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Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


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Mercedes Lopez Rodriguez

Title: Associate Professor of Spanish & Comparative Literature
Department: Languages, Literatures and Cultures
College of Arts and Sciences
Email: lopezrod@mailbox.sc.edu
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Mercedes Lopez Rodriguez

Dr. Mercedes Lopez Rodriguez joined the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures as Assistant Professor of Colonial Spanish American Literature in 2013. Originally from Colombia, where she studied Anthropology, Mercedes holds a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies from Georgetown University. Her research focus stems from a long interest in the representation of difference and the emergence of new cultural practices amidst contexts of conflict in Latin America, with a specific interest in the Andean region. Her scholarly research lies at the intersection of literary studies, ethnography, history, and art history, combining textual analysis and anthropological methods and theory.

This interdisciplinary approach has marked her work with an emphasis on the historical depth of racialized representations of Andean peasants in literary and legal texts. She is the author of two books, Blancura y otras ficciones raciales en los Andes colombianos del siglo XIX (Whiteness and Other Racial Fictions in the Nineteenth-Century Colombian Andes, Iberoamericana Veuvert, 2019), and Tiempos para rezar y tiempos para trabajar (ICANH 2001). These works examine how racial categories have been textually constructed, suggesting that the production of social difference through texts is an essential problem for both Andean and literary studies. By examining the interwoven dynamics of social and cultural life expressed in literature and visual arts, her publications contribute to the ongoing study of cultural difference in Latin America.

She is now working on a new book titled Sensing and Feeling the Other: Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, and Touching Emotions in Colombia 1850-1970. She is also currently working on a new research project that combines her experience in cultural anthropology with her formation in Latin American literary and cultural studies. This project focuses on the stories of Colombian immigrants living in South Carolina, exploring the impact of the last five decades of the internal conflict on the lives of those who fled the violence in their country.

Dr. Lopez Rodriguez is also the recipient of the 2019-2022 McCausland Faculty Fellowship.