Professor of Spanish
Catherine Bourland Ross
Areas of Expertise
I fell in love with the Spanish language at an early age, and I have studied it ever since. In college, I spent time in Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Madrid, Spain. During my graduate studies, I discovered post-Franco Spanish literature, and that became the focus of my academic career. Teaching Spanish language classes helps me remember those moments when another language starts to make sense, when you really start to gain proficiency. It is exciting to see my students go through that process. In my upper level courses, I focus on twentieth and twenty-first century peninsular Spanish literature and film, especially focusing on issues of race and gender. Most of my students start out unfamiliar with these topics, or at least unfamiliar with the topics from a Spanish perspective. Together we discover how literature and film can represent –and misrepresent–culture.
PhD, University of Texas 2004
MA, University of Kansas 1997
BA, Davidson College 1995
Professor of Spanish
August 01, 2005 - present
I believe that learning Spanish is a gateway to other cultures for my students. Through my focus on the 5 Cs of language learning, communication, culture, connections, comparisons, and communities, I encourage my students to make connections to their other courses, their outside interests, and their communities. In my upper-level courses, I strive to create a student-centered, discussion-based classroom where together we engage with current issues facing Spain and the rest of the world.
Gender, Race and Nationalism in Spanish Cinema
Race and Immigration in Spanish Literature
Cultures of Spain (in Granada, Spain)
Spanish Civil War
Most of my publications focus on the works of Lucia Etxebarria. In 1999, I discovered her first novel, Amor, curiosidad, Prozac y dudas, at a bookstore in Madrid, and from that point on, I have followed her career. I also investigate questions of gender and representation in other contemporary Spanish authors and directors.
The Changing Face of Motherhood in Spain: The Social Construction of Motherhood in the Works of Lucia Etxebarria. Bucknell, PA: Bucknell University Press: 2016.
“The Failed Quest-Romance: Lucia Etxebarria’s Nosotras que no somos como las demas”. Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures 70.2 (Summer 2016): 80-89. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00397709.2016.1172000.
“Bigas Luna’s Cycle of Spanishness”. Hispanic Journal 35.2 (Fall 2014): 63-75.
“From Feminism to Post-Feminism: Acts of Violence in Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett’s Ritos de muerte (1996)”. Co-written with Violeta Gomez. Monographic Review / Revista monografica 28 (2012): 115-130.
“Mami que buena estas! Representations of the Immigrant Woman in I love you baby.” Letras femeninas 34.1 (Summer 2008): 217-229.
“Trauma, Violence and Pornography: Un mal ano para Miki by Jose Ovejero.” Letras hispanas 5.1 (Spring 2008).
“The Postfeminist Question in Almudena Grandes’s Atlas de geografia humana.” Monographic Review/Revista Monografica XXIII (Fall 2007): 93-105.
“Carmen de Icaza: Novela Rosa as Feminist Discourse?” Letras peninsulares 18.1 (Spring 2006): 99-108.
“Ser mujer hoy en dia: una entrevista con Esther Tusquets.” Confluencia 20.2 (Spring 2005): 214-20.
“Paloma Pedrero: el escape de los roles tradicionales de la mujer.” Romance Notes 43.3 (2003): 279-284.
Chapter in an edited volume:
“Why We Are All in the Club: El club de las malas madres (2009).” The Changing Spanish Family: Essays on New Views in Literature, Cinema and Theater. Ed. Tiffany Trotman. Jefferson, NC: Macfarland Press, 2011. 9-23.
“The Changing Faces of Motherhood: Lucia Etxebarria’s Un milagro en equilibrio” (M)Othering the Nation: Constructing and Resisting National Allegories through the Maternal Body. Ed. Lisa Bernstein. London: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008. 147-158.
“Sex, Drugs, and Violence in Lucia Etxebarria’s Amor, curiosidad, prozac y dudas.” Novels of the Contemporary Extreme. Ed. Alain-Philippe Durand. London: Continuum Publishing, 2006. 153-62.
Invited Book Review of Mother and Myth in Spanish Novels: Rewriting the Maternal Archetype in Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures 66.4 (2012): 222-223.
- From Mommyblogs to Blog-books. XXVI Congreso Anual de la Asociacion Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispanica (AILCFH), Houston, TX, November 10-12, 2016.
- Motherhood in Biutiful. 69th Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, Kentucky. April 14-16, 2016
- Motherhood and Sexuality in Lo verdadero es un momento de lo falso. 64th Annual Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference (MIFLC), Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, October 16-18, 2014.
- The Blame Game: Lucia Etxebarria’s Beatriz y los cuerpos celestes. Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI) Conference on Demonizing Mothers / Demonized Motherhoods: Oppression and Resistance, Toronto, Ontario, October 4-5, 2013.
- Parental Loss and Abandonment: Lucia Etxebarria’s Amor, curiosidad, Prozac y dudas. 62nd Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, October 18-20, 2012.
- La representacion de la figura de la madre en Beatriz y los cuerpos celestes. Asociacion Hispanica de Humanidades VI Congreso Internacional, Madrid, Spain, June 28-30, 2012.
- Being Good is Bad: the Ethics of Mothering According to El club de las malas madres by Lucia Etxebarria. AILFCH XX Congreso Anual, Austin, TX, October 14-16, 2010.
- Mujer, inmigracion e identidad: El ultimo patriarca de Najat El Hachmi. Asociacion Hispinica de Humanidades IV Congreso Internacional, Sevilla, Spain, June 24-27, 2009.
- Is Spain Still Spanish? Bigas Luna’s Yo soy la Juani. SCMLA, San Antonio, Texas, November 6-8, 2008. Winner of The 2008 Bill L. and Gerre D. Andrist Award for Hispanic Gender Studies. From Feminism to Post-Feminism: Acts of Violence in Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett’s Ritos de muerte (1996). 61st Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, Kentucky, April 17-19, 2008. Co-presented with student Violeta Gomez.
- Jamon, jamon and Yo soy la Juani: Bigas Luna’s Changing Notion of Spanishness. Second International Conference on Spanishness in the Spanish Novel and Cinema of the 20th-21st Century, Denton, Texas, March 14-15, 2008.
- The Erotic Quest Romance: Lucia Etxebarria’s Nosotras que no somos como las demas. XXXIII Congreso Anual de Literaturas Hispanicas, Indiana, Pennsylvania, October 19-21, 2007.
- Mami que buena estas! Representations of the Immigrant Woman in I love you baby. 60th Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, Kentucky, April 19-21, 2007.
- Maternal Instinct Does Not Exist: Representations of Motherhood in Two Works by Lucia Etxebarria. XXXII Congreso Anual de Literaturas Hispanicas, Indiana, Pennsylvania, October 6-7, 2006.
- En que consiste ser madre?: Representaciones de la figura materna en Un milagro en equilibrio de Lucia Etxebarria. Asociacion Hispanica de Humanidades IV Congreso Internacional, Madrid, Spain, June 24-27, 2006.
- The Post Feminist Question in Almudena Grandes’s Atlas de geografia humana. 59th Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, Kentucky, April 19-21, 2006.
- 9/11, Technology, and Pornography: Un mal ano para Miki by Jose Ovejero. 2006 Louisiana Conference on Hispanic Languages and Literatures, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, February 22-24, 2006.
- Esther Tusquets: Women and Fairy Tales in El amor es un juego solitario. 58th Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, Kentucky, April 21-23, 2005.
Honors and Awards
The 2008 Bill L. and Gerre D. Andrist Award for Hispanic Gender Studies for “Is Spain Still Spanish? Bigas Luna’s Yo soy la Juani.” 2008.