MemberKathleen Cunniffe Peña

…Latin American Studies Association

Middle Atlantic Council on Latin American Studies

Modern Language Association

Movement of Immigrant Leaders of Pennsylvania (MILPA)

Society for Irish Latin American Studies


I am a full-time lecturer in Spanish and a scholar of Latin American narrative in literature and popular culture. I focus on contemporary narratives shaped by migration and/or translation. My current project involves the translation of a film on Cristina Martínez, an undocumented chef from Philadelphia, along with a separate (but related), scholarly examination of Cristina’s use of mass media and community activism to construct her own, broader notions of citizenship and belonging. Recently published articles deal with cosmopolitanism and translational literature in narratives that have, in one way or another, traveled across the Atlantic. My dissertation also presents a transatlantic perspective. Titled “Irlandés in the Americas: Irish Themes and Affinities in Contemporary Spanish American Literature,” it explores how and why Irish characters and themes have served Latin American narratives. I studied Spanish in Chile, and have since made numerous trips to South America for research, professional development and pleasure. In my local community, I volunteer as an immigrant advocate and medical interpreter for migrant workers, and often work to engage my students in the community, as well.