Patricia Catoira

Assistant Professor, Modern Languages

Ph.D. Hispanic Literature, University of New Mexico, 2004

Contact information

Patricia Catoira (pcatoira@montana.edu)
Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures
118C Gaines Hall / PO Box 172980
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2980
(406) 994-4447

Courses taught at MSU

Latin American Culture and Civilization
Culture and Revolution in Latin America
Hispanic Texts and Cinema
Travel in Latin American Literature and Film
Advanced Grammar and Phonetics
Contemporary Cuban Women Writers
Contemporary Cuban Literature
Women in Latin American Literature
Sexuality in Latin American Literature

Research Interests

Latin American literature and culture; Cuba (antislavery narratives, exile, Special Period); Women's and gender studies; Latin American migration to and cultural production in Spain since the 1990s

Recent publications/talks

As I began to read the vast opus of Latin American literature I initially became interested in the antislavery novels from nineteenth-century Cuba, especially the classic novel Cecilia Valdés about which I wrote my doctoral dissertation at the University of New Mexico. My first publications have dealt with issues of race, identity, and exile in Cuban literature.

More recently I have focused on the literature produced by Cubans inside and outside the island since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 especially regarding the theme of prostitution and sexual tourism. Right now I am working on a book about the representation of the prostitute in recent Latin American literature and I am also co-authoring a book about the literary and filmic representation of immigrants in Europe (in my case, those from Latin America and Morocco in Spain).

Genesis of your interest in Latin America

Growing up in Spain, Latin America was never in my radar. In school, the conquest of the Americas was barely discussed  and there was no reference to modern Latin America at all. In literature courses, I only remember reading Nicaraguan poet Ruben Darío as the one non-Spanish author. Outside school during these decades of the 1970s and 1980s, Spain was very much focused on modernizing and building a strong democratic state—after almost forty years of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship—and therefore the country looked to Europe and the United States.

Since I was young I always had a desire to travel and learn languages. I learned English in school and French at a language academy. After spending a year as an exchange student in Sandpoint, Idaho, I fell in love with the educational system of this country. I am not talking about the content (which I had some problems with) but about the philosophy of running the classroom and especially of encouraging students to ask questions and to fully engage in discussions with their teachers and peers (something unheard of in Spain). It was at the University of Idaho (where I majored in French and International Studies) and at Washington State University (where I received a Master’s degree in Spanish) where I discovered Latin America thanks to the enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge of amazing Spanish professors teaching at these two regional colleges.

Besides the obvious reasons for liking Bozeman, a big reason why I decided to take the professorship at Montana State University after finishing my PhD was because I wanted to emulate my professors from Idaho and Washington State by creating a strong Latin American program in our region that would captivate students for whom Latin America might have not been in their radar. I am very excited about this minor and the faculty and students who so enthusiastically support it.

A few of your own “must reads”

It is hard to pin down a must-read list of books from Latin America given the large number of countries and great writers. I am a big fan of short stories, a very popular genre in the region, and I try to use them in my class as much as possible. Some suggestions: Gabriel García Márquez’s Cien años de soledad, Roberto Fernández Retamar’s Calibán, Mario Vargas Llosa’s La ciudad y los perros, RicardoGuiraldes’s Don Segundo Sombra, Rosario Castellanos’s “Valium 10” and “Lección de cocina,” and short stories by Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Juan Rulfo, and Ana Lydia Vega.




Bridget Kevane

Chair & Professor, Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures

Ph.D., UCLA, 1996

Contact information

Bridget Kevane (umlbk@montana.edu)
Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures
117A Gaines Hall / PO Box 172980
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2980
(406) 994-6448

Courses taught at MSU

MLS 101-102
MLS 219-220
MLS 301, 302, 321, 320, 450, 303, 323…

Research interests

Contemporary Latino literature and culture

Recent publications/talks

Profane & Sacred: Latino/a American Writers Reveal the Interplay of the Secular and Religious

Genesis of my interest in Latin America

Reading La vorágine in 9th grade in Puerto Rico. That was it for me!

