Patricia Catoira

Associate Professor, Modern Languages & Literatures

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

M.A. Spanish, Washington State University, 1998

B.A. International Studies, & B.A., French, University of Idaho, 1995

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

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

Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, California, 1996
Twentieth Century Latin American Literature
Specializations in Chicano, Latino and Colonial Literatures

M. A. New York University, New York, New York, 1989
Twentieth Century Latin American Literature

B. A. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, 1985
Latin American Literature

Contact information

Bridget Kevane (bkevane@gmail.com)
Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures
118B Gaines Hall / PO Box 172980
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2980
(406) 994-6446

Courses taught at MSU

SPNS 101-102D - Elementary Spanish I & II
SPNS 201D-202D - Intermediates Spanish I & II
SPNS 320 - Spanish Culture & Civilization
SPNS 325 - Survey of Spanish Literature
SPNS 330 - Modern Cultures Latin America
SPNS 332 - Contemp Latin Amer Literature
SPNS 350 - US Latino Cultures
SPNS 351 - US Latino Literature
SPNS 470R - Seminar: Hispanic Literature
SPNS 490R - Undergraduate Research

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

Associate Professor, Dept. of Modern Languages & 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 (jameswmmsu@gmail.com)
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

SPNS (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/SPNS 430: Latin American Perspectives
LS 301: Explorations of Tourism (Liberal Studies Integrative Seminar)
MLS 302: Latin American Culture and Civilization / SPNS 330: Modern Cultures Latin America

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


Molly Todd

Molly Todd

Assistant Professor, Department of History and Philosophy

Ph.D. Latin American History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007

M.A. University of Texas-Austin, 1998

B.A. Reed College, Portland, Oregon, 1996

Contact information

Molly Todd (molly.todd@montana.edu)
Department of History and Philosophy
2-159 Wilson Hall
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3440
(406) 994-5200

Courses taught at MSU

Power and Privilege in Latin America (Latin American History, HSTR 130D)
Latin American Social Movements (Latin American Social History, HSTR 430)
Power Relations in Colonial Latin America (Colonial Latin American History, HSTR 432)
Violence & Resistance in Cold War Latin America (Latin America: Human Rights, HSTR 435) ** New course this year!
Violence and Terror in Cold War Latin America (Special Topics in Latin American History, HSTR 491)
A Transnational History: The UNHCR in Cold War Central America (Senior Capstone in History, HSTR 499)

Research interests

Modern Latin America (especially Central America), Displacement and Migration, Human Rights, Transnational Solidarity and Social Movements, US-Latin American relations

Recent publications/talks

Beyond Displacement: Campesinos, Refugees and Collective Action in the Salvadoran Civil War. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010.

Reviewed in: American Historical Review, Journal of Historical Geography, Journal of Latin American Studies, The Americas, Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Peer-reviewed Articles and Book chapters
"The Paradox of Transamerican Solidarity: Gender, Race, and Representation in the Guatemalan Refugee Camps of Mexico, 1980-1990." Journal of Cold War Studies. Currently under review.

"Sisters Against Empire: Wisconsin Peace Progressives and Solidarity with El Salvador in the Reagan Era." Journal of Civil and Human Rights 2:2. Revising for publication.

"The Politics of Refuge: Salvadoran Refugees and International Aid in Honduras." In Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America, edited by Jessica Stites Mor, 209-38. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 2013.
Reviewed in: Hispanic American Historical Review, Journal of American Studies, Journal of Latin American Studies, Harvard Human Rights Journal, H-Diplo (Roundtable Review), Human Rights Quarterly

Articles - Other
"'Nuestra causa es justa': El discurso de guerra de Sánchez Hernández," El Faro (El Salvador), 20 July, 2015. http://www.elfaro.net/es/201507/academico/17207

Bruey, Alison, Margaret Power, Jessica Stites Mor, and Molly Todd. Authors’ Response to Roundtable Review on Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America. H-Diplo Roundtable Review. 2014. http://www.h-net.org/~diplo/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-XV-32.pdf

"1987: El retorno a la Patria salvadoreña y los hermanos solidarios," El Faro (El Salvador), 16 Dec., 2013.

Commissioned Book Reviews
Review of Erik Ching, Authoritarian El Salvador: Politics and the Origins of the Military Regimes, 1880-1940 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2014). American Historical Review Vol. 120, No. 1, 301-2 (2014).

2012 Review of Glenn A. Chambers, Race, Nation, and West Indian Immigration to Honduras, 1890-1940 (Louisiana State University Press, 2010). Journal of World History Vol. 23, No. 2, 451-4 (2012).

Invited Lectures & Presentations
2015:  "Transamerican Solidarity with Guatemalan Refugees," University of Wisconsin, Madison
"The Many Meanings of Solidarity," Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin

2014:  "'Her Mere Presence Was Testimony Enough': Transamerican Solidarity in the Guatemalan Refugee Camps of Mexico," Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Colloquium, Montana State University

2013:  "Refugee Retorno, Transnational Solidarity, and the Transition to Peace in Central America," University of British Colombia, Kelowna

2012:  "Refugees & Collective Action in Cold War Central America," Research Circle on B/Ordering Violence: Boundaries, Gender, Indigeneity in the Americas, University of Washington

2011:  "The Rise and Fall of Brazil’s Military Dictatorship," World Community Institute and World Affairs Council, Bettendorf, Iowa

Academic conference presentations
2016:  "One Part of a Larger Struggle: Exiles, Refugees, and the U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities Network," paper at the Latin American Studies Association meeting, New York, NY (submitted, scheduled for May)

2014:  "Rewriting History: Exiles, Ex-Refugiados, and Memories of War," paper at the Latin American Stud-ies Association meeting, Chicago, IL

2013:  "The Most Tragic Results: Gender, Race, and Transnational Solidarity in the Guatemalan Refugee Camps of Mexico, 1980-1990," paper at the Latin American Studies Association meeting, Washing-ton, D.C.

2013:  "Más allá del desplazamiento," paper at the V Encuentro Latinoamericano de Historia Oral (5th Latin American Oral History Meeting), University of El Salvador, San Salvador

2011:  "Staging for Success: Internally Displaced Persons, Refugees, and Transnational Solidarity Networks in Cold War Central America," paper at the Empire and Solidarity Conference, New Orleans

Genesis of my interest in Latin America

Sixth grade Spanish class with "Señora Melanie." Especially memorable was the rainbow-colored duck piñata I made.

A few "must reads"

Anything and everything by Eduardo Galeano. Empire's Workshop by Greg Grandin, Isabel Allende's early work, and the poetry of Marjorie Agosin. For more exciting history tomes, get in touch!