Julia A. Kushigian

Julia A. Kushigian

Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Hispanic Studies
Chair of the Hispanic Studies Department
Social Justice and Sustainability Pathway Coordinator

Joined Connecticut College: 1985

B.A., University of Connecticut
M.A., New York University
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Yale University


Gender, culture and race studies in Spanish America

Orientalism in the Hispanic tradition

Julia Kushigian, Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Hispanic Studies, M.A., NYU, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Yale University; Chair, Hispanic Studies department; Coordinator, Social Justice and Sustainability Pathway; President of the Board, Hispanic Alliance of Southeastern Connecticut. Professor Kushigian’s work displays a passion for the culture and literature of Latin America, from Indigenous pre-Columbian poetry to twenty-first century novel. She is currently working on three larger research projects bringing to an end (!) a book-length manuscript on the Apocalypse titled “The Resilient Apocalypse: Narrating the End from Early Spanish Visualizations to 21st century Latin American Articulations” for publication in the near future (UNC Press). A culmination of years of research, papers presented at conferences and articles published, the work constructs a relational strategy for engaging paradigms of apocalyptic narratives that push beyond endpoints to new beginnings. In an effort to decolonize, recognize threats and assess collateral damage, the goal of the book is to identify those spaces and spell out those cultural practices that link the politics of envisioning the End to a cohesive poetics of addressing, managing and transforming its power in relation to others.

Julia Kushigian Endowed Chair lecture poster image Prof. Kushigian has also completed a book chapter that takes her research in a new direction toward Indigenous Studies. The chapter titled “Decolonizing Nature and Indigenous Representations from Chilean Pre-Columbian Art to Mapuche Poetry,” is in press, Ecocriticism: The Ibero-American Experience, J. Manuel Gómez, ed. Lexington Books, for release October 2023. The chapter builds on the work presented at a panel she organized and chaired at the NECLAS Annual Conference October, 2022, an international panel she directed for CC spring 2022, “Indigenous Women’s Rights, Social Justice and Sustainability,” a FYS “Hip Hop/Comics/Graphic Novels: Indigenous Resistance in Latin America” and an upper-level SDP/WL/W course Spa 343/443 Indigenous Resistance in the New World: Writing Voyages, Disasters & Natural Wonders, both taught Fall 2022. The final research project, “Decolonizing Orientalism: Resignifying Race, Hatred and Sexuality in Latin America,” is an expansion of two previous research topics (Orientalism in the Hispanic Literary Tradition: In Dialogue with Borges, Paz and Sarduy, University of New Mexico Press) and Reconstructing Childhood. Strategies of Reading for Culture and Gender in the Spanish-American Bildungsroman, (Bucknell University Press). It also serves as a bridge to her collection of interviews with world renown Latin American and Spanish authors published in Spanish, Crónicas orientalistas y autorrealizadas: Entrevistas con Borges, Fuentes, Goytisolo, Poniatowska, Sarduy y Vargas Llosa, (Editorial Verbum), which engages the authors in a conversation on cultural, literary, spiritual, gender and racial theory.

Other Recent Courses:

  • CC/SDP Spa 221 Introduction to Hispanic Identities: Latin America, Latinos in the US, Spain
  • Business Spanish: A Cultural Approach
  • Environmental Justice in Latin America and Spain
  • Spa 325/425 Teaching and Learning Spanish: Foreign Language Methodology, Applied Linguistics and SLA


  • Hispanic Studies & Latin American and Latino Studies majors, minors
  • Social Justice & Sustainability Pathway students
  • Rotary International Peace Scholarships
  • Past Director, CISLA; Past Associate Director, Holleran Center

View the Hispanic Studies department website.

Majoring in Hispanic Studies.

Majoring in Latin American Studies.

"In a traditional reading of the novel of growth and development - or Bildungsroman - a white, male, middle-class individual emerges as protagonist. Kushigian's bold, interdisciplinary study offers new approaches to the Bildungsroman and ably demonstrates that its design is anything but monolithic. Expanding the definition beyond the limitations imposed by the traditional form, Kushigian (Connecticut College) brings to the discussion the experiences of women, the marginalized, and the disenfranchised. Two premises underscore her analysis: The individual identity often appears problematic and inextricably intertwined with national and cultural identity, and that the path to self-knowledge leads to engagement with the Other. The novel of self-realization and actualization thus becomes a type of hero journey marked by an exploration of gender roles and socioeconomic difference. Kushigian examines myriad cultural components present in both canonical and less-studied texts and employs four basic reading strategies: the standard view of Bildungsroman as rite of passage, new models of wholeness or self-actualization, a redefinition of the concept of the heroic, and ambiguity and hybridization of identity through parody and pastiche. Including ample documentation and bibliography, this major study will change the way scholars view the coming-of-age novel." -- Choice

"You may be interested to know that I am currently doing an internship at the Association for Moroccan Immigrants and Workers in Spain. I have the opportunity to do a study on the integration of the Moroccan immigrant woman into Sevilla society, so all that I learned from you about Orientalism and perceptions of the East/West is coming in handy as I do my research!" - Erin Holstein ’09, Accepted into the MA program in Human Rights, London School of Economics, beginning fall 2011.

“I just wanted to say thanks for everything this semester. I've been in Guatemala for a medical mission for a few days now and I've been able to communicate really well with the people here. Just figured I'd tell you how applicable Spanish 103 has been in real life training.” Gracias, Adem Abrham, 5/20/12, Spa 103: History of Hispanic Art.

Contact Julia A. Kushigian

Mailing Address

Julia A. Kushigian
Connecticut College
Box # HISPANIC STUDIES/Winthrop Hall
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


203 Winthrop Hall