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Meet the Faculty

Photo of Lila McDowell Carlsen

Lila McDowell Carlsen

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Associate Provost

Division: International Studies and Languages Division
Office: Pendleton Learning Center (PLC) 196
Phone: (310) 506-4215
E-mail: lila.carlsen@pepperdine.edu

  • Ph.D., Spanish, University of California, Riverside, 2008
  • M.A., Spanish, Baylor University, 2005
  • B.A., Spanish, Baylor University, 2003, summa cum laude, Honors with distinction


  • SPAN 151 Elementary Spanish I
  • SPAN 251 Second Year Spanish I
  • SPAN 252 Second Year Spanish II
  • SPAN 300 Hispanic Studies: Chilean Culture
  • SPAN 341 Advanced Grammar and Composition
  • SPAN 345 Spanish Phonetics and Conversation
  • SPAN 346 Basic Translation
  • SPAN 451 Spanish American Literature II
  • SPAN 453 Spanish Literature I
  • SPAN 461.01 Utopia in Contemporary Latin American Literature
  • SPAN 461.83 Literature of Buenos Aires
  • SPAN 461 Crime and Justice in the Southern Cone
  • SPAN 470 Capstone: Hispanic Studies Beyond Graduation

Key Awards/Affiliations:

  • Course Release for Research, Seaver College, 2016-2019
  • Seaver Research Council Grant 2015-2016
  • Sabbatical Leave for Research, Seaver College, Fall 2015
  • Community Based Research Grant, Hispanics and Financial Well-Being, with Luisa Blanco (PI), George Carlsen & Dan Morrison, Pepperdine University, 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, 2003
  • Modern Language Association
  • American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Latin American Studies Association
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  • Asociaciòn Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica

Academic Interests:

  • Gender Studies
  • Latin American Fiction of the 20th & 21st Centuries
  • Latin American Literature
  • Utopia and Dystopia

Selected Works:

  • 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.

Selected Links: