Ivette Gomez

Assistant Professor (Teaching) of Spanish

Contact Information
E-mail: igomez@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-1258
Office: THH 156


Biographical Sketch

I hold a Ph.D. in Spanish from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California Irvine, where I specialized in 20th and 21st Centuries Latin American literature and received extensive and effective Spanish language teaching training. I have more than ten years of experience teaching a wide range of courses from Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Spanish language to Spanish for Heritage Speakers, Spanish Conversation, Spanish Composition, Introduction to Literary Analysis, and survey courses that study the history and cultures of Spain and Latin America. I have taught some of these courses in both large universities (USC, UCI, CalSate Long Beach) and small liberal arts college setting (Pomona College). I find teaching at any level an exciting experience and a challenge that I embrace with enthusiasm. In all my teaching I try to communicate to my students the fact that knowing another language can hold the key to breaking down cultural barriers, fostering successful communication and broadening perspectives. At USC, I have had the opportunity to teach upper-division literature and culture courses such as Span 304-Survey of Fiction ; Span 320- Iberian and Latin American Cultures: Readings on Society; Span 482-Literature and the City (a course devoted to the examination of representations of Havana in literature, film and music of the, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries); Span 306 - Survey of Drama, and Span 321- Iberian and Latin American Cultures: Readings on the Arts, and language courses such as Span150 (Spanish Level 2) and Span 220 (Spanish Level 3).


  • Ph.D. Spanish, University of California, Irvine, 2009

  • Description of Research

    Research Keywords
    20th and 21st Centuries Latin American Literature, Cinema, and Plastic Arts; 21st-Century Hispanic Caribbean Narrative; The City; The Body; Travel Literature; Fin-de-Siécle Cultures; Literary History; Intellectual History; Cultural Studies and Critical Theory.
    Detailed Statement of Research Interests


    My doctoral dissertation, “Escrituras (des)encantadas: la poética de las ruinas en la narrativa cubana contemporánea”, In my study I examine how literary representations of urban decay serve these contemporary Cuban writers not only to express a sense of loss (loss of illusion and faith in a socialist utopia), but also as a way of recovering the contesting cultural narratives that form the palimpsestic terrain of “the lettered city”, of Havana. Through the invocation of the “ghost” that Havana’s ruins generate these writers recuperate a tradition in Cuban literature that evokes metaphoric ties between urban space and national identity. To frame and support this argument, the first chapter of my dissertation provides a genealogical study of the topic of ruins in the works of canonical Cuban authors (Carpentier, Lezama, Cabrera Infante, and Arenas) whose notions of national culture also included the expression of urban decay. In dialogue with the thoughts of Walter Benjamin, Andreas Huyssen, Svetlana Boym, and other cultural theorists, the main purpose of my study has been to examine how, through the use of the trope of ruins, the more recent generations of Cuban writers engage in the practice of a critical memory that rescues traditional modes of cultural representation as it restructures new dynamics between nation and selfhood, politics and literature.analyzes the relationship between ruins, memory, nostalgia, and chaos in the narratives of Abilio Estévez, Antonio José Ponte and Ena Lucía Portela.
    The topic of my dissertation highlights my long-standing interest in examining the relationship between urban imaginaries and the processes of recovering historical memory in contemporary Caribbean and Latin American cultural production. The investigation of the recurrent image of urban ruins in Cuban narrative of the 20th and 21st centuries has given me a unique insight into the complex and dynamic epistemological engagement between the island’s present and past, and it has expanded my understanding of the sense of fragmentation, loss, and chaos that has characterized (post)modern Cuban identity discourse (on a national and an individual level) in these past twenty years. Furthermore, the study of the ruins trope in Cuba’s particular cultural, political and economical context has provided me a productive framework for exploring the complex negotiation between the global capital market and the socialist state.

    Conferences and Other Presentations

    Conference Presentations
    • ""Boring Home o La Habanada: crisis y aburrimiento en Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo"", LASA 2010, Talk/Oral Presentation, Toronto, Canada, 2010-2011   
    • ""Voces desde los escombros: habitantes de ruinas en la narrativa cubana del siglo XXI".", LASA 2009. Rethinking Inequalities., Talk/Oral Presentation, Rio de Janeiro., 2009-2010   
    • ""La politicización de las ruinas en Antonio José Ponte"", XXXVII Congreso Internacional del IILI. , Talk/Oral Presentation, Puebla, Mexico, 2008-2009   
    • ""Politicizing Decay: Antonio Jose Ponte’s ‘An Art of Making Ruins’".", ACLA 2008, Talk/Oral Presentation, Los Angeles, 2008-2009   


    Journal Article
    • Gomez, I. (2010). "La invención de la historia: Abilio Estévez y las ruinas de un teatro". Revista Iberoamericana. Vol. Vol. LXXVI (Vol. LXXVI, Núm. 232-233, Julio-Diciembre), pp. 695-712.

  • Department of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Taper Hall of Humanities 156
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • University of Southern California
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0358