Alumni Spotlight

December 2, 2016

It's refreshing to hear the many paths and stories that our Alumni take post graduation.

This week, we are a shining the spotlight on Alumni Spencer Herrera. Spencer graciously agreed to answer a few questions about what he has been doing after graduating from UNM and sharing some of his professional highlights. 

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Languages and Linguistics at NMSU where I teach Chicanx literature, culture, and film at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I had the honor to guest edit one of my field’s most prestigious journals, Revista casa de las Américas, published in Havana, Cuba. The special issue was a major accomplishment for Chicanx letters as it provided a space for Chicanx scholars and authors to publish and further validate their work on a global stage and show how their literature is connected to a broader Latin American canon and hemispheric tradition. I also authored and edited Before/Beyond Borders: An Anthology of Chicana/o Literature (2010), which provides an in-depth historical approach to the development of Chicanx literature from 16th century works to modern-day authors. My most recent co-authored book, Tertulia: La escritura como acto público social y cultural (2014), is a composition textbook that helps students develop their critical thinking and writing skills in Spanish.

However, my most rewarding scholarly achievement to date is the publication of Sagrado: A Photopoetics across the Chicano Homeland (2013) by the University of New Mexico Press, which has won several prestigious awards. Sagrado is a collection of essays that I wrote along with images by Robert Kaiser and poetry by Levi Romero. Sagrado provides an insider’s view of what it means to be Chicanx through a series of essays that takes the reader on a cultural exploration of the U.S./México borderlands, from south Texas to where the border fence meets the Pacific Ocean. The book has received strong reviews in World Literature Today and Hispania.

Thank you for sharing your academic success with the S&P Department, Spencer! Well wishes on your future achievements.