Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Spanish
Professor Castillo researches contemporary Southern Cone literature with a particular interest in technology and intimacy. Her current book project on posthuman intimacy asks how advances in technology have changed our love lives and the narratives we tell about them. As part of this research agenda, she is also developing an article on maternity in the age of reproductive technologies, with a focus on the writings of Lina Meruane.
As a Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Professor Castillo's pursuit of a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Latin American Studies took her to Bolivia, Mexico, and Costa Rica, where she developed a great respect for linguistic and cultural proficiency and a firm belief in undergraduate research. After graduating with honors, she was awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study comparative literature for a year at Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. She then moved to California to pursue a Ph.D. in Iberian and Latin American Cultures at Stanford University. In the heart of Silicon Valley, Professor Castillo observed first-hand the power of technological innovation to catalyze cultural change, for better or worse. As a student organizer of the Collaborative Teaching Project (an initiative funded by the Teagle Foundation), she co-developed a course called "Critique of Technology" that encourages advanced undergraduates to think critically about the role of technology in culture. Her thesis work assumed this same critical perspective to consider how technology has changed the narrative form and content of modern-day tales of intimacy in Latin America.
Professor Castillo is a strong advocate for diverse graduate teaching experiences in the humanities. When she was a graduate student herself, she taught in a variety of teaching environments beyond Stanford, including two correctional facilities, a comprehensive state university, and a high school. She also served as a university teaching consultant and published many pieces for Stanford's Center for Teaching and Learning. She has particularly championed team-teaching as an integral part to early-career development in higher ed.At Vanderbilt, she continues to pursue diverse teaching experiences in hopes of creating new learning experiences for students with a variety of motivations and experiences. As participant of the 2018 Course Design Institute, Professor Castillo shares the ethos of "Students as producers" and regularly asks her students to produce an alternative final project, be it a podcast, storyboard, research prospectus, or annotated timeline.
Professor Castillo currently teaches the following courses at Vanderbilt:
- SPAN 4755: Latina and Latin American Women Writers
- SPAN 3375: Film and Culture in Latin America
- SPAN 4741: Spanish-American Literature of the Post-Boom Era
- SPAN 1111: First-Year Writing Seminar - 20th Century Spanish American Lit
- SPAN 4425: Spanish American Literature from 1900 to the Present