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Colleen McAlister

PH. D. Graduate in Spanish
Graduated from UNC in
Advised by Professor Irene Gomez-Castellano


M.A., Romance Languages and Literatures (Spanish), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, Completed 2016

B.A., Spanish and Anthropology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, Completed 2013

About Colleen

Colleen’s research interests include nineteenth-century Spanish literature, art and culture, with a special focus on the interactions between literary texts, works of visual art, archaeology and architecture. She recently published an article examining cases of female and male hysteria in Emilia Pardo Bazán’s novel Doña Milagros (1894), and another paper on the unique connections between the feminine poetic voice and the ruin in Carolina Coronado’s poetry is currently under review. Colleen’s doctoral dissertation studies representations of architectural ruins in the works of such authors as Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Fernán Caballero, Carolina Coronado, Mariano José de Larra and José Zorrilla and explores the cross-pollinations between literature and the development of Spanish archaeology and architectural restoration in the nineteenth century.

Colleen has also studied Golden Age literature of Spain, with her Master’s thesis focusing on instances of violence in Don Quixote. She helped to organize a campus-wide marathon reading of Cervantes’ novel in 2016. Within the Department of Romance Studies, Colleen has worked as an Editorial Assistant for Hispanófila, served as Graduate Student Co-Coordinator for Spanish 203, as a mentor to incoming graduate students, as Secretary of the Graduate Romance Association, and has worked in the Spanish Summer Immersion Program. She has received funding awards from the department and from the Graduate School in order to present at conferences, both domestically and internationally. In the summer of 2021, thanks to the Jennings Summer Award, Colleen was able to continue sustained work on her dissertation.


McAlister, Colleen. "Una enfermedad social: la histeria y los roles de género en Doña Milagros (1894) de Emilia Pardo Bazán". Decimonónica, vol. 17, no. 1, 2020, pp. 50-64


“Living in and with Ruins: Larra’s articles on ‘Las antigüedades de Mérida’”. South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) Annual Conference. November 4-6, 2021.

“‘¿Por qué vengo a estas torres olvidadas?’: Carolina Coronado and Female Poetic Ruminations on Ruins.” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Society Annual Conference. Dallas, TX. March 21-24, 2019.

“La enfermedad y el indígena: ¿Una representación descolonizada?” IV Congreso Internacional Historia, Literatura y Arte en el Cine en Español y Portugués. Salamanca, España. June 28-30, 2017.

“A Social Ill: Hysteria, Society and the Questioning of a Gendered Disease in Pardo Bazan’s Doña Milagros (1894).” Kaleidoscope Conference of the Graduate Students of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Wisconsin, Madison. March 9-11, 2017.

“Violence and Fame in the Quijote: Corporeal Manifestations of the Search for Identity.” Carolina Conference for Romance Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill, April 2, 2016.

Typical Courses Taught

PORT 101: Elementary Portuguese I

SPAN 102: Elementary Spanish II

SPAN 105: Spanish for High Beginners

SPAN 203: Intermediate Spanish I

SPAN 204: Intermediate Spanish II

SPAN 261: Advanced Spanish in Context

SPAN 320: Spanish for Business

SPAN 321: Spanish for the Medical Professions