AILÉN CRUZ

Research and Teaching Profiles

 
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BIO

I grew up between Buenos Aires and Toronto. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2020. Currently, I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Australian National University’s School of Literatures, Languages and Linguistics, where I teach Spanish language and literature, Italian, and literary translation.

When I am not researching or preparing lectures, I am walking with my rambunctious Shiba Inu, Natto, or baking. I also enjoy language learning and the unexpected doors it has opened, and have most recently been working on Mandarin Chinese. 

 

RESEARCH

My last project investigated the resurgence of the medieval bestiary—defined as short, animal-centered texts, often illustrated, used for Christian indoctrination of medieval society—in contemporary Hispanic literature. I am particularly interested in how literary genres are defined, how their socio-political influences and compromises adjust over time, and how much change can occur before they become different entities altogether. This investigation hinges upon an original corpus of over eighty bestiaries curated through research trips to Argentina, Mexico, and Spain (www.bestiassueltas.net).

I am currently working on matters of ecocriticism and biopolitics, as well as ontological perspectives on human/animal interaction. I am particularly interested in how the creation of monsters and beasts has always been a necessary by-product of establishing national identities and hegemonies. Thus far, this investigation has remained within the context of Latin American and Caribbean literature, however, I hope to expand the scope to include literature (and monsters!) beyond the Hispanic, or even Western canons.

I have a wide range of research interests, and you can see some of my latest projects here.

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