Beatriz Urraca, PhD
- Chair, Modern Languages
- Professor of Spanish
- Gender & Sexuality
- Arts & Culture
- PhD, Comparative Literature (1993)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MI)
- MA, Comparative Literature (1987)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MI)
Love of learning is the most important aspect of the teaching process, for learning cannot be forced; it needs to come from within. I view the teaching of a foreign language, culture, and literature as an activity where the ultimate goal is to facilitate the acquisition of a set of lifelong learning skills that will enrich the students' personal and professional lives. Thus learning, much like teaching itself, must be constantly renewed inside and outside the classroom.
In orienting the students to the discipline, I see myself as a facilitator, providing them with tools and strategies that prepare them to function effectively in a global society through the development of communicative strategies, critical thinking, and the appreciation of diversity. My passion is organizing faculty-led trips to Latin America. These trips provide opportunities to experience other cultures, practice language skills in a real-world setting, and interact with people different from your own. They open up your horizons, enhance your intercultural communication skills, and make you a global citizen. Alumni of these trips all agree that the experiences were truly transformative.
I am trained in comparative literature and specialize in Argentine cinema produced since the late 1990s. I am particularly interested in representations of social justice, gender issues, sustainability, and the environmental humanities. I have also published pieces related to global education. I organize transdisciplinary symposia in Latin America that bring together faculty from a variety of fields to make connections with one another and work around themes of sustainability.
- Latin American literature
- Latin American culture
- Spanish language
- Cinema; Spain and Latin America
- “Women, Hybridity, and Genre in the Films of Verónica Chen,” in Mirna Vohnsen and Daniel Mourenza, eds., Contemporary Argentine Women Filmmakers. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2023
- “Café y Coronavirus: Una realidad en transición,”con Stephen R. Madigosky. Revista Científica Monfragüe Desarrollo Resiliente. Special Issue Reflexiones sobre el coronavirus y sus impactos. (2020): 175-181. https://www.eweb.unex.es/eweb/monfragueresilente/Monografico%20Covid%2019.pdf
- Urraca, Beatriz, and Gary M. Kramer, eds. Directory of World Cinema: Argentina. Bristol: Intellect, Limited, 2014. Print.
- Urraca, Beatriz. "Rituals of Performance: Ricardo Daran as Father Julian in Elefante blanco." Revista de Estudios Hispanicos 48.2 (2014): 353–372. Web.
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
- Latin American Studies Association (LASA)
- Asociación Argentina de Estudios de Cine y Audiovisual (AsAECA)
- Fitz Dixon Award for Excellence in Teaching (2019)
In the Media
- Widener Students Visit New York City for Urban Excursions Trip
Widener faculty recently took 20 students to New York City as part of the urban excursions grant program, which allows faculty to take students on daylong trips to a metropolitan area to allow for deeper engagement and hands-on experiences as they relate to course material.
Led by YuFeng Mao, associate professor of history, Beatriz Urraca, chair of modern languages, and Stephen Madigosky, chair of environmental science and sustainability, students visited popular New York City stops such as the Natural History Museum, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Times Square, and Koreatown. The trip also coincided with the date of the 2023 New York City Marathon, where students were able to watch and cheer on runners.
In addition to experiencing the iconic New York sites, students were also exposed to the diverse culinary culture of the city by trying Latin American food, Dim Sum, and Korean shaved ice and coffee.
- Spanish and Communications Student Receives Janice Bond Memorial Award for Graduating Senior
By: Riya Sembhi '25 secondary education, English
Zora DeSeignora ’23, a double major in Spanish and Communications, has been awarded the Janice Bond Memorial Plaque and Award for Graduating Seniors from the Pan American Association of Philadelphia. She is the first student from Widener to receive this award, which is given to graduating seniors of local colleges and universities for excellence in courses related to Latin America during their four years.
The award was presented at the 2023 Pan American Day Celebration & Scholarship Luncheon at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Joining Zora at the event was her father, John, and Professor of Spanish Beatriz Urraca. The luncheon provided networking opportunities for students present, as well as a keynote address from Ramón Eduardo Martínez de la Guardia, Ambassador of Panama to the United States.