News News: Hispanic Studies

Interview with Rebeca Pineda Burgos, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Dr. Rebeca Pineda Burgos was hired as an Visiting Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies in the Fall of 2021. We recently had some time to catch up with Dr. Pineda Burgos to find out about her work and her experiences in Williamsburg.

What are you teaching this year?

In the fall, I taught Combined Beginning Spanish and Topics in Advanced Spanish Composition and Grammar. In the Spring, I’ll be teaching Advanced Spanish Composition and Grammar y Culturas de in(ex)clusión en el mundo hispánico.

Tell us more about your research and what are you working on right now.

My research focuses on how contemporary cultural objects such as novels, film and visual art can be used to understand sociopolitical reality. My dissertation focused on how these objects reflected, interpreted and contested chavismo and Venezuelan sociopolitics. One of the most interesting things about this work is how cultural productions can not only reflect or contest realities, but produce new narratives and ways of being that are not pushed as part of dominant politico-ideological discourses in a place.

Right now I’m preparing conference presentations and proposals. As I move forward in my work, I find myself drawn to contemporary philosophy and ethics, and how phenomenological experience creates contested readings of ideologized traditions of believing and knowing.

What would be your dream class to teach and why?

A dream course would be one based on my research where I can develop an exploration of philosophical narratives through contemporary cultural artefacts. The class would be a practice and exploration of how to use cultural productions to “read” these narratives through the artefacts, including film and plastic arts.

Finally: How have your first few months at William & Mary been?

Great! It’s a big change from New York City, and especially New York under COVID. What stood out first was the community of colleagues in the Hispanic Studies Program and in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department. They have been so welcoming and “warm” is the word that comes most to mind. Also the students. They are super engaged, intelligent and interested. For many of my students this semester, this was their first experience taking a face to face university class (due to COVID), and they were nervous. In some ways, we were in a similar situation, since I was new at W&M this semester too. (these were my first classes at W&M too). There were other new colleagues in the program with me this semester, and having other colleagues who are new here too has helped us to become fast friends.