Víctor Rodríguez-Núñez joined Kenyon College in 2001. He teaches a number of courses on Spanish American literatures and cultures, as well as all levels of Spanish language.
He has published fourteen books of poetry along with numerous editions of his selected poems, the most recent being "La noche mal escrita" (Bogotá, Los Torriones, 2016). His poetry has received major awards throughout the Spanish-speaking world, including the coveted Loewe International Poetry Prize in 2015, and he has read his work in over thirty countries. His publications in English include "thaw" (Arc Publications 2013), "tasks" (co im press 2016) and "the night badly written" (Action Books 2017). As a scholar, Rodríguez-Núñez has published various anthologies, critical editions, introductions, essays on Spanish American writers, and a book on García Marquez's non-fiction works.
Along with his academic endeavors, he has been active as a cultural journalist in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Colombia, and has served as an editor of both cultural magazines and specialized journals, most recently the Mexican literary magazine, La Otra (www.laotrarevista.com).
Rodríguez-Núñez is also an accomplished translator; his latest book-length collection is an anthology of contemporary Welsh poetry. He divides his time between Gambier, Ohio and Havana, Cuba.
Areas of Expertise
Creative writing in Spanish, Spanish American poetry and essays, literature of the Cuban Revolution, Latin American film.
2001 — Doctor of Philosophy from Univ Texas Austin
1997 — Master of Arts from Univ Oregon
1979 — Bachelor of Arts from Universidad de La Habana, Cuba
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 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 a teaching assistant, which are scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Students enrolled in this course are 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 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 a teaching assistant, which are scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Prerequisite: SPAN 111Y or equivalent. Offered every year.
This course studies a significant, provocative selection of films from Latin America. This cultural production, despite its lack of international visibility until recently, has a long and complex history that merits consideration. Students have the opportunity to see the present-day region and the forces that have shaped it through images generated from within its cultures. They are exposed to an art that is revolutionary because of its form and the ways in which it challenges the cinematic methods and styles of creation that characterize Hollywood's cultural industry. It uses as a theoretical basis a range of cultural, gender, ethnic, queer and postcolonial perspectives as they apply to cinema. We consider films directed by "El Indio" Fernandez, Buñuel, Birri, Gutiérrez Alea, Rocha, Sanjinés, Ledouc, Lombardi, Subiela, Gaviria, Bemberg, Salles and Cuarón, among others. This course is recommended for majors in Spanish or international studies. Prerequisite: SPAN 321 or equivalent. Generally offered every three years.
Leech has acknowledged that to perceive Colombia "simply as an exporter of cocaine or a perpetrator of terrorism is to completely misunderstand it." Hence, this course first addresses the violence that has plagued the Latin American country since 1948. After establishing this historical perspective, we focus on relevant cultural productions that represent and challenge contemporary Colombian social reality. The course studies narrative, essay, poetry, theater and cinema produced throughout the last 50 years in this intriguing country, which has been defined as "the scent of an overripe guava." Prerequisite: SPAN 321 or equivalent. Generally offered every three years.
This course is designed to introduce students to the literary trends and the poetics that underlie 20th-century Spanish American poetry, including those labeled "modernism," "avant-garde," "social poetry," "anti-poetry" and "conversationalism." Through close readings of representative works, the course examines the representation of nation, class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality by the practice of these poetics. Some of the authors included are: Martí, Darío, Mistral, Vallejo, Storni, Girondo, Huidobro, Borges, Guillén, Neruda, Lezama Lima, Burgos, Paz, Parra, Cardenal, Castellanos, Benedetti, Varela, Gelman and Pacheco. Prerequisite: SPAN 321 or equivalent. Generally offered every three years.
As Burns and Charlip remark, "Perhaps no other event in Latin American history has had the impact of the Cuban Revolution of 1959. It became the model for revolutionary changes throughout Latin America and beyond. It also became a model for U.S. Cold War policy." Naturally, this social process has generated an array of cultural productions during the last five decades, in favor and against, on the island and in the U.S. and other countries, in Spanish and English. This class examines representative works of such cultural production, exploring the representations of different kinds of social subordination in poems, short stories, essays and films. It considers works by well-known poets such as Guillén, García Marruz and Padilla; short story writers such as Piñera, Jorge Cardozo and Benítez Rojo; essayists such as Fernández Retamar, Pérez Firmat, and Campuzano; and filmmakers such as Gutiérrez Alea, Solás and Pérez, among others. The class includes extensive reading on social context and a theoretical perspective informed by postcolonial studies. Prerequisite: SPAN 321 or equivalent. Generally offered every three years.
This course examines the modern and contemporary Spanish American essay in its defiance of colonialism and neocolonialism. It considers, among others, texts by Bolívar, Bello, Sarmiento, Gómez de Avellaneda, Martí, Rodó, Henríquez Ureña, Mariátegui, Reyes, Ortiz, Paz, Castellanos, Fernández Retamar and García Márquéz. These works are placed in their social and cultural context by concise and interpretative readings on Latin American history. A theoretical perspective informed by postcolonial studies is used extensively. However, a critique of this perspective as a metropolitan representation that does not accurately mirror the periphery's social reality is also incorporated. The course is recommended for Spanish and international studies majors. Prerequisite: SPAN 321 or equivalent. Generally offered every three years.
This course has the goal of cultivating a theory and practice of creative writing in Spanish. Its foundation is contemporary Spanish American writing in Spanish, specifically essays, short stories and poetry. The class includes discussion of texts on the art of writing as well as of works that could be considered models for writing. To offer students the possibility of developing their craft, part of the course is taught using a workshop format. In addition to writing assignments and the sharing and critiquing of peer work, students complete an extensive creative writing project. This is not a composition course and requires a mature approach to offering and receiving criticism as well as an advanced proficiency in the language. Permission of instructor required. No prerequisite. Generally offered every two years.