Dr. Joaquin Maldonado-Class
Professor of Spanish
Fulbright in Uruguay
B.A. and M.A., Universidad Central de Bayamón
Ph.D., Universidad de Puerto Rico
After 14 years teaching Spanish at the high school and college levels in his homeland of Puerto Rico, Dr. Maldonado-Class arrived at Truman State in August of 2000. Since his arrival, he has taught a wide variety of courses in Spanish language and Spanish-American literature at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as culture. He has also directed more than 20 capstone research projects on Latin American culture and literature topics. In addition, he has collaborated in the creation of the Spanish Minor for the Professions along with several other courses, such as Spanish for the Medical Professions (Span 367), US Latino Culture in Historical Context (Span 360), and Advanced Spanish Conversation through Culture (Span 440).
Along with his teaching, Professor Maldonado-Class has developed an extensive research agenda. In 2008, he published his book El intelectual y el sujeto testimonial en la literatura latinoamericana (The Intellectual and Testimonial Subject in Latin American Literature), which analyzes the relationship established between intellectual and subaltern groups in the production process of testimonial literature. In the first chapters, he examines how this relationship is presented from the Colonial Era to the creation of the testimonial literature genre in the 20th century. To do this, he focuses on the study of three of the main testimonial works: Carolina Maria de Jesus' Child of the Dark, the Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus, Moema Viezzer’s Let Me Speak! Testimony of Domitila, a Woman of the Bolivian Mines, and Elizabeth Burgos Debray’ I Rigoberta Menchu: an Indian Woman in Guatemala. This is a meticulous and thorough research endeavor with a historical-literary contextualization of the testimonial components--which had not previously been done consistently and which represents a valuable and original contribution to the field of testimonial literature in general. The focus on the intellectual gives coherence to the study and offers a natural framework for the treatment of the diverse periods, themes, and countries.
During the past few years, Dr. Maldonado-Class has focused his academic research on the intimate connection between culture, history, memory and fiction in the novels by Spanish-American women authors published from 1960 to the present. Consequently, he has presented his works at national and international conferences held in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Uruguay. On the other hand, he has also published a variegated selection of articles on this very subject and is presently working on the manuscript for his next book. The purpose of this book is to evaluate the way in which some Hispanic American women writers use history, memory and fiction in their historical narratives to master a voice and a message. Consequently, his research is focused on the examination of six essential issues: 1) the historical context that gave way to the publication of a large number of historical narratives during the last 40 years; 2) the way that history has been perceived and the influence of “memory” in this conception; 3) the relationship between history, memory, and fiction in women’s historical narratives; 4) the different historical moments and characters recreated; 5) the balance between historical facts and fiction; and 6) the different purposes and strategies used by these authors.
Professor Maldonado-Class also enjoys sharing his passion for teaching and research with his students and colleagues. For this reason, he has organized several panels with his students to participate in different conferences and has served as a mentor to a number of new Spanish professors in the discipline. His academic research achievements have been recognized many times, and he’s been the recipient of more than five grants; furthermore, he has been nominated for his excellence in teaching as Truman Professor of the Year and received the Golden Apple Award – Order of Omega (Truman State University) in 2008.