Jacqueline Nanfito

Associate Professor of Spanish


Guilford House 308

Jacqueline Nanfito is an Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Case Western Reserve University; where she teaches courses in Latin American literature and culture, in addition to courses in the interdisciplinary programs of Ethnic Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies.  She is the author of several articles in Latin American literary journals, and has published several books on Latin American women writers:  Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, El sueño: Cartographies of Knowledge and the SelfGabriela Mistral: On Women, a compilation and Jacqueline’s translation of selected prose writings by the Nobel Prize Poet, Gabriela Mistral, specifically those recados which focus on women and feminist themes, with a critical introduction co-authored by Marjorie Agosín; and most recently, Jacqueline’s translation of the short stories by Chilean author, Pía Barros, Marks Beneath the Skin, which has been met with critical acclaim throughout the Southern Cone. 

Among her most recent publications:  the translation of an anthology of short short fiction (microfiction, minifiction) by Chilean female authors denouncing violence towards women, edited by the prize-winning Chilean author, Pía Barros; her translation of the novel, Condemned Spaces, by the contemporary Chilean woman writer, Susana Sanchez; and the translation of 70 poems by the Chilean author and human rights activist, Marjorie Agosín, which deal with the Sephardic Jews from the south of Spain who settled in the Greek islands, only to be deported by the Nazis.

Currently Jacqueline is focusing her scholarly work on the Transpacific connection between Latin America and Australia, a field that has been overlooked until recently, as most critics have explored the Transatlantic connection (Spain and Latin America) or the Transpacific connection between Latin America and the Phillipines.  She is forging new terrain by interviewing and translating the works of exiled Southern Cone writers (those from Chile, Argentina and Uruguay