Liamar Duran Almarza is a new faculty member in Humanistic Studies and Spanish.  We thought you might like to know a little more about your professor and colleague, so we asked her a few questions about herself.

Where did you go to college?

I studied at the University of Leon (Spain) for my B.A./M.A. in English Philology and M.A. in Linguistics. Then I moved to the University of Oviedo (Spain) to do the coursework for the Doctorate in Women’s Studies. I also spent one year with an  European grant studying English and Irish Literature and Culture at Trinity College, Dublin.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

My favorite professor was Marina Maquiera who taught an introductory course to General Linguistics in my first college year. She was not a very popular teacher because she was very demanding, but I appreciated the fact that she was one of the few professors that would ask us students for our own perspectives and opinions. This is not very common in Spain where most classes are on a lecture format and the professor is the only one to talk for the whole hour….

You have a PhD in what field?

Women’s Studies.

What did you do your research on?

I focused on the works of two Dominican-American women writers and performers who share the experience of migration to the city of New York. In their work they explore issues of identity formation from two different but complementary perspectives: one gives voice to the experiences of a young Dominican migrant who struggles to adapt to the urban environment of New York City while the other depicts the difficulties faced by a returned migrant in the Dominican Republic.

What are your current research interests?

I am interested in Latino/a Cultures in the US, Caribbean Diaspora communities in the world and female narratives of displacement across cultures.

What courses do you teach?

This semester I am teaching Span 201-Intermediate Spanish I (2 sections) and Span 225-Intermediate Conversation and Composition. How would you describe your teaching style?

In teaching, my primary goal is to develop a learner-centered environment in which students get involved and take ownership in the process of learning. In my classes I try to encourage active learning with every activity and project that students have to complete both inside and outside the classroom, so that my students become knowledgeable not only of the Spanish language but also of the diverse cultures and communities in which Spanish is a means of communication. In my quest to develop critical and independent thinkers, I also endeavor to promote cross-cultural awareness and appreciation, and generate insightful learners who are enthusiastic observers of global cultures, informed and knowledgeable across the disciplines and active participants in their communities.

What do you like to do for fun (hobbies)?

I enjoy reading, watching movies, hiking, practicing yoga and downhill skiing.

What was the last good book you read?

Maridos (Husbands) by Angeles Mastretta.

If we looked at your playlist what would we find?

R.E.M., Maná, Bebe, Chambao, Amy Winehouse, Latin Jazz, and, of course, The Beatles.