Wesleyan portrait of María  Ospina

María Ospina

Associate Professor of Spanish

300 High Street, 209

Associate Professor, Latin American Studies


BA Brown University
MA Harvard University
PHD Harvard University

María Ospina

I'm a teacher and scholar of contemporary Latin American culture, and a fiction writer. I'm interested in the central role that cultural artifacts play in the context of public discussions about the legacies of violence and in collective processes of making sense of contemporary crises like the wars deployed around the drug trade and armed conflicts in Colombia and Latin America. My book, El rompecabezas de la memoria. Literatura, cine y testimonio de comienzos del siglo en Colombia (Iberoamericana Vervuert, 2019), studies how novels, films and testimonial practices rethink the figure of the witness and 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. I also study the construction of contemporary topographies of jungles and rural spaces in literature, film and popular culture, focusing, in particular, on how film and visual culture complicate representations of these so called "natural frontiers" produced by the development and military apparatus, and by extractive capitalism, which circulate widely in contemporary mediascapes today. Other areas of interest include Latin American film, environmental humanities, cultural geography, ecofeminism, decolonial studies, and gender and sexuality studies . As a fiction writer, I have published a collection of short stories (Azares del cuerpo, published by Colombian, Chilean and Spanish independent publishing houses) that has been translated into Italian (Edicola, 2020) and English (Coffee House Press, 2021). This book was longlisted for the prestigious Premio Hispanoamericano de Cuento Gabriel García Márquez. I am currently working on a novella about non-human animal migrations and displacements (forthcoming in 2022). 


Variations on the Body, Translated by Heather Cleary, (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press), 2021 (Short story collection)

Azares del cuerpo, (Madrid: Las Afueras, 2020);  (Santiago de Chile: Edícola Ediciones, 2019) ; (Bogotá: Laguna Libros, 2017, 2020) (Short story collection)

Gli azzardi del corpo, Translated by Amaranta Sbardella, (Italy: Edicola) Spring 2020 (Short story collection)

"Dosis impar," in the anthology of short stories Cuerpos. Veinte formas de habitar el mundo (Bogotá: Seix Barral, 2019)

El rompecabezas de la memoria. Literatura, cine y testimonio de comienzos del siglo en Colombia(Madrid: Iberoamericana Vervuert, 2019)

"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)

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



Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Thursdays 12:00-1:00 pm (in person), Fridays 12:00- 1:00 pm (via Zoom, please email in advance for link)