Texas Tech University

Spanish Faculty

Dr. Susan Larson

Qualia Professor of Spanish
Ph.D., University of Arizona


Academia Profile



I was honored to join the Texas Tech University Spanish and Portuguese program in the Fall of 2016 after teaching at the University of Kentucky for 14 years. I am a specialist in the narrative (prose and film) of Spain since 1898 and my research lies at the intersection of Literary, Film and Urban Studies. I have two distinct but occasionally overlapping areas of specialization: the prose and film of the Spanish avant-garde and the more interdisciplinary field of Hispanic Urban Cultural Studies. I have found Urban Studies and spatial theory to be enormously successful in the classroom, and have used them both to better understand other parts of the world as well as our very own Latino Lubbock.

Since 1993, when I first started typesetting Letras Peninsulares on a Macintosh computer with a screen approximately the size of a slice of bread, I have been actively involved in the production of academic journals. I was fortunate to be with Malcolm Compitello and his Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies from day one and currently enjoy serving on a number of editorial boards. I am the Executive Editor of the Romance Quarterly and co-edit a book series with Benjamin Fraser housed at Palgrave Macmillan called "Hispanic Urban Studies" that has come out with a number of titles in recent years. These editing responsibilities are what have taught me to truly appreciate and understand what it means to belong to a discipline whose sustained health and future depend on academic integrity and intellectual generosity.

During my career I have taught a wide variety of courses, from Spanish 101 through to advanced graduate seminars on my own areas of research. I have created Education Abroad courses in Madrid and service-learning courses where students learn how to connect their Spanish majors to future job opportunities. While I am a specialist in contemporary Spain, I did my Ph.D. at the University of Arizona, where I did extensive coursework in the areas of Chicano and Latino literature and culture and I have consistently taught courses on these topics at the undergraduate level. I am always looking for better ways to make sure my classes have real meaning for my students and I am highly motivated by students who are coming into contact with the Humanities and with the Spanish-speaking world for the first time. It's a pleasure to be a Spanish professor at Texas Tech, recently designated a "Hispanic Serving Institution," where so many of our Spanish students bring their native language skills and experiences into the classroom every day.

"Language, Image, Power" Conference
Texas Tech University - October 10-12, 2019

Professor Larson and a group of colleagues and graduate students in the Spanish and Portuguese program have worked to bring together a group of approximately 100 teachers, scholars, activists and students interested in taking up the history, evolution and future of Luso-Hispanic Cultural Studies as a discipline, a pedagogical tool and a set of working practices from October 10-12, 2019. Texas Tech is honored to be able to provide a space for all involved to share ideas about how Luso-Hispanic Cultural Studies has grown out of and radically reconsidered some of the basic principles of the field since the 1960s to address the many cultures of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world. The conference website can be found here.

Research Interests

Urban Studies, Cultural Geography and Spatial Theory, Theories of Representation, the Historical Avant-Garde, Spanish Film, Contemporary Spanish Literature

Recent Graduate Seminars

Hispanic Urban Cultural Studies; Cultural Resistance in Social Space; The Death of the Novel in the Age of the Internet; The 'Other' Generation of 27; Advanced Readings in Critical Theory; Image, Text and Power

Recent Undergraduate Courses

Hispanic Cities; Spanish Cinema; U.S. Latino Politics and Culture; Space, Place and Culture; The Culture of European Cities

