Gabriela Bacsán

Assistant Professor of Spanish, Latin American, and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures

Department: Department of Spanish, Latin American and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures
Office Address: Balch 212
Office Phone: (909) 607-3359
Gabriela Bacsan

Academic History

  • Ph.D. - Literature, with a specialization in Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies, University of California, San Diego
  • M.A. - Latin American Literatures and Cultures, University of California, San Diego
  • B.A. - Spanish and Latin American Literatures & Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

Areas of Expertise

  • Professor Bacsán’s research centers on contemporary Latin American literatures and cultures with a focus on the intersections of sexuality, gender, and race. Her publications have examined authenticity in tourism promotion in Cuba, photography and childhood in Venezuelan film, and photography and memory in Chilean literature. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled, “Visualizing Queerness: Photography and Narrative in Latin America.” This timely project studies how photography’s intervention in the representation of intersectional queer subjectivities within literature and film produced since the 1990s sheds light on the complexities and specificities of the political and cultural constructions of social difference in distinct Latin American contexts. Dr. Bacsán’s approach of using photography as an analytic through which to study representations of sex and gender difference is novel and expands on the seminal work of scholars who argue that (in)visibility is central to understanding constructions and experiences of queerness in Latin America.

Selected Research and Publications

  • "Visualizing Queerness: Photography and Narrative in Latin America." Book manuscript in preparation.
  • “Reflections of Non-Normativity: Photography, Childhood, and Belonging in Mariana Rondón’s, Pelo malo.” Latin American Perspectives, vol. 48, no. 2, 2021, pp. 93–107,
  • “‘An Unrivalled Paradise’: The Production of Difference in the Cuban Ministry of Tourism’s Auténtica Cuba Campaign.” International Journal of Cuban Studies, vol. 11, no. 2, 2019, pp. 310–331,
  • “‘La foto no es buena’: Photography, the Resistant Look, and the Futurity of ‘homosexualidades latinoamericanas’ in Pedro Lemebel’s ‘La noche de los visones.’” Chasqui: Revista de Literatura Latinoamericana (01458973), vol. 48, no. 1, 2019, pp. 131–149.

Awards and Honors

  • The Arnold L. Graves and Lois S. Graves Awards in the Humanities. 2022-23.
  • Faculty Sabbatical Research Grant. Scripps College. 2020-21.
  • The Institute for Citizens & Scholars Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty (Previously known as the Woodrow Wilson Foundation). June–December 2019.
  • Faculty Sabbatical Research Grant. Scripps College. 2019-20.
  • Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching. Scripps College. 2018-19.

Courses Taught

  • Core 3 - Resilience and Resistance: Women of Color in the United States
  • Spanish 33 - Intermediate Spanish
  • Spanish 103 - Advanced Conversation and Composition
  • Spanish 116 - Beyond Neoliberal Imaginaries: Contemporary Representations of the City in Chile and Cuba
  • Spanish 131 - Queer Lives in Latin America
  • Spanish 154 - Trans-Caribbean Formations: Translating Identity, Race, and Gender in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico
  • Spanish 156 - From Macondo to McOndo: Revisiting the Latin American Short Story