Teaching Assistant Professor of Spanish

leonel1@email.unc.edu | Dey 123


  • Ph.D. 2010, University of Colorado at Boulder.
  • M.A. 2003, New Mexico State University.
  • B.A. 2001, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua.


Leonel Carrillo was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. He obtained his Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies and Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010, on a dissertation tittled Relatos en la arena: literatura del desierto y el norte mexicano. His research interest focuses on Mexican Literature of the Twentieth Century, more specifically on a recent discourse known as “La literatura del desierto” (Desert Literature). His work addresses issues of national identity, space, solitude, and representation of the desert region of northern Mexico by examining the narrative works of six contemporary Mexican writers (Ricardo Elizondo, Gerardo Cornejo, Severino Salazar, Miguel Méndez, Jesús Gardea, and Daniel Sada).

Leonel loves teaching. He has taught a significant variety of Spanish courses (language and culture) at institutions such as New Mexico State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, and Bowling Green State University as well. At UNC, Leonel is currently teaching Spanish courses at beginner and intermediate level. One of Leonel’s main objectives as a teacher is to establish rapport in class. This ability to maintain harmonious connections based on affinity creates conditions that lead to high quality results in the learning process based on higher motivation, enhanced communication, trust, and positive attitude. For Leonel it is very important to motivate his students to achieve an effective level of critical independence where they develop a desire to learn and think for themselves.


  • “Identidad y otredad en la literatura del desierto” (Forthcoming)
  • “Narrativa temprana de Jesús Gardea: El desierto de luz y sombra”. (Forthcoming)
  • “Entrecruzamiento político-literario en torno al Premio Cervantes y a la figura de Elena Poniatowska”. Revista Ver-Se. August 2014. Web.
  • El sueño de Santa María de las Piedras de Miguel Méndez y el Boom: Magia, parodia y mito de la Revolución Mexicana.” Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea. 45 (2010): 109-115.
  • Setenta veces siete y La sierra y el viento: Diálogo entre modelos narrativos” Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea. 15 (2008): 41-49.
  • “Rafael Pérez Torres. Mestizaje. Critical Uses of Race in Chicano Culture.” The Colorado Review of Hispanic Studies. 4, Fall 2006.
  • “Gabriela Nouzeilles. La naturaleza en disputa. Retóricas del cuerpo y el paisaje en Latinoamérica.”  The Colorado Review of Hispanic Studies. 3, Fall 2005.
  • “Pérez Firmat y Anything but Love: El lenguaje y la bicultaralidad.”  Confluencia, 21.1, Fall 2005


  • Certification of Appreciation Awarded by Center for Faculty Excellence at Bowling Green State University (2017).
  • Graduate Part-Time Instructor Teaching Excellence Award Awarded by The Graduate School of the University of Colorado at Boulder (2010).

Courses Taught

  • SPAN 203 Intermediate Spanish I
  • SPAN 105 Spanish for High Beginners