Humanities 200b


Professor Olsen’s research focuses on early modern transatlantic studies, as well as Caribbean literature and culture of the colonial and contemporary periods. More specifically, she explores the encounters between Spain, Africa and the Americas and how the conflicts of empire, colonialism, materialism and culture play out discursively in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She is particularly interested in how Afro-Latino communities make strategic use of writing as well as other modes of expression –including orality and performance—to resist colonialism. Essential to her work is how colonial struggles continue to be relevant in our present historical context. Professor Olsen’s publications include a book on Jesuit Alonso de Sandoval’s writings called Slavery and Salvation in Colonial Cartagena de Indias (UP of Florida, 2004) and numerous articles on Afro-Latino discourse in the Americas and Spain that appear in journals that include Hispanic Review, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Bulletin of the Comediantes, Revista Iberoamericana and Research in African Literatures.

Professor Olsen’s most recent publications include:

  • “La ceiba de la memoria: país solitario de diásporas innombrables.” In La ceiba de la
    memoria: aproximaciones críticas. Eds. Adriana Urrea and Roberto Burgos
    Cantor, Bogotá, Colombia. (Forthcoming)
  • “Somewhere between the Ideal and the Real, the Civic Engagement “Expert”
    Learns and Lets Go.” In Experts Say… Scientists, Experts, and Civic Engagement,
    Ed. Amy Lesen. London: Ashgate Publishing, 2014. 27-42.
  • “Cartagena negra anuncia la crisis de la modernindad: Chambacú y La ceiba de la
    memoria.” Negritud: Revista de Estudios Afro-Latinoamericanos. Memorias del
    IV Congreso Internacional en la Universidad de Cartagena, Colombia. 2014: 326-
  • “The Gift of the New Orleans Second Line.” Neoliberalism and Global Theatres:
    Performance Permutations. Eds. Lara D. Nielsen and Patricia Ybarra. New York:
    Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 176-88.

Molly finds solace in nature and enjoys the company of trees, birds and animals. Nevermind a room of one’s own: she hopes to one day have a horse of her own in a place of quiet contemplation.

BA, MA: The Ohio State University
PhD: Tulane University