Fernando Varela, PhD
Fernando holds a PhD in Spanish and Portuguese and American Studies at Vanderbilt University. He immigrated to Florida from Paraguay with his immediate family at the age of 15. He is the first member of his family to go to college in the United States. As a firm believer that knowledge is a public good, he is committed to promoting the value of the humanities in and beyond academia. In addition to being supported by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, his research has also been recognized by the Ford Foundation and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt.
Research interests: Hemispheric studies and the Americas; environmental humanities and ecocriticism; museum studies and fossils/paleontology; visual culture and natural history; Latin American literature from the nineteenth-century to present.
Talks and Conferences
“Machado de Assis, Houses, and the Gaze: Between the Universal and the Local.” Hispania, vol. 103, no. 1, 2020, pp. 87-95. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/hpn.2020.0003
“Thomas Jefferson, Domingo Sarmiento, and the Baroque Wild Man.” Romance Notes, vol. 59, no. 2, 2019, pp. 383-93. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/rmc.2019.0034
“Vegetal Life and the Baroque in Alejo Carpentier’s The Lost Steps.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, 2019. [Published in Advance Articles] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/isle/isz116
“Anthropocentrism and Taxidermy in Santiago Nazarian’s Neve negra.” Journal of Lusophone Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, 2019, pp. 298-315. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21471/jls.v4i1.204
Panel organizer for “Animal Studies and Spanish and Portuguese.” Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention. January 7-10, 2021. Toronto, Canada.
“Vegetal Ontologies and the Baroque in Alejo Carpentier’s Los pasos perdidos.” Environmental Humanities in Spanish and Portuguese 2.0., sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention. January 7-10, 2021. Toronto, Canada.
“Machado de Assis, Houses, and the Gaze: Between the Universal and the Local.” American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) Conference. July 9-12, 2020. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Postponed due to COVID-19.
“Hunting in the Anthropocene, or Myxomatosis and Radioactivity in Carlos Saura’s La caza (The Hunt, 1966).” Carolina Conference for Romance Studies. March 26-28, 2020. Chapel Hill, NC. Postponed due to COVID-19.
“Queer Ecology in XXY and As boas maneiras.” Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association. November 14-17, 2019. San Diego, CA.
“Ecophobia in Santiago Nazarian’s Biofobia.” Da Abertura à Crise: Contemporary Brazilian Literature and Socio-Political Change Symposium. October 27-29, 2019. Nashville, TN.