Professor Sierra joined Kenyon in 2004. She is a native of Tucumán, Argentina. She received her undergraduate degree from the National University of Argentina (Tucumán) in Spanish and Spanish American literature, and language pedagogy.

Prof. Sierra came to the U.S. in 1996 to pursue a Masters and a Doctorate degree in Spanish American literature at Rutgers University, which she completed in 2000. She is a specialist in Cono-Sur literature. Her research interests include 20th century Spanish American essay, fiction and poetry; modernity and gender in Latin America; the role of space and place in literary and cultural productions; women's writing; and the representation of the city in fiction and poetry. 

In addition to publications in the field of transnational feminisms and the postcolonial experience in Latin America, she is the author of Gendered Spaces in Argentine Women's Literature (2012). She also edited Geografías Imaginarias: Espacios de Resistencia y crisis en América Latina (2014), a compilation of essays that study the role of space in the humanities. She is currently working on two additional books. Escrituras extremas: anarco-feminismo en América Latina (forthcoming in 2016) is a history of women influenced by anarchism in Latin America. Maps of Wonders: Geographies of the Feminine is a study on the intersections between maps and the arts in the works of 6 women writers and artists from Latin America. 

In addition to her academic work, Prof. Sierra is currently working on a historical novel taking place in Buenos Aires at the turn of the Twentieth Century. The tentative title is Las Ranas (The Frogs) and it narrates the life of woman anarchist during the 1900-1910 period. 

Professor Sierra is currently the Chair of the MLL department. 



2000 — Doctor of Philosophy from Rutgers University

1997 — Master of Arts from Rutgers University

1992 — Bachelor of Arts from National University of Tucuman

Courses Recently Taught

This first half of a yearlong course is focused on the self in a broader social context for students who are beginning the study of Spanish or who have had minimal exposure to the language. The course offers the equivalent of conventional beginning and intermediate language study. The first semester's work comprises an introduction to Spanish as a spoken and written language. The work includes practice in understanding and using the spoken language. Written exercises and reading materials serve to reinforce communicative skills, build vocabulary and enhance discussion of the individual and community. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Students enrolled in this course will be automatically added to SPAN 112Y for the spring semester. No prerequisite. Offered every year.

This second half of a yearlong course is a continuation of SPAN 111Y. The second semester consists of and continued study of the fundamentals of Spanish, while incorporating literary and cultural materials to develop techniques of reading, cultural awareness, and mastery of the spoken and written language. The work includes practice in understanding and using the spoken language. Written exercises and reading materials serve to reinforce communicative skills, build vocabulary and enhance discussion of the individual and community. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Prerequisite: SPAN 111Y or equivalent. Offered every year.

This second half of the yearlong intermediate-level language course builds on the concepts and skills addressed in the first semester, with a continued focus on language and culture for students who are interested in developing their ability to speak, read, write and understand Spanish. Students will be exposed to more complex Spanish grammar, while also expanding their vocabulary in context, using authentic materials similar to those of the first semester (including short novels, stories, essays, newspaper articles, films, television series, and songs). Students will produce more advanced analytic and creative writing assignments, and will be asked to actively discuss a range of challenging topics in class with increased proficiency (compared to fall semester). Like SPAN 213Y, this course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), though the days and times for these may be different from the fall semester. Prerequisite: SPAN 213Y or equivalent. Offered every year.

This course uses literature and film to give advanced students the opportunity to strengthen their ability to write analytically and creatively in Spanish. The course will also have strong emphasis on speaking and reading in Spanish. Works from various literary genres and selected Spanish-language films are among the materials on which class discussion and writing assignments will be centered. To deploy this content, we will use digital technology that supports the acquisition of advanced vocabulary, the development of reading comprehension and writing. A grammar review, focused mainly on typical areas of difficulty, may also be included. Prerequisite: SPAN 213Y–214 or equivalent. Offered every year.

Traditionally, Latin American and Spanish literatures are taught separately. However, in this course students are given the opportunity to study and analyze the similarities and rich connections between Spain and Latin America's artistic expressions (literature and visual arts) of the 19th and 20th centuries in order to better understand the overall evolution of artistic trends on both sides of the Atlantic. In this way, students will not only be able to observe the wide network of influential collaborations and conflicts among several intellectuals and artists of the Spanish speaking world, but they will also have the chance to explore many works by great authors of Spain and Latin America in a single course, such as: Miguel de Unamuno, Rubén Darío, Jorge Luis Borges, Salvador Dalí, Federico García Lorca, Luis Buñuel, Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz. The course is recommended for Spanish and international studies majors. Prerequisite: SPAN 321 or equivalent. Offered every three years.

This course examines the history, culture and literature of Argentina since the war of independence. Our study proceeds thematically and chronologically, focusing primarily on works that deal with the theme of nation building. We will examine an array of issues: early nation building, the theme of civilization against barbarism, the loss of the frontier and of innocence, the region's export-oriented agricultural economy, urbanization and industrialization, and dictatorships and revolutions as they are portrayed in a variety of representative works of literature. The course will focus on how particular Argentine communities experienced and responded to these processes. The course will include many of the most celebrated and influential works of Argentine literature. Prerequisite: SPAN 321 or equivalent. Generally offered every three years.

This course is a study of how cities are represented in different Latin American cultural manifestations. We will study primarily literary texts, but since the study of cities requires an interdisciplinary approach, our discussions will draw on readings about architecture, urbanism, film, visual arts, popular culture and music. This class seeks to challenge the idea that Latin America is a rural paradise, given that, as authors such as Luis Restrepo state, 70 percent of the population of Latin America lives in cities. Massive immigration from Latin America to the U.S. and Europe challenges historical divisions of city/country, modernity/primitivism and development/underdevelopment. We will focus on four representations of urban space in Latin America: the impressionist and futuristic city of the 1920s and 1930s; migration and urban space during the 1950s and 1960s; and, in more contemporary representations, the "massive" city as depicted in urban chronicles and testimonials, and the postnational metropolis. We will review how cities have come to represent social, political and economic utopias and failed social encounters among their inhabitants. Prerequisite: SPAN 321 or equivalent. Generally offered every two years.

This course examines the Latin American Gothic as a hybrid genre influenced by horror genres from Europe, the United States, Africa and Asia. Born out of the Romantic revolt against the Enlightenment, the Gothic novel articulated the hidden fears and desires of Victorian culture. In Latin America, writers and artists reworked the genre by including important literary traditions from the region. From the horror tales of Modernista Writers, to the Ghotic stories conceived in the midst of political or social violence in Central America and the Southern Cone, writers and artists used the genre to explore the conflicting realities of Latin America. Established as a genre during the late 19th century, the Latin American Gothic explores fears and desires of modernity and postmodernity, the anxiety of social contact, gender tensions and redefinition of gendered identity, and finally the dark side of globalization. Many works written during the most violent periods of Latin American history employed the Gothic as a way of processing the scars of social trauma. This course includes a variety of genres: short stories, novels, film and art and will cover different moments in Latin American history from the 19th to the 21st century. In addition, we will establish a transnational dialogue with some works from Spain. Prerequisite: SPAN 321 or permission of instructor.