, during the process, I will be able to establish a specialization.

Vivian Olivera

Meredith Richard

Serena Ryan

Maria Adelaida Escobar-Trujillo

I am currently a PhD candidate in the Hispanic Studies. I am writing my Dissertation on Spanish movies that use theatre as an essential tool on the construction of the film.  Spanish cinema and theatre are my main focus of research. However, I am also interested in Baroque and Neo-Baroque expressions in Latin American literature and Culture. During the last four years I have been a Spanish instructor in our department. During this time, I became aware that teaching is an essential part of my life and career, just as much as research is. At this particular moment in my career, I am looking for paths that allow me to continue exploring both and linking them whenever possible.