Debora Maldonado-DeOliveira

Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures
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105 Martin Hall
(919) 760-2870

Areas of Expertise
  • 20th century Latin American and Caribbean literature and cultures – narrative and short story genre
  • US Latino (mainly Puerto Rican) literature and cultures
  • 20th and 21st century Puerto Rican literature and cinema

Work Experience

Professional biography

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, I attended graduate school in the US and worked as a college teacher in upstate New York and Detroit, Michigan for almost 9 years.  After graduation, I moved to North Carolina and started working at Meredith College in 2000, where I teach Spanish language, literature, and civilization. I also enjoy the opportunity to teach courses in other departments, such as the Introduction to Latin American History (HIS 200) for the History department.  I have co-taught courses with colleagues from across other disciplines, such as Literature and Biology (with Dr. John Mecham), and History of Latin America and Liberation Theology (with Dr. Margarita Suárez).

As a teacher, I find great satisfaction when my students learn to explore the multiple cultural perspectives that arise in the study of a foreign language.  Indeed, these explorations provoke debates and generate tensions in heated discussions in class, especially among students who hold opposite ideas and react differently to a particular issue.  However, these debates – held in an environment of mutual respect – teach the students to develop and sharpen critical skills that enable them to engage in contemporary issues, as well as to dismantle the representations and discourses that essentialize the cultural, social, economic, and political ideologies that appear to privilege one group over the others.  These diverse perspectives and numerous critical interpretations make the classroom experience one of enrichment for both the student and the teacher.  These are the experiences that enhance the learning process of teaching.

Academic Credentials

2000 PhD (Comparative Literature) University of Rochester, NY
1994 MA (Comparative Literature) University of Rochester, NY
1989 BA (Comparative Literature) University of Puerto Rico – Río Piedras

Professional Credentials

“Oral Storytelling and Latino Migration” – March 2013 at the John Hope Franklin Center, Duke University.  The workshop for college teachers focused on applying storytelling techniques in US Latino literature and Latin American history courses.
“The Idea of Latin America” – March 2007 at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Conference and workshop led by Dr. Walter Mignolo – Professor of Spanish and Latin American literature at Duke University – in which he presented his cultural theories on the European “invention” of Latin America from his recent book, The Idea of Latin America (London: Blackwell, 2005).
Teachers’ Workshop on Brazil – March 23-24, 2007, Duke University. Workshop on Brazilian music, women’s and workers’ movements’ history for Latin American and Spanish languages college teachers presented by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Duke University.
Seminar Workshop on Latin America for College Teachers – Institute of Latin American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC.  Summer 2002

  • Post-colonial theory and cultural translation in 20th century Puerto Rican literature and cinema
  • Feminist theory in contemporary US Latina and Latin American women writers


Sabbatical, Meredith College      Fall 2008
Course Release, Meredith College     Fall 2006
University of Rochester Fellowship     1990 – 1996
Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Honorable Mention 1990, 1991


“Cultural Translations of Puerto Rican Womanhood in Judith Ortíz-Cofer’s Silent Dancing” In Rituals of Movement in the Writing of Judith Ortíz-Cofer.  Margaret Crumpton and Lorraine López, eds.  Pompano Beach, FL: Caribbean Studies Press, 2012.  185-209.
“Problematic Ideas of Puerto Rico in Puerto Rican Cinema: Luis Molina Casanova’s La guagua aérea” CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. Vol. XXIII, No. 1 (Spring 2011: 162-175).
Book Review: The Fantasy Film by Katherine Fowkes.  Imagophagia: Revista de la Asociación Argentina de Estudios y Cine y Audiovisual (No. 5, April 2012) (review written in Spanish) <>
Book Review.  Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: The Environmental Vision of C.S. Lewis by Matthew Dickerson and Davis O’Hara. Lexington, KY: UP of Kentucky, 2009. The Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature 65.1 (Spring 2011) <>
Book Review.  Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles.  Thomas Glave, editor.  Durham, NC & London: Duke UP, 2008. The Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature. 63.2 (Fall 2009) <>


2010-13   Scholarship Committee member of the NC Society of Hispanic Professionals (NCSHP)

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