Monmouth / Academics / Faculty Profile

Carina Olaru

Academic Biography:
My love of literature convinced me to change my undergraduate course of study from Psychology to English. Attending DePaul University, a Liberal Arts college, allowed me to explore various other disciplines and I was able to study Latin American and Latino Studies and live in Mexico for a year to complete a minor in Spanish. My interest in psychology allowed me to explore memory and trauma studies within post-dictatorial literature in graduate school. Again, I was afforded the opportunity to live abroad in Brazil to continue learning Portuguese. As a professor at Monmouth College, I enjoy the opportunity to connect with students and to serve as a resource for them. Being a first-generation college student, I understand the challenges of navigating the university system. I also enjoy collaborating with faculty and staff in and out of my department to improve curriculum, take students abroad, create projects across disciplines, participate in outreach for high school students and create events on campus.

Research Interests:
20th Century Post-dictatorial literature in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, Trauma, Memory, Gender Studies and Family, as well as Latino Studies.

Selected Research and/or Creative Work:
Olaru, Carina. “Consuming Death: Normalizing Ciudad Juarez’s Death Toll through American Fashion, Television and Gaming.” Death in American Culture Conference by the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association. November 2013.

Olaru, Carina. “Fictional Realities and Narrative Fetishisms in Albertina Carri’s Los rubios and Lucia Murat’s Que Bom te Ver Viva." Framing the 21st Century: A conference on Latin American and US Latino Film. October 2013.

Vásquez, Carina. “Queering Space in Hector Babenco’s Carandiru.” Latin American Studies Association Conference. May 2012.

Vásquez, Carina. “How Nice to See You Have Children: Trauma and Memory in Lúcia Morat’s Que Bom Te Ver Viva” A paper presented at the Midwest Modern Languages Association Conference. November 2010.

Vásquez, Carina. “La mirada delatora en ‘Above All a Family Man’ de Achy Obejas.” “Passing” Battles: Constructions of Race, Gender and Sexuality in Latin American and Latina Text at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference. April 2007.

Vásquez, Carina. “Images, Memory and Space in Post-Dictatorial Argentina.” Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. October 2005.

Courses Taught:
SPAN 101 Elementary Spanish I
SPAN 102 Elementary Spanish II
PORT 101 Elementary Portuguese
SPAN 220 Spanish for Heritage Speakers
SPAN 210 Spanish Conversation
INTG 218 GP: Can the Dead Speak?
SPAN 466 US Latino Literature
SPAN 324 Spanish American Literature
SPAN 245 Composition and Advanced Grammar
SPAN 336 Memory and History in Argentina

B.A. DePaul University 2002
M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2006

Contact Info:
Office: Rm 305C McMichael Academic