Wesleyan portrait of Maria  Ospina

Maria Ospina

Assistant Professor of Spanish

300 High Street, 209
860-685-3105

Assistant Professor, Latin American Studies

mospina@wesleyan.edu

BA Brown University
MA Harvard University
PHD Harvard University

Maria Ospina

My work examines the central role that cultural artifacts of the late 20th and early 21st century in Colombia play in the context of public discussions about the legacies of violence and in collective processes of making sense of contemporary crises. I study how novels, films and testimonial practices contribute to public understandings of history and to critical ethical reflections about violence and survival that exceed those emerging from conventional political debate and from judicial discourses and practices. By mapping how cultural artifacts negotiate, at a collective level, the diverse social and psychic tragedies caused by complex histories of armed conflict and narcotrafficking that have marked the history of the region, I read literature and aesthetic practice as political and artistic events that intervene in the most pressing debates of their time contributing to critical understandings of violence and history in novel ways. As part of this project, I am currently examining the construction of contemporary topographies of jungles and rural space in literature, film and popular culture, focusing, in particular, on how contemporary film of the region is reflecting about the legacies of war and violence by complicating mainstream representations of rural spaces produced by the development and military apparatus which circulate widely in contemporary mediascapes today. 

Publications

Azares del cuerpo, Editorial Laguna Libros, Bogotá (April, 2017). Fiction. 

"Natural Plots: The Rural Turn in Contemporary Colombian Cinema." In Territories of Conflict: Traversing Cultural Studies in Colombia. Eds. Alejandro Herrera-Olaizola, Andrea Fanta and Chloe Rutter-Jensen. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2017. 

"Los embelecos de la gramática: Lengua, literatura y herejías gramaticales en la obra de Fernando Vallejo." Cuadernos de Literatura 37 (Enero-junio 2015). 

"Naturalezas de guerra: Topografías violentas de selva en la narrativa colombiana contemporánea." Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, Vol. 40, No. 79, 243-264 (2014).

"Trazados peligrosos: Topografías contemporáneas de selva en relatos colombianos de cautiverio." In Geografías imaginarias: Espacios de resistencia y crisis en América Latina. Ed. Marta Sierra. Santiago de Chile: Cuarto Propio, 2013. 

"‘El Colombian Dream’ y los sueños de un nuevo cine colombiano." Revista de Estudios Colombianos, Edición especial de cine colombiano, 33-34 (2009). (Article)

"Sobre envíos epistolares y violencias: de cómo se cultiva la persistencia en Colombia," in ReVista, Harvard Review of Latin America, Spring 2008. (Article)

Editor, Cartas de la persistencia, Colección Libro al Viento, Secretaría Distrital de Cultura: Bogotá, 2008.

"Las cartas sobre le mesa: la escritura epistolar y su público," Guide to exhibit at Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Banco de la República, Bogotá, April 2008.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:50- 12:50 or by appointment