Wesleyan portrait of María  Ospina

María Ospina

Associate Professor of Spanish

300 High Street, 209

Chair, Latin American Studies

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 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. I also study the construction of contemporary topographies of jungles and rural space (in Amazonia and other so-called "natural frontiers") in literature, film and popular culture, focusing, in particular, on how film and visual culture complicate representations of rural spaces produced by the development and military apparatus which circulate widely in contemporary mediascapes today. Other areas of interest include contemporary Latin American film, environmental studies, cultural geography, and gender and sexuality. 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). I am currently working on a novel (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

Wednesdays 11-12 pm and Fridays 10-11 (please email in advance for Zoom link) 


Fall 2021
SPAN 227 - 01
Writing Fiction in Spanish

SPAN 288 - 01
Territories of Desire in LatAm

Spring 2022
SPAN 280 - 01
Screening Youth in LA Cinema

SPAN 282 - 01
Narratives of Crisis