A few “must reads”

Cien años de soledad and anything by Gabriel García Márquez
Carlos Fuentes, La muerte de Artemio Cruz
Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo
Rosario Ferré
Eustasio Rivera, La vorágine
Jorge Isaacs, María
Mario Vargas Llosa, La tía Julia y el escribidor
Poesía de Julia de Burgos
Alejandra Pizarnik
Luisa Valenzuela



James W. Martin

Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Latin American and Latino Studies, Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures

Ph.D. History (Latin America), University of New Mexico, 2008

M.A. Foreign Languages and Literatures (Spanish major), Washington State University, August 1998

B.A. History, Spanish, and Latin American Studies, University of Idaho, May 1995

Contact information

James W. Martin (jameswm@montana.edu)
Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures
115B Gaines Hall / PO Box 172980
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2980
phone: (406) 994 6447

Research interests

U.S.–Latin American relations; tourism and empire; modern Latin America history

Courses taught at MSU

MLS (Spanish) first four semesters
CLS 101: Freshman Letters and Science seminar
History 413: Race in Latin America
History 410: Latin American Social History
History 110: Introduction to Latin American History
History/MLS 415: Latin American Perspectives
LS 301: Explorations of Tourism (Liberal Studies Integrative Seminar)
MLS 302: Latin American Culture and Civilization

Recent publications/talks

Graden, Dale T. and James Martin, “Revolution for the Unacquainted: Oliver Stone’s Salvador,” in Journal of Film and History 28:1–2, Fall 1998.

“Globalization Comes to the Old Neighborhood.”  Review of Scarpaci, Joseph.  Plazas and Barrios: Heritage Tourism and Globalization in the Latin American Centro Histórico.  Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2004.  260 pp.  H-Travel@h-net.msu.edu.  February 2007.

Conference papers
“Banana Cowboys and Sea Captains: Corporate Masculinities in the United Fruit Company’s Tropics, 1899–1930.” Pacific Coast Council for Latin American Studies, Las Vegas, NV, 7 November 2008.

“Cultures of Work and Leisure in the United Fruit Company’s American Colonies, 1899–1930.”  Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Santa Fe, NM.  January 2007.

“The Golden Caribbean: The United Fruit Company and the Marketing of Caribbean Destinations, 1900–1940.”  Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Denver, CO.  February 2006.

“An Everyday Form of Empire Building: Advertising the Cuban Tourist Trade in the U.S., 1910–1930.”  Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Santa Fe, NM.  January 2000.

Genesis of my interest in Latin America

Serendipity.  Through a happy accident at the University of Idaho, I encountered outstanding professors in history and foreign language and literature who made me want to know more about Latin America.  An exchange in Mexico cemented my interest in the region. 

A few “must reads”

Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy.  Sections on Latin America sparked my interest in U.S.–Latin American relations.

Tad Szulc, Fidel: A Critical Portrait

Graham Green, The Quiet American

Salvatore et al., eds. Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U.S.–Latin American Relations

Key Latin American authors for me: García Márquez, Alejo Carpentier, Agustín Yáñez



Leah Schmalzbauer

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Ph.D. Sociology, Boston College, 2004

MSc Social Policy and International Development, London School of Economics, 1996

Contact information

Leah Schmalzbauer (schmalzb@montana.edu)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
2-127 Wilson Hall
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2380
(406) 994-7224

Courses taught at MSU

Latino Migration
Immigration: People and Policy
Sociology of Globalization
Sociology of Gender
Social Theory
Senior Capstone

Research interests

Transnational Migration, New Migrant Destinations, Globalization, Gender and Development

Recent publications/talks

Refereed journal articles
Anastario, Mike & Leah Schmalzbauer (Forthcoming). “Piloting the Time Diary Method among Honduran Immigrants: Gendered Time Use.” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

Schmalzbauer, Leah (2008). “Family Divided: The Class Formation of Honduran Transnational Families.” Global Networks, 8:329-346.

Dodson, Lisa, Deborah Piatelli, & Leah Schmalzbauer (2007). Equal authorship. “Researching Inequality through Interpretive Collaborations: Shifting Power and the Unspoken Contract.” Qualitative Inquiry, 13:821-843.

