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Latin American Studies

Leonora Simonovis-Brown, PhD

Director and Assoc. Professor of Spanish

Leonora Simonovis-Brown, 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-Brown’s current research interests focus on recent poetic trends in Pan Caribbean female writers. She explores the use of mixed media and the creation of an "imagined", virtual community that fosters collaboration and interaction between writers and readers, and that re-frames the paradigm of the intellectual and of Rama's "lettered city" into a global city of moveable, shifting borders. She is currently conducting interviews with several poets and preparing a book manuscript on the subject.

She has previously published articles of literary and cultural criticism in recognized Venezuelan and foreign magazines, the most recent being "Mobile Spaces, Fluctuating Narratives: An Approach to the Venezuelan in Dot and Stripe Border" and "the body of the beast: a look at two contemporary Venezuelan poets". In addition, she co-edited a volume of essays on contemporary Venezuelan culture (2013) and two of her short stories were recently published in Spain. She was the co-editor (with Patricia Valladares-Ruiz) of the book El transito vacilante: Miradas sobre la cultura contemporanea Venezolana (Rodopi, 2013).

The online journal, Revista Cronopio, has published Dr. Simonovis-Brown's article "Niños en tierra de nadie: Notas sobre la inmigración infantil en los Estados Unidos" ("Children in No Man's Land: Notes on Child Immigration in the United States"), a timely description of the struggle of children who cross the US-Mexico border unaccompanied by adult family members. It includes excerpts of an interview with award-winning documentary film maker Anayansi Prado. Read it at

Dr. Simonovis-Brown contributed "Chronology of the Venezuelan Novel" to the Oxford Bibliographies Project. Developed cooperatively with scholars and librarians worldwide, Oxford Bibliographies offers exclusive, authoritative research guides. Combining the best features of an annotated bibliography and a high-level encyclopedia, this cutting-edge resource guides researchers to the best available scholarship across a wide variety of subjects. It is an invaluable online resource for students, faculty, independent scholars, or anyone interested in learning more about Venezuelan literature among many other subjects.

Teaching Interests

Simonovis-Brown 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.