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

Professor Ospina is a teacher and scholar of contemporary Latin American culture, and a fiction writer. Her critical work has focused on 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 including the wars deployed around the drug trade and armed conflicts in Colombia and more broadly in Latin America. Her 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. She also writes and teaches about contemporary constructions of so-called natural spaces (jungles, mountains, rural areas) in literature, film and contemporary mediascapes, focusing on the ways in which cultural products question representations of these geographies as sites of development and military expansion, and of extractive capitalism, while tracing diverse forms of resistance. Other areas of interest include Latin American film, political ecology, ecofeminism, animal studies, environmental humanities, and gender and sexuality. As a fiction writer, Professor Ospina has published a collection of short stories, Azares del cuerpo, published in Colombia, Chile and Spain, that has been translated into Italian and English (Cofee House Press, 2021). This book was longlisted for the prestigious Premio Hispanoamericano de Cuento Gabriel García Márquez in 2018. Her stories have appeared in anthologies and literary journals in Colombia and The United States. Her most recent book is Solo un poco aquí, a novel about non-human animal migrations and displacements (Literatura Random House, 2023). 

Professor Ospina is the recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. 


Solo un poco aquí, (Bogotá: Literatura Random House, 2023) (novel)

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) and in Contar la vida como contar los pasos. Antología a cargo de Luz Mary Giraldo. (Medellín: Sílaba Editora, 2023). Translated into English as Odd Dose, by Joel Streicker, 128Lit, Fall 2022 

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- 1 pm (300 High St. Office 209) 

Fridays 11- 12 am (vía Zoom, please send an email to get a link) 


Spring 2023
SPAN 221 - 03
Introduction to Hispanic Lits.

SPAN 280 - 01
Screening Youth in LA Cinema