Professor of Language and Culture Studies

Priscilla Meléndez earned her BA in Hispanic Studies from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras and received her Ph.D. in Contemporary Latin American Literature from Cornell University.  As Professor of Hispanic literature, she is a specialist in Spanish American theatre and narrative of the 20th and 21st centuries.  Her research has centered mainly on Spanish American theater, in particular Mexico, Argentina, and the Caribbean, and has also published in the field of Latin American narrative.

Meléndez considers that her research agenda has always supported and energized her teaching.  She teaches from introductory courses on literature and culture to upper level and graduate courses that reflect her own research interests in political and historical issues in the context of literary analysis: “Hispanic Caribbean Prose,” “Gender Issues in Contemporary Spanish American Narrative,” “From Page to Stage: Performing Spanish American Theatre,” “Jorge Luis Borges’ Footsteps: Short Narrative of the Southern Cone,” and “Revolution, Culture, and Literature in Latin America.”  Meléndez combines in her teaching textual analysis, the examination of the historical context, the relevance of the texts to the present, and the transcendental role of literature and artistic creation throughout human history.  The goal is that by the end of the semester (if not before) students can recognize that artistic creation, even in the most technological and scientific oriented world, is part of what makes us human.  As a way of expanding the classroom experience in courses with a theatre component, Meléndez asks students to attend theatre performances at the university or in the community.