Dr. Sofía Kearns’ research focuses on the intersections of race, social class, gender, sexuality and nation. Her dissertation on the poetry of contemporary Latin American women writers Gioconda Belli, Maria Mercedes Carranza and Ana Maria Rodas applied feminist theory to compare the negotiation that each writer did with the social construction “Woman,” and the implications of such negotiation in their portrayal of nation. In the late 1990s she had the privilege to meet and interview Costa Rican author Anacristina Rossi and to visit and explore the natural wonders of the Gandoca-Manzanillo wildlife refuge, site of her famous novel La loca de Gandoca. Subsequently, Dr. Kearns has published six articles on Rossi’s narratives, plus an online edition of La Loca de Gandoca, which is available to Furman students only. Dr. Kearns’s theoretical frame has evolved along with the shifts in feminist th eory, to include queer, intersectional and assemblage perspectives.

Dr. Kearns enjoys directing the MLL study away programs, and the opportunities they provide for sharing with her students her own experiences growing up in Colombia. She has directed and co-directed the MLL programs in Spain and Chile, and our former program in Costa Rica. She has a special interest in service-learning and was awarded the 2010 SC Department of Higher Education Service-Learning Award.


Name Title Description


Community Based Learning

Community-based service or teaching project linking the classroom to the community in a process of experiential learning.


Intensive Elementary Spanish

Designed to prepare students with some background in Spanish for the first intermediate level course.


Intermediate Spanish I

Continuation of the development of proficiency in listening and speaking, while expanding the reading and writing skills.


Composition and Conversation

Emphasis on idiomatic expression through guided oral and written practice. Review of basic phonology, grammar and syntax included.


Latin American Civilization

Introduction to Latin America through its Iberian, indigenous, and African heritage; its social institutions; its religious and social customs, festivals, and folklore; its languages and other systems of communication; its literature and arts; and its diversions and cuisine.


Intro to Literary Analysis

Introduction to the analysis of literary texts written in Spanish. Emphasis on techniques for analyzing the for major genres (narrative, drama, poetry, essay), as well as in-depth study of relevant representative texts. Includes a general introduction to the study of literature through the lens of literary periods or movements.


Latin American Women's Lit

Survey of literature by Latin American women from Colonial times to the present, including all major genres. Study of the evolution of women's thought from the private realm of convent and home to the public arena of politics, women's rights and the environmental movement.

Teaching happens not only in the classroom but outside it, and it is most effective when it is student-focused, rather than teacher-focused. It is important for me, therefore, to create the opportunities for students to make meaningful connections between the academic knowledge gained in the classroom and the world around them. This is where my interest in service-learning comes from. It was startling for me to discover a thriving local Hispanic community, (with a very active Colombian population, no less!) when I arrived in Greenville in 1994. This community, with its cultural, ethnic, racial, class, and sexual multiplicity has become an extension of my classroom, where students gain particular knowledge on local Hispanic cultures and subcultures, and on current politics, which they later share and teach to their classmates and me. With the current threats to the natural environment, I also believe that it is imperative that I bring awareness about biodiversity, its rapid loss and its implications, as well as opportunities to think creatively on solutions to abate such loss, in language, culture and literature courses.

  • "La compaginación de identidades étnicas y femeninas en la poesía indígena de Liliana Ancalao y Rosa Chávez  Ciberletras 38.  July 2017.   http://www.lehman.cuny.edu/ciberletras/​
  • "Widening the Spectrum of Desire and Nation: Anacristina Rossi's Fiction." QED. A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking​. 3:2 Summer 2016. Pp. 93-106.
  • "El logro de la 'palabra única' en El canto de las moscas." María Mercedes Carranza. 7 ensayos sobre su obra. Luz Eugenia Sierra, Editora. Bogotá: LETRA A LETRA e Instituto Caro y Cuervo, 2014. pp. 97-129.
  • "Latin American and French Post-Modern Aesthetics in María la noche. LEF-E (L'Erudit Franco-Espagnol) An Electronic Journal of French and Hispanic Literatures." Vol. 2, Fall 2012. pp. 73-92. Web
  • Co-authored with Laura Barbas Rhoden: "Questioning Modernity, Affirming Resilience: Eco-pedagogies for Homero Aridjis' En quién piensas and Anacristina Rossi's La loca" Review 85. Eco-Literature and Arts in Latin America. Vol. 45:2 (November 2012). 167-74.
  • "Introduction" and "Afterword." La loca de Gandoca/The Madwoman of Gandoca. Tr. T. Martin. Lewiston, Queenston, Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2006
  • Postcoloniality in Rossi's Limón Blues. South Carolina Modern Language Review 5:1. Spring 2006. Web
  • Nueva conciencia ecológica en algunos textos femeninos contemporáneos. Latin American Literary Review 34:67 (January-June 2006). 111-127
  • Online student edition of La loca de Gandoca, ecofeminist short novel by Costa Rican author Anacristina Rossi, August 2005 (available to Furman campus readers only at http://millie.furman.edu/kearns/LLG/)
  • Book chapter: "Ana Maria Rodas y la negociación con la tradición patriarcal." Desde la zona abierta. Artículos críticos sobre la obra de Ana María Rodas. Ed. Aida Toledo. Guatemala: Editorial Palo de Hormigo, 2004. 25-51
  • Book Review: "El mundo más que humano en la poesía de Pablo Antonio Cuadra by Steven White." Confluencia 20:1 (Fall 2004): 221-23
  • "Una ruta hacia la conciencia feminista: la poesía de Gioconda Belli." CiberLetras 9 (July 2003). Web
  • "Political and Toxic Discourse: The Latest Poems by María Mercedes Carranza." CiberLetras 5 (August 2001). Web
  • "Anacristina Rossi: testimonio y lucha por la conservación ambiental de Gandoca-Manzanillo." Confluencia 16:2 (Fall 2000)
  • "Environmental Issues in Costa Rica. An Interview with Anacristina Rossi." Organization and Environment. 13:2 (June 2000): 262-5
  • "Otra cara de Costa Rica a través de un testimonio ecofeminista." Hispanic Journal 19:2 (Fall 1998): 313-39
  • Book Review. "Prólogo de un mentor de escritores." Confluencia, Revista Hispánica de Cultura y Literatura, vol. 13.2 Spring 1998
  • Book Review: "The Mystic of Tunja. The Writings of Madre Castillo, 1671-1742." By Kathryn Joy McKnight. The Women's Studies International Forum. Fall 1998
  • "El amor en la poesía de María Mercedes Carranza." The Romance Languages Annual III (1991): 561-66
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia

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