Roberto Diaz

Associate Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-1271
Office: THH 374

Curriculum Vitae


  • B.S. Russian, Georgetown University, 1982
  • M.A. Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University, 1984
  • Ph.D. Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University, 1991

  • Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    Tenure Track Appointments
    • Associate Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature, University of Southern California, 1999-  
    • Assistant Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature, University of Southern California, 1994-1999  
    • Assistant Professor of Spanish, Bates College, 1992-1994  
    Visiting and Temporary Appointments
    • Visiting Associate Professor of Spanish, University of California, Los Angeles, Spring 2001   

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Professor Díaz researches Latin American literary and cultural history with a focus on transatlantic relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has written on multilingualism in Spanish American literature and on the prose of Borges. He is presently at work on a book-length study of opera in Latin America.

    Conferences and Other Presentations

    Conference Presentations
    • "Raptos de Europa: Prácticas de la ópera y cultura literaria en América Latina", Segundo Congreso Internacional Artes en Cruce, Lecture/Seminar, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Invited, 2010-2011   
    • "Ultimate Passage: A Cuban Runaway Slave at the Royal Danish Theater", Second E. Allison Peers Symposium: Performing Luso-Hispanic Identities in a Transatlantic Context, Keynote Lecture, Liverpool, England, University of Liverpool, Invited, 2010-2011   
    • "Borges’s Baroque Barbarians", The Real and the Surreal: Political Patronage and Literary Parentage in Argentina, Lecture/Seminar, Paper, Los Angeles, California, USC College Commons, Invited, 2009-2010   
    • "Cuba and the Work of Opera", The Measure of a Revolution: Cuba, 1959-2009, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Kingston, Ontario, Canada, Queens University, 2008-2009   
    • "Daniel Catán’s Butterflies; or, The Opera House in the Jungle", Symposium on Opera, Exoticism and Visual Culture, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed London, England, University of London, 2008-2009   
    • ""La sátira, la ópera y la novela: Comunidades de Alejo Carpentier"", Dixième Colloque International du Centre de Recherches Interuniversitaires sur les Champs Culturels , Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Paris, France, CRICCAL / Institut du Mexique, 2006-2007   

    Other Presentations
    • "Hugo’s 'Le Roi s’amuse': The Words Before the Music of 'Rigoletto'", Opera for Educators Program, Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles, California, 2010-2011   
    • "Wagner and the City", From Nietzche to Star Wars, The Los Angeles Ring Festival, USC Master of Liberal Arts Program, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2009-2010   


    Book Chapter
    • Diaz, R. I. "Transatlantic Deficits; or, Alberto Vilar at the Royal Opera House". Negotiating Difference in the Hispanic World The Bulletin of Latin American Research Book Series, January 2010.
    • Diaz, R. I. "Apariciones de Mercedes Merlin". Cien años después Lima: Editorial de la Universidad San Martín de Porres, 2010. 21-32

    Encyclopedia Article
    • Diaz, R. I. ""Caribbean," in "The Encyclopedia of the Novel"." December 2010.

    Journal Article
    • Diaz, R. I. "El espíritu de Cuba y el espectro de la ópera". Revista Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana. 53-54 September 2009: 163-72
    • Diaz, R. I. "The Spirit of Cuba and the Ghost of Opera". Symposium Vol. 61. 1 2007: 57-74

    Honors and Awards

    • Provost’s Grant, Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Southern California, for research in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Germany and Peru, 2008-09., 2008-2009   
    • Rockefeller Foundation, Residency at the Bellagio Study Center, 2/3/2008-3/4/2008  

    Service to the University

    Administrative Appointments
    • Chair, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 2010-2011   
    • Co-Director, Madrid Summer Program, 05/2010-06/2010  

    • Graduate Studies Committee, Department of Comparative Literature, 08/2008-  
    • Member, Advisory Board, USC Fisher Museum of Art, 09/2008-08/2010  

    Service to the Profession

    • Member, Executive Committee on Cuban and Cuban Diaspora Cultural Production, Modern Language Association, 01/2011-  
    • Member, Executive Committee on Twentieth-Century Latin American Literature, Modern Language Association, 01/01/2006-01/11/2011