Yohainna Abdala-Mesa

Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor

  • Faculty
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Department of Languages & Literatures

What I do

I am a scholar in Colombian and Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies, I have taught courses in all levels of the undergraduate curriculum, from beginners Spanish and Intermediate Spanish to Advanced interdisciplinary courses like Latin American Women Writers: Narratives and Conflicts or a Capstone seminar titled: The Uprooting: Displacement, Nomadism, Exile and the Voyage of Initiation. Cultural, Linguistic and Literary Cases in the Hispanic World. Since I arrived at DU, I have been teaching First-year (SPAN1002, SPAN1003) and second-year Spanish (SPAN2002, SPAN2003). My research focuses on Interdisciplinary Approaches to the study of Literature and culture, including Intermedia Arts, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Music, Memory and Identity studies and how all these areas are linked.
I am a member of MLA, LASA, ACLA, SFH and the Colombian Scholar Association for which I served on the Board of Directors as elected treasurer (2009-2013). In my former position, I developed a first-year seminar explicitly aimed at the needs of Hispanic/Latino students, for which I edited a digital newspaper with my student’s work and photographs. I have been an editor of the Revista de Estudios Colombianos no. 39 titled: Uprootings: Exiles, Displacements, Migrations and Nomadisms, I published a book about the Colombian Caribbean writer Marvel Moreno titled: The Evolution of Creation.
Marvel Moreno: Writing, Memory, Time that was based in my M.A. thesis at the University of Toulouse II and a research grant from the Ministry of Culture in Colombia. In all institutions where I have been, I have organized events, like the Lecture “Colombia: Women in War” at Colorado State University or a presentation of Scholarship Opportunities for Hispanic/Latino Students at the University of Colorado Denver. In the same institution earned a grant to organize an Inclusive Pedagogy and Disabilities Collaborative Workshop for Faculty. I have attended many Diversity Summits, an LGBTQ ally training, Culturally responsive teaching and Mindfulness in higher education conferences and seminars. I have a tight network of colleagues in the U.S., France, Italy and the U.S since I am part of many research clusters. I regularly engage in service to the profession through activities such as the review of manuscripts for journals, or for my peers. I establish connections between worlds in my work, as I am a multicultural and multilingual professor. My current book project focuses on Women’s expressions of Intermediality in Latin America, specifically in Music, Arts, Literature, and Technology.

Professional Biography

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia where I earned a B.A. in Literature (1999) and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering (1997) from the Universidad de Los Andes. I obtained an M.A (2003) and a Ph. D. (2007) in Latin American Studies / Literature at the Université de Toulouse- Le Mirail in France where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Thesis about the Colombian/Caribbean writer Marvel Moreno: “La creation en devenir. Marvel Moreno: écriture, mémoire, temps”. In 2004 the Ministry of Culture of Colombia awarded her the National Research Grant in Literature. I have also been a professor at Université Lumière Lyon 2, and since 2007 I moved to Colorado as a Visiting Assistant Professor at CSU where I taught Hispanic Literature and Culture at the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department, I then moved to Denver and held a lecturing position at the Department of Modern Languages of the University of Colorado Denver, and since 2017 I have had been part of the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Denver. I have a son that I love, and I have a regular practice of Zen meditation and Ashtanga yoga.

Degree(s)

  • Ph.D., Latin American Studies, University of Toulouse II, 2007
  • MA, Latin American Studies, University of Toulouse II, 2003
  • BA, Literature, Universidad de los Andes, 1999
  • BS, Industrial Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, 1997

Professional Affiliations

  • Modern Language Association
  • Latin American Studies Association
  • Asociación de Colombianistas (Colombian Scholars Association)
  • American Comparative Literature Association
  • Société d'Hispanistes Francais de L'enseignement Supérieur

Research

My research in contemporary cultural studies, comparative literature, music and intermedia arts takes up the relationships of intertextuality, memory and cultural identity. It also includes studies of transnational experiences, with a focus on Latin American and Latinx women writers, performers, and artists. This research draws, on Latin American studies, feminist theory, critical and literary theory, art theory, media theory and performance studies.

Presentations

  • “Feminismo, cerámica y rock: una aproximación performativa al proyecto Ruiseñora de Andrea Echeverri” [Feminism, Ceramics, and Rock: a Performative Approach to Andrea Echeverri’s Ruiseñora Project].
  • “Espacios locales y globales en la producción cultural colombiana contemporánea” [Local and Global Spaces in Colombian Contemporary Cultural Production].