Lila McDowell Carlsen
Dr. Carlsen teaches Latin American literature and culture. Her research explores contemporary Chilean and Mexican narrative in response to social and political upheaval. She has published peer-reviewed articles on major authors including Isabel Allende, Antonio Skármeta, Diamela Eltit, Roberto Bolaño, Cristina Rivera Garza, and Ramón Díaz Eterovic. Dr. Carlsen directs undergraduate research and includes community-based learning in her courses.
- PhD, Spanish, University of California, Riverside, 2008
- MA, Spanish, Baylor University, 2005
- BA, Spanish, Baylor University, 2003, summa cum laude, Honors with distinction
- Carlsen, Lila McDowell. “Suspended Utopia: The 1988 Chilean Plebiscite in Antonio Skármeta’s Los días del arcoíris.” Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, University of Puerto Rico 9.2 (2023).
- Carlsen, Lila McDowell. Book Review of “De Castro, Juan E. Writing Revolution: From Martí to García Márquez to Bolaño. Vanderbilt University Press, 2019. 272 pp.” Transmodernity Volume 10, Issue 1, Fall 2022.
- Carlsen, Lila McDowell. “Isabel Allende, the Chilean Post-Boom, and Exile Literature,” The Cambridge History of Chilean Literature. Ed. Ignacio López Calvo. Cambridge University Press. 2021.
- Carlsen, Lila McDowell. “Identity and Poetic Memory in Lina Meruane's Volverse Palestina.” Historical and Cultural Interconnections Between Latin America and Asia. Eds. Gorica Majstorovic and Axel Gasquet. Palgrave. 2020.
- Carlsen, Lila McDowell. "The House of the Japanese Spirits: Orientalism and Magical Realism in Isabel Allende's El amante japonès." Transmodernity (Spring 2018). https://escholarship.org/uc/item/36x200qv
- Blanco, Luisa, Lila Carlsen, Dan Morrison, George Carlsen, Ashley Chaparro, and Eric Molina. "Precious Paradise: The Financial Well-being of Hispanic Immigrant Day Laborers in Malibu." Latinos in the 21st Century: Their Voices and Lived Experiences. Eds. Inigo Álvarez & Ada Vargas. NY: Nova Publishers, 2018.
- Carlsen, Lila McDowell. "Inhospitable Text: Critical Dystopia in Los vigilantes by Diamela Eltit" Letras Femeninas 50.2 (Winter 2014).
- Carlsen, Lila McDowell. "Absurdity and Utopia in Roberto Bolaño's Estrella distante and 'Sensini.'" Confluencia: Revista Hispánica de Cultura y Literatura 30.1 (Fall 2014): 138-151.
- Carlsen, Lila McDowell. "Utopia, Archive, and Anarchy in Los siete hijos de Simenon by Ramòn Díaz Eterovic." Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature 35.2 (Summer 2011).
- Carlsen, Lila McDowell. "'Te conozco de cuando eras árbol': Gender, Utopianism, and the Border in Cristina Rivera Garza's La cresta de Iliòn." Symposium: Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures 64.4 (Winter 2010): 229-242.
- McDowell, Lila Cole. The Utopian Impulse in Chilean and Mexican Novels, 1990-2005, University of California, Riverside, 2008, Ph.D. dissertation directed by Raymond Leslie Williams.
- EAB Higher Education Leaders Fellow, Founding Cohort Member, 2020-2021
- Course Release for Research, Seaver College, 2016-2019
- Sabbatical Leave for Research, Seaver College, Fall 2015
- Seaver Fellow in International Studies and Languages, 2012-2013
- Dissertation Year Fellowship, University of California, Riverside, 2008
- Hispanic Studies Research Scholarship, University of California, Riverside, 2008
- Distinguished Chancellor's Fellowship, University of California Riverside, 2005-2008
- Outstanding Teaching Assistant in Spanish, University of California, Riverside, 2007
- Baylor President's Fellowship, 2003-2005
- Phi Beta Kappa Award for Research, Baylor University, 2003
- Outstanding Graduate of Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences, 2003
- “Palestine in Pieces: Palestinian Migration to Chile and the Mahjar Literary Movement,” Conference on East-West Cross-Cultural Relations, University of Verona, Italy, June 15-16, 2023.
