Ph.D. Student in Spanish | Dey 213

At UNC Since 2017


Ph.D., Spanish, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in progress
M.A., Spanish, University of Oregon, 2017
B.A., Spanish and Speech Communication, Whitworth University, 2015
Minor: Latin American Studies, Whitworth University, 2015


Katelyn (Kate) Tassan Howard is a Ph.D. student in Spanish. From Eugene, Oregon, she initially became interested in the Spanish language, literatures and cultures as a high school student. During her undergraduate studies at Whitworth University, she lived and studied abroad for a year in Valparaíso, Chile. While in the Southern Cone, she made short trips to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and to the Sacred Valley in Peru. She also lived and studied short-term in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala and in Seville, Spain.

As a scholar, Kate is primarily interested in Spanish, Spanish-American and Italian female mystic writers of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Her M.A. thesis examines the unitive discourses displayed in Teresa of Avila’s (1518-1582) “Libro de su vida” (1562) and in Veronica Giuliani’s (1660-1727) “Diario” (1697-1715). These discourses highlight Early Modern Catholic spiritualities such as the apophatic and kataphatic. Kate has also developed a strong interest in Petrarchan poetry and Spanish lyric traditions, Spanish Sociolinguistics and Pedagogy for Spanish Heritage Learners.

Following wonderful support from her academic mentors, Kate wishes to share her passion for the Spanish language, literatures and cultures with her students. She has taught First Year Spanish courses at UO (SPAN-101, 102, 103 & 112) and teaches Intermediate Beginner’s Spanish at UNC. As an instructor, she aims to inspire and encourage her students in their journeys toward Spanish language acquisition. As a future Spanish professor, she hopes to further her students’ intellectual discoveries and help shape their career paths.

Conference Presentations

  • CCRS 2018, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 2018
    Early Modern Lyric Dystopias: The Myth of Apolo and Daphne in Two Spanish Golden Age Sonnets
  • M.A. Fall Forum, Romance Languages, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 2016
    Female Prophetic Discourse and the Itinerary of Knightly Formation: The Case of Urganda la Desconocida
  • Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Boise, ID, 2014
    Unamuno’s Joaquín Monegro and Augusto Pérez: Doubt and Isolation in Identity Formation

Courses Taught

  • SPAN 105: Spanish for High Beginners (Fall ’17, Spring ’18)
  • SPAN 203: Intermediate Spanish I (Fall ’18)