Dodson, Lisa & Leah Schmalzbauer (2005). “Poor Mothers and Habits of Hiding: Participatory Methods in Family Research.” Journal of Marriage and Family,67:949-959.

Schmalzbauer, Leah (2005). “Transamerican Dreamers: The Relationship of Honduran Transmigrants to the American Dream and Consumer Society.” Berkeley Journal of Sociology, 49:3-31.

Schmalzbauer, Leah (2004). “Searching for Wages and Mothering from Afar: The Case of Honduran Transnational Families.” Journal of Marriage and Family, 66: 1317-1331.

Schmalzbauer, Leah (2005). Striving and Surviving: A Daily Life Analysis of HonduranTransnational Families. (New Approaches in Sociology Series) New York: Routledge. 

Book chapters
Schmalzbauer, Leah (2008). “Latinos in Minnesota.” In Mark Overmyer- Velazquez (Ed.) Latino America: State-By-State. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Schmalzbauer, Leah, Alice Verghese & Meenu Vadera (2007). “Caring Across Borders:    Motherwork and Marginality in East Timor, Uganda and the United States.” In Sonita Sarker (Ed.) Sustainable Feminisms: Advances in Gender Research.
Oxford, UK: Elsevier.   

Dodson, Lisa, Leah Schmalzbauer & Deborah Piatelli (2006). “Behind the Scenes: A Conversation about Feminist Participatory Methods.” In P. Leavy and S. Hesse-Biber (Eds.) Feminist Research Practice. New York: Sage.

Book review
Schmalzbauer, Leah (forthcoming). Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras. By Adrienne Pine. Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe.

Academic conference presentations
Schmalzbauer, Leah (November 2008). “Divided Families and the Formation of a Culture of Migration in Honduras.” Workshop on Transnational Parenting and Children Left Behind. International Peace Research Institute. Oslo, Norway.

Schmalzbauer, Leah (2008). “Gender and Latino Incorporation in the Northern Rockies.” International Migration Section. American Sociological Association. Boston, MA.

Schmalzbauer, Leah (2007). “Life in the Margins: Latino Incorporation Under the Big Sky.” Latino Migration to New Settlement Areas. University of South Carolina.

Schmalzbauer, Leah (2007). “Honduran Youth Assimilating from Afar?” International Migration Section. American Sociological Association. New York City, NY.

Schmalzbauer, Leah (2006). “Parenting Across Borders: Transnational Carework and Family Survival.” Sussman Award Address. Groves Conference on Marriage and Family- Families, Borders and Boundaries. Tucson, AZ.

Schmalzbauer, Leah (2005). “Transamerican Dreamers.” Invited paper. Berkeley Journal of Sociology: Society and Consumption. University of California, Berkeley.

Schmalzbauer, Leah (2004). “Families Across Borders: Honduran Transnational Families> in Pursuit of Survival.” Transnational Communities, Regular Session. American Sociological Association. San Francisco, CA.

Genesis of my interest in Latin America

I was first drawn to Latin America through my Spanish classes in high school, but more importantly in college.  I had a Chilean Spanish professor, Monica Torres, at the University of New Hampshire in 1989 who incorporated discussions of the Civil Wars in Central America into our classes. I was horrified and impassioned by what I learned.

As a result, I became involved with the Central American Human Rights group on campus which launched me into social justice activism.  In the summer of 1990 I made my first trip to Nicaragua. I was hooked by Nicaragua’s passion and spirit; I had never been in a place that felt so alive even in the face of civil war, poverty and unrelenting imperialism.  I studied abroad the next year in Venezuela, spent the following summer in Guatemala, returned to Nicaragua on a human rights delegation that winter, and was then lucky enough to be hired as the New England Coordinator for the Nicaragua Network upon graduation.

It has been the lessons that I have learned from Latin America, and more importantly Latin Americans, that have shaped me as a researcher and teacher.

A few “must reads”

The House of Spirits (Isabel Allende)
I, Rigoberta Menchu
Don’t be Afraid Gringo (Medea Benjamin)