Professor Listing


Odile Cisneros, PhD

Associate Professor


Modern Languages and Cultural Studies

About Me

I was born and raised in Mexico and received my BA  (magna cum laude) with Departmental Honors in Philosophy and a Major in Mathematics from Wellesley College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, in 1991. From there I went on to live in Europe for several years, mainly Prague, where I taught languages and co-managed a trading company, and briefly in Italy and Portugal. In 1997 I moved to New York to pursue a PhD in Hispanic Literatures at New York University. I received my doctorate in 2003, with a thesis on the question of nationalism in the Mexican and Brazilian avant-garde movements. I was hired by the University of Alberta in 2003, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009.

Among my personal interests are cooking and capoeira (Brazilian martial arts).


My research areas and interests include:

  •  The Latin American historical avant-gardes
  • Modern and contemporary Brazilian poetry
  • Mexican literature
  • Comparative literature
  • Literary translation
  • Ecocriticism

My current research project, " An Online Resource on Environment & Poetry from Latin America," is funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.




     2003-2017: Undergraduate courses designed, redesigned, and/or taught at the U of A


    • SPAN 323: Latin American Literature and the Environment
    • SPAN 335: The Spanish Caribbean
    • SPAN 341: The “Roaring Twenties” in Transatlantic Perspective
    • SPAN 342: Urban Poetics: City and Modernity in the Spanish American Avant-gardes
    • SPAN 405: Exercises in Translation: Spanish into English
    • SPAN 406: Exercises in Translation: English into Spanish

    Latin American Studies:

    • LA ST 205: Intro to Latin American Studies: Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
    • LA ST 399: Performing Brazil: Introduction to Brazilian Culture through Performance
    • LA ST 412: From Modernism to Tropicalism: (Post)Modernity in Brazilian Culture
    • LA ST 499: Latin American Culture and the Environment

    Modern Languages & Cultural Studies:

    • MLCS 210: Introduction to Cultural Studies: Language(s) of Culture

        Comparative Literature:

          • C LIT 243: Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
          • C LIT 497: Fundamentals of Comparative Literature
          • C LIT 497: World Literature and the Environment: From Pastoral to Ecoambiguity

          Honors Students Mentored:

          • 2014-15: Jinglong Tan
          • 2016: Jobey Willis and Artemis Aliaj

          Undergraduate Research Initiative (UARE) International Interns Hosted:

          • Helena Cury Cunha, U Campinas, Brazil, Summer 2012, Anthology of Canadian Poetry
          • Julia Martins, UFRJ, Brazil, Summer 2013, Environmental Poetry Project
          • Maria Fernanda Mosquera, U del Rosario, Colombia, Winter 2017,
          • Bruno Soares, UFRJ, Brazil, Winter 2017, 

          Community Service Learning:

          Since 2012, I have incorporated community service-learning (CSL) into my translation courses, SPAN 405 and SPAN 406. In the CSL component, students do projects translating documents for community partners in and receive real life work experience while also earning academic credit. 

          Education-Abroad Teaching:

          In May 2014 and May 2015 I participated as instructor in the University of Alberta’s newly launched e3 in Brazil program. On site in Curitiba, Brazil, I taught the course “LA ST 399: Performing Brazil,” an interdisciplinary introduction to Brazilian culture through the lens of performance. In addition to in-class lectures, discussions, films, and presentations, the course included an experiential learning component in the form of visits to sites and attendance at cultural events. Below is a summary of those experiential learning opportunities:

          Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, 2014

          11 Students

          • Visit to an Afro-Brazilian Umbanda temple
          • Attendance at outdoor Maracatu drumming event
          • Attendance and participation in Capoeira martial arts class
          • Attendance at Samba do Compositor—Samba circle
          • Attendance and participation in samba dance lesson 
          • Attendance at choro music performance


          Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, 2014

          • Visit to an Afro-Brazilian Umbanda temple
          • Attendance at local soccer match
          • Attendance at Capoeira & Maracatu martial arts, dance & drumming event at historic Afro-Brazilian worker’s club
          • Attendance and participation in Capoeira martial arts class
          • Attendance at Samba do Compositor—Samba circle

          Learning Technologies Use and Training:

          •  I use a multimedia approach to teaching, involving audiovisual resources as well as many online learning components, managed through eClass/Moodle. Among other innovations, I introduced online screencasts of my lectures in LA ST 205 in Fall 2015.
          • Currently I’m working with Arts Pedagogy Research and Innovation Laboratory (APRIL) to implement more online learning strategies.
          • In summer 2016, I attended a CTL Workshop, "What's the Best Way to Grade Participation?" and introduced student self-assessments in my fall 2016 classes.
          • In summer 2014 I attended the three-session CTL course “Back to Basics Before You Flip: Course Design for F2F and Online Environments.”
          • In spring 2006 I attended a 2-day writing workshop led by Toby Fulweiler on writing across the curriculum.

          Extra-curricular teaching events organized:

          In April 2016 and September 2016 I organized two cooking demos for Spanish and Latin American students where we taught students how to prepare simple Hispanic dishes and discussed their cultural origins.


          • “Can Literature Save the Planet? Lessons from Latin America.” Foreign Language Teaching and the Environment: Theory, Curricula, Institutional Structures. Ed. Charlotte Melin. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2017. (forthcoming)
          • Ann De León and I authored the paper “The Allure of the Real: Teaching Translation through CSL” presented at: Meeting of the Association of Canadian Hispanists of the Atlantic Provinces, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, October 18, 2014.
          •  International Translation Day Conference, University of Alberta, September 30, 2013.


          University Service:

          • 2015-2018: Appointed Academic Director of the Certificate for International Learning, a University-wide initiative administered by U of A’s Global Education.
          • 2013: Participated in Guadalajara self-funded trip with members of the Faculty of Engineering to develop student exchange opportunities with Tec de Monterrrey and Universidad de Guadalajara.
          • 2011-2012: Member of the Brazil Regional Council, new council intended to expand and strengthen the U of A’s relationship with Brazil and Brazilian educational institutions. 

          Faculty Service:

          • 2012-2018: Member of the Academic Affairs Committee: Committee is responsible for the assessment of new program and curriculum proposals, including examining the structure and the relationship of a new proposal to existing programs.
          • 2012 BA Review Working Group: Global Connections for the 21st Century. Contributed ideas to the Faculty of Arts BA Review with members of working group.

          Department Service:

          • 2014-present; 2006-2009: Undergraduate Advisor for Spanish and Latin American Studies; Program has over 1200 enrolments and circa 70 majors per 4-year cycle. esponsible for advising students regarding course placement, course & program requirements, study-abroad credit issues, and evaluation of credit transfer proposals.
          • 2012-present: Undergraduate Coordinator for Program in Comparative Literature. 
          • 2012-2014: Spanish and Latin American Studies Area Coordinator and Member of Chair’s Advisory Committee
          • 2008-2009: Teaching Awards Committee member: Attended meetings and prepared the nomination package for the Spanish Graduate Teaching Award (Karla del Carpio, successful), and with Peter Rolland prepared other nomination packages.
          • 2007-2010: Organized and coordinated creation of Spanish Section website with graduate assistant. Collected information, designed main page structure, performed updates.


          • Recipient of a 2016 Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Teaching Award
          • Nominated for a 2017 Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching