Professor Ortiz-Díaz is the head of our Portuguese Program. Proudly from Monclova, Mexico, Ernesto defines himself as a mexileiro –a Mexican by birth and soul, but also a Brazilian at heart– for being so passionate about his area of expertise: Brazil and the Luso-Afro-Brazilian world. Besides all levels of Portuguese, Ernesto teaches a wide array of courses on Latin American and Brazilian literatures and cultures both in Spanish and Portuguese.
Professor Ortiz-Díaz received his PhD in 2011 in Latin American Literatures and Cultures, Designated Emphasis in Classics and Classical Receptions from the University of California, Davis, where he wrote his dissertation on the history and aesthetics of the representation of nature and landscape in the literary traditions of Spanish America vis-à-vis Brazil.
Ernesto’s scholarship examines the literary and cultural exchanges, as well as the mutual gazes, between the Spanish-speaking Latin American countries and Brazil since the colonial period and specifically in the nineteenth century. Professor Ortiz-Díaz is currently working on his second book about the mutual cultural exchanges between Brazil and its Spanish-speaking neighbors and their confrontation in the realm of political thought and regional geopolitics – concerning the Brazilian expansion in the Amazon and River Plate basins– during the 19th century. His work has been published in prestigious journals in the United States, Europe, and Latin America, places where he has also been invited to present his research.
Some of Ernesto’s interests include Islam, Iranian art and literature, cartography, Latin American music, Latin American cinema, Middle Eastern cinema, world history, opera, mythologies, and languages (he is an advocate of linguistic decolonization). He is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, English, French, Classical Latin, and is now learning Farsi, and Arabic.
BA: Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (2001)
MA: University of Colorado, Boulder (2005)
PhD: University of California, Davis (2011)