Alvaro Molina

Alvaro Molina

Visiting Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Department: Hispanic Studies

Office Address: Humanities 220

Office Phone: (909) 607-3818


Academic History

  • B.A. University of Dallas - Classics/Latin
  • M.A. New York University - Spanish
  • Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles - Spanish

Personal Interests

  • Early Modern Peninsular and Colonial Spanish Culture and Literature
  • Reception of Classical Antiquity during the Spanish Golden Age (Renaissance and Baroque periods)
  • Specialization in Cervantes and other Golden Age prose narrative, in particular the Picaresque genre.
  • Comparative Literature of the European Renaissance
  • Critical Theory, Transatlantic Studies, Violence Studies, Genre Studies
  • Contemporary Spanish Film, with a focus on the career of Pedro Almodóvar, Gender and Sexuality, Women studies.

Awards and Honors

  • 2012-13: Faculty Fellowship at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, UCLA.
  • 2012: Dr. Shirley L. Aurora Graduate Fellowship, UCLA.
  • 2003: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Scholarship at the University of Chicago: “Recapturing the Renaissance, Cervantes and Italian Art."
  • 1999-2000: Del Amo Scholarship to be Editor-in-Chief of the Graduate Student Journal Mester at UCLA.


I have two current book projects. My doctoral dissertation, entitled "Epic, Sacred and Picaresque: Violence and Genre in the Age of Cervantes" deals with selected texts from Cervantes and his classical and early modern sources. Building on a growing body of theory on violence, from René Girard to Lynn Hunt and Steven Pinker, I examine the ways in which violence intersects with specific literary genres, which in turn leads me to reconsider certain aspects of Cervantes’ narrative fiction, such as how it factors into a larger cultural shift characterized by the rise of empathy and the decline of violence.

Also in progress is "Celluloid Rapture: the Canonization of Pedro Almodóvar," where I analyze Spain’s most recent social, religious, political and cultural conflicts through the films of Pedro Almodóvar, focusing on the influence of the classics on his work, both cinema classics and those of Western literature, culture and the fine arts. This project grew out of a comparative study of the works of Cervantes and Almodóvar in their approach to female characters and gender issues.

Courses Taught