- “Chilean-Palestinian Decolonialist Discourse in La llave by Esperanza Marzouka” East-West Intercultural Relations Conference, University of Oslo, Norway, June 7-8, 2022.
- “Strategic Academic Change: Planning with Purpose” EAB Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship. Mar. 12, 2021.
- "Cultivating Spanish Language and Cultural Acquisition through the Google Ecosystem." American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Salamanca, Spain, June 22-26, 2018.
- "Identity and Poetic Memory in Lina Meruane's Volverse Palestina." East-West Intercultural Relations Conference, University of Zagreb, Croatia, May 11-13, 2018.
- "The House of the Japanese Spirits: Orientalism and Magical Realism in Isabel Allende's El amante japonés." East-West Intercultural Relations Conference, Seoul National University, Korea, May 12-13, 2017.
- "Democracy and Dictatorship in Los días del arcoíris by Antonio Skármeta." American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Chicago, July 6-8, 2017.
- "From Apathy to Engagement: The 1988 Chilean Plebiscite in No by Pablo Larraín." Southern California Meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, LMU, Nov. 12, 2016.
- "Global Competence Through High-Impact Practices in the World Language Classroom" with Kelle Keating Marshall and Fiona Stewart, ACTFL, San Diego, CA, Nov. 2015.
- "Undergraduate Research in Spanish as a High-Impact Practice: Challenges and Opportunities." Southern California Meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, USC, Oct. 25, 2014.
- "The Recuperation of Collective Memory and the Struggle for Justice in El diario de Agustín." American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Panama City, Panama, July 8-11, 2014.
- "Assessment Fundamentals for Enhanced Student Learning in the Spanish Program." American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. San Antonio, TX, July 10, 2013.
- "Borderline Gender and Utopia in the Fiction of Cristina Rivera Garza." Latin American Studies Association. Washington, D.C., May 29, 2013.
- "Linking Pedagogy, Curriculum, and Assessment in the Four-Year College and University Spanish Program." Southern California Meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Pitzer College, April 14, 2012.
- "New Directions in Chilean Detective Fiction: Transnational Tendencies in the Novels of Marcela Serrano, Ramón Díaz Eterovic, and Roberto Bolaño." New Directions in the Humanities Conference. Granada, Spain, June 8-10, 2011.
- "Ekphrasis and the Absurd in Roberto Bolaño's Estrella distante." Southern California Meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Occidental College, Oct. 30, 2010.
- "Absurd Star: Roberto Bolaño's Fiction and Contemporary Latin American Literature." Session Chair. Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies. Pepperdine University, Nov. 5-6, 2010.
- "Memory and Post-Memory as Moral Demands in El desierto by Carlos Franz." American Association of Teacher of Spanish and Portuguese. Guadalajara, Mexico, July 10-13, 2010.
- "Utopia in Roberto Bolaño's Fiction: A Search for Justice?" Special Session: Roberto Bolaño. Kentucky Foreign Language Conference. Lexington, KY, April 15, 2010.
- "Anarchist Utopia and the Archive in Los siete hijos de Simenon by Ramón Díaz Eterovic." Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, KY, April 17, 2009.
- Seaver Research Council Grant 2015-2016
- Community Based Research Grant, Hispanics and Financial Well-Being, with Luisa Blanco (PI), George Carlsen & Dan Morrison, Pepperdine University, 2015
- Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative (AYURI), 2010, 2011, 2014
- Service Learning Grant 2012, 2014, 2015
Areas of Expertise
- Latin American Literature and Culture
- Democracy and Dictatorship in Latin America
- Chilean Literature, Culture, and History
- Gender Studies
- Latin American Fiction of the 20th & 21st Centuries
- Latin American Literature
- Utopia and Dystopia
- SPAN 300 Hispanic Studies: Chilean Culture
- SPAN 341 Advanced Grammar and Composition
- SPAN 440 Latin American Texts
- SPAN 461 Seminar: Utopia in Contemporary Latin American Literature
- SPAN 461 Seminar: Literature of Buenos Aires
- SPAN 461 Seminar: Crime and Justice in the Southern Cone
- SPAN 470 Capstone: Hispanic Studies Beyond Graduation