Cal State L.A.

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Office Hours
Tuesday 3:15 - 4:15 p.m.
Wednesday 3:15 - 4:15 p.m.
Thursday 3:15 - 4:15 p.m.

Gastón Alzate

Modern Languages and Literatures

Office: King Hall 3031
Phone: 323-343-2267
Fax: 323-343-4234


I am from Cali (Valle del Cauca), Colombia. Currently I am Full Professor of Spanish and also Co-director of Latin American Studies at Cal State University-Los Angeles where I teach Latin American Theater, Performance Art and Literature. During 2011 I was Research Fellow of the Verflechtungen von Theater Kulturen (Interweaving Performance Cultures). Freie Universität, Berlin. Previously, I was Director of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies (LALACS) at Gustavus Adolphus College (1999-2006). I also served as advisor for the Independent Study group in Cuba, SPAN, University of Minnesota (1999-2000). I worked as Research Associate with David William Foster (1996-1997), and as Teaching Associate at Arizona State University. Since 2009 I am member of the CSULA Mariachi Band Aguila de Oro (Golden Eagle).



For the last 7 years, at California State University, Los Angeles, I have taught Theater Production in Spanish (Teatro en español), and developed several collaborative projects involving the Music and Theater Departments (see Mariachi Quixote). I have also taught undergraduate and MA courses on Contemporary Latin American Theater and Literature, graduate seminars on Latino and Latin American Performance Art, and on Mexican Popular Cultures from the point of view of theater and performance studies. I am fortunate in that my academic life has given me the opportunity to balance both teaching and research in my field. At Cal State I love having the opportunity to work with a diverse student population. I try to create a comfortable and humorous atmosphere that promotes communication between cultures, while at the same time promoting a high level of learning.



My central line of research and publication has been Mexican and Colombian literature with a focus on theater and performance art. My research has generally focused on the connections between Western tradition and Latin American culture, particularly the need to re-accommodate theoretical framework originating in Europe and the US when studying Latin American and US Latino productions. With the collaboration of Dr. Paola Marín, I founded the academic electronic journal Karpa in 2009, devoted to theatrical dissidences, visual arts, and culture. It publishes articles in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. The journal is a peer-reviewed publication indexed by the MLA International Bibliography, which encompasses Latin American and Iberian performing and visual culture manifestations such as political cabaret, dance, performance art, theater, social theatricalities, graffiti, photography, and film. During my Fellowship at the Verflechtungen von Theater Kulturen in Berlin (2011) I did a research on Contemporary Mexican Political Cabaret focusing on the diverse processes of interweaving of cultures. My experience at Berlin allowed me to better understand additional perspectives on the Performance Studies field. These include the German scholarly tradition and the viewpoints of so-called Third World scholars who have questioned the intercultural component in the origins of the Performance Studies field in the U.S., principally the fact that performative manifestations from cultures beyond the Anglo-European context are often times stripped of their specifichistorical conditions. (More information here).



Title Date
“Cultural Interweavings in Mexican Political Cabaret.” Politics of Interweaving Performance Cultures: Beyond Postcolonialism. Introduction by Erica Fischer-Lichte. Epilogue by Homi K. Bhabha. London: Routledge, 2014. 42-59. 2014
"La derrota insalvable de las ideas: Álvaro Mutis y Nicolás Gómez Dávila". Un dios olvidado mira crecer la hierba: Homenaje a Álvaro Mutis en sus 90 años. Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. 2013
"Absence and Pain in the work of Doris Salcedo and Rosemberg Sandoval". Ed. by Sarah M. Misemer. South Central Review 30.3 (2013): 5-20. 2013
“Hacia una imaginería legítima: una visión del cine colombiano a partir de la obra de Luis Ospina” Revista de Estudios Colombianos 41(2013) 54-60. 2013
Along with Paola Marin editor of Karpa 6: (2013): 2013



Ph.D Contemporary Mexican Theater 1997

Masters Latin American Art and Performance 1991

B.A. Contemporary Latin American Literature 1989

Studies of piano, flute and composicion Contemporary Music Composition 1979-1984

Research Fellow Contemporary Mexican Cabaret 2010-2011



Course Course Title Day & Time Room Quarter
SPAN 411-1 Spanish American Literature I TR 4:20 - 6:10 p.m. KH B 2012 Spring
SPAN 500-1 Academic Writing inSpanish Wed. 4:20 to 8 p.m. KH B 2011 Spring
SPAN 545-1 Spanish American Poetry TR 6:10 - 7:50 p.m. KH B 3010 Spring


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