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 novel Solo un poco aquí, about animal migrations and displacements, was published by Random House in 2023 and is the winner of the 2023 Premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of the most prestigious literary awards in Latin American and Spanish letters. She is the author of a collection of short stories titled Azares del cuerpo, published in Colombia (Laguna), Chile (Edicola) and Spain (Las afueras), which has been translated into Italian (Edicola) and English (Variations on the Body, Trans. Heather Cleary, Cofee House Press, 2021). This book was longlisted for the Premio Hispanoamericano de Cuento Gabriel García Márquez in 2018.  Her stories have appeared in anthologies and literary journals in Colombia and the United States. Professor Ospina's 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 that include the wars deployed around the drug trade and armed conflicts in Colombia and 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. Other work focuses on contemporary constructions of so-called natural spaces (jungles, mountains, rural areas) in literature, film and contemporary mediascapes, where she investigates the ways in which cultural products challenge representations of these cultural geographies as sites of development projects, military expansion, and extractive capitalism, while tracing diverse forms of resistance.  Areas of interest also include Latin American film, political ecology, ecofeminism, animal studies, environmental humanities, and gender and sexuality studies. 

Professor Ospina is the recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2022). 


Solo un poco aquí, (Bogotá: Literatura Random House, 2023) (novel) (Forthcoming in Spain, Italy and Brazil in 2024 and in Germany in 2025), winner of the 2023 Premio de Literatura Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. 

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

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

  • in English:  Odd Dose, Translated 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)

Articles and other projects include: 

"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

Director of the Vassar Wesleyan Program in Madrid for 2023-2024


Fall 2024
SPAN 280 - 01
Screening Youth in LA Cinema