Alicia Muñoz, an assistant professor in Hispanic Studies, has received the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship for junior faculty. 

The fellowship seeks to increase the presence in core arts and science fields of minority junior faculty members committed to eradicating racial disparities. With one year of financial support, mentoring, and a fall retreat for participants, this program aids scholarly research and intellectual growth of fellows, thereby improving their success in attaining tenure. Twenty fellowships are awarded each year.

Muñoz recently answered some questions about her fellowship. 

Q: What will you do during your fellowship?
I’ll be continuing my research on representations of women who kill in contemporary Latin American narrative and popular culture. Through close readings of literary texts and archival research in Chile, Mexico, and Nicaragua, I look at representations of a single figure in a range of cultural productions—films, novels, comics, yellow journalis). After placing the narratives in historical context, I examine the political, social, and cultural meanings they engender. Using theoretical frameworks from film theory and cultural, gender, and criminological studies, I explore how the violent woman shapes narratives of gender, nation, and race in the Hispanic world. 

More specifically, I’ll be revising several works for publication and writing a new article about Mujeres Asesinas, a popular Argentinean television series. I’ll also start work on a new project examining women participants in Mexican drug trafficking. I seek to understand what portrayals of such women in literary works and popular forms of expression such as corridos (ballads), art, and film reveal about the complex interweaving of women’s empowerment and victimization. 

Q: Where will you be?
I’ll be based in St. Paul and will travel to Argentina, California, and Texas to conduct archival research and interviews. 

Q: How will this fellowship enhance what you already do at Mac?
The research I conduct during this fellowship period will feed into two upper-level seminars I teach at Macalester: Constructions of a Female Killer and Frontera: The U.S./Mexico Border. Macalester students really enjoy learning about their professor’s new research.

June 6 2012

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