Valerie is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Los Angeles, an M.A. and M.Phil. in Spanish and Portuguese from Columbia University, and an M.Phil. in European Literature and Culture from University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Scholar. Her academic interests include Latin American literature and culture from the 19th century to the present, literary and cultural theory, contemporary book culture, gender studies, cultural iconography, translation studies, pedagogy and instructional technologies.
She is currently completing her dissertation, titled “Transcultural Narrative and the Problematics of Recognition in Contemporary Latin American Literature”. This research explores how recent transcultural narratives—texts that avoid those cultural, stylistic and ideological markers that would confirm them as examples of a national or regional literature—are fundamentally engaged in critically examining the mechanics of recognition in the cultural field.
Valerie will be presenting a portion of this research at the upcoming Northeast MLA convention in Montreal; she has additionally presented papers on topics such as gender and violence, U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage, and communicative language learning.