Amanda Petersen, PhD

Amanda Petersen
Phone: (619) 260-4237
Fax: (619) 260-4190
Office: Founders Hall 144F

Director and Professor, Spanish

  • Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, Hispanic Literature
  • B.A. and M.A., Wichita State University, Spanish

Amanda L. Petersen, PhD, joined the faculty in 2008. Affiliated with Latin American Studies and Women and Gender Studies programs, she teaches courses on Latin American literature and culture with an emphasis on Mexican studies. She also teaches all levels of Spanish language. A specialist in Latin American women authors, her research interests center on the difficulty of representing issues of gender and violence, in particular in contemporary Mexican short narratives by women authors. Her lines of investigation include spectrality, gender, visual culture, and border studies.

Areas of Expertise

Latin American narrative

Scholarly Work

Dr. Petersen’s current research focuses on contemporary Mexican women authors using figures of ghost and ruins to examine how violence is depicted on female social bodies.

Petersen co-edited with Alberto Ribas-Casasayas (Santa Clara University) the peer-reviewed volume titled Espectros: Ghostly Hauntings in Contemporary Transhispanic Narratives, published in January 2016 with Bucknell University Press. The editors' theoretical introduction contextualizes spectrality theory in the Transhispanic context and the 12 peer-reviewed articles provide innovative analyses of diverse narrative genres from regions across the Spanish-speaking world.

Recent research articles appear in Letras femeninas, Chasqui: Revista de literatura latinoamericana, Literatura Mexicana, and Romance Notes. Her chapter on teaching Mexican cultural icons was published in the edited volume, Teaching Gender Through Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Texts and Culture. She is currently working on an edited book commemorating Mexican author María Luisa Puga with Patricia Tovar (Oberlin College) and Alejandro Puga (DePauw University).

Petersen’s scholarship and her incorporation of it into her courses were recognized with the Graves Award in the Humanities 2012-13. Her dedication to women’s issues, both in research and community involvement, was honored with the Dorothy Martin Doctoral Award at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007.

Areas of Interest

Dr. Petersen teaches Spanish language courses at all levels. She offers upper-division courses on advanced composition in Spanish and Latin American cultural history. Her literature and cultural studies seminars focus on the cultural legacy of the Mexican Revolution, ghosts of Mexican narratives, and the cultural productions of Mexico-US Border, among other topics. Students in upper-division courses also complete community-service learning with local non-profits that support undocumented minors and advocate for factory workers’ rights in Tijuana.