Recent Publications

  • "Cultivating the Square: Trash, Recycling and the Cultural Ecology of Post-Crisis Madrid." Co-authored with Matthew I. Feinberg. In Ethics of Life: Contemporary Iberian Debates. Hispanic Issues Series Vol. 42. Katarzyna Beilin and William Viestenz, eds. Vanderbilt UP, 2016.
  • "The Ecological Imperative of Urban Cultural Studies." Summary and Position Paper. In A Polemical Companion to Ethics of Life: Contemporary Iberian Debates. Vol. 7. On-line open forum for discussion of essays. Read here.
  • "Unreadable Bodies and Symbolic Violence in Antonio de Obregón's Hermes en la vía pública." Mannequins, Machines and Mutilations: The Avant-Garde Body in Spain and Italy. Nicolás Fernández-Medina and María Truglio, eds. New York: Routledge, 2016.
  • "Kiosk Literature as a Geography of Cultural Objects." In Kiosk Literature of Silver Age Spain: Modernity and Mass Culture. Jeff Zamostny and Susan Larson, eds. Intellect Books, 2016.
  • "The Pedagogy and Politics of 21st-Century Luso-Hispanic Urban Cultural Studies." Special 100th Anniversary Volume (100.5) of Hispania, 2017. Read here.
  • "Trash as Aesthetic and Theme in Elvira Navarro's La trabajadora." In Cartographies of Madrid: Contesting Urban Space at the Crossroads of the Global South and the Global North. Silvia Bermúdez and Anthony Geist, eds. Vanderbilt UP, 2018.
  • "Los modos literarios flexibles de 'Vísceras de la ciudad' (1935) de Rosa Arciniega." Mediodía: revista hispánica de rescate 1, 2018.
  • "Cinematógrafo," "Andrés Carranque de Ríos: Vida y obra," and "Revista de geolocalización." Dolores Romero López, coord. Madrid en la Literatura de la Edad de Plata. Madrid: Biblioteca Nacional de España, 2018. Online access here.
  • "La gramática de la 'Hispanidad': Retórica de imperio y arquitectura historicista en los discursos públicos de J.C. Nichols." Bulletin d'Histoire Contemporaine de l'Espagne 53.2, 2019.
  • "Intermedialidad e intertextualidad en Cinematógrafo (1936) de Andrés Carranque de Ríos." In El Madrid de Carranque de Ríos: De la ficción cinematográfica a la edición interactiva. Edited by Patricia Barrera Velasco and María del Mar Mañas Martínez. Renacimiento, 2019.
  • "Henri Lefebvre: vida cotidiana, revolución urbana y derecho a la ciudad." In El urbanismo de la transición. El Plan General de Ordenación Urbana de Madrid de 1985. Edited by Carlos Sambricio and Paloma Ramos. Ayuntamiento de Madrid, 2019.
  • "Madrid Río, El Matadero and the Nature of Urbanization." Co-authored with Matthew I. Feinberg. Arizona Journal of Cultural Studies 25, special volume Ecology and Iberian Cultural Studies in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Iñaki Prádanos-García, 2019.
  • "Repositioning Modernity, Modernism and the Avant-Garde in Spain: A Transatlantic Debate at the Residencia de Estudiantes." Bilingual, co-authored essay with Juan Herrero-Senés followed by brief texts from Andrew Anderson, Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles, Leslie Harkema, Juan Herrero-Senés, Juli Highfil, Susan Larson, Abelardo Linares, José-Carlos Mainer, Domingo Ródenas de Moya, Nil Santiáñez, Renée Silverman and Andrés Soria Olmedo. Romance Quarterly 66.4, 2019.
  • Visualizing Spanish Modernity, co-edited with Eva Woods Peiró. London: Routledge, 2020. E-book reprint.

Editorial Positions

Romance Quarterly
Executive Editor

Hispanic Urban Studies
Palgrave-Macmillan Book Series Co-Editor

Recent Dissertations Defended

Whiteness and Empire in Spanish Narrative
José María Pérez Sánchez (2016)

La representación de los ecuatorianos en España:
El discurso como expresión de poder e ideología
Francesco Masala (2017)

iTexts: Techxtual Poetics, Authorship and Re-Wreaders in
Twenty-First Century Spanish Literature
Joshua Hoekstra (2018)

El 'derecho a la ciudad' en narrativa femenina de la República Dominicana, 1988-2013
Lucía Montás (2018)

Encuentro con la precariedad:
La reaparición del gitano en el cine documental español de la crisis de 2008
Julia de León Hernández (2019)