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Leonora Simonovis, PhD

Associate Professor, Spanish

Leonora Simonovis, PhD, has been a member of the faculty since 2007. She teaches courses on Latin American and Caribbean literature and culture, as well as all levels of Spanish language. Her teaching and research interests deal with issues of race and gender, the role of popular music in the construction of cultural identities, social mobility, and marginality in the Pan-Caribbean region.


Ph.D., Washington University, Hispanic Language and Literatures
M.A., Universidad Central de Venezuela, Literary Studies
B.A.,Universidad Central de Venezuela, Literature


Scholarly and Creative Work

Simonovis’s current research interests focus on the intersections of race, gender and sexuality in recent narrative written by Afro Caribbean female writers. She explores how representations of Black women in contemporary literature and poetry question and critique former literary paradigms, as well as feminist theories that render the question of sexuality as a form of oppression, rather than a means of social ascension. She is preparing a book manuscript on this particular topic, as well as a pair of articles that explore the figure of the prostitute in two contemporary novels.

Teaching Interests

Simonovis teaches all levels of Spanish Language and has designed and taught several upper division classes on Afro Caribbean literature and culture, Revolutionary movements in Latin America and Latin American detective fiction. She is also an affiliated faculty with the Department of Ethnic Studies at USD and has taught Introduction to Ethnic Studies, as well as cross-listed courses for Spanish and Ethnic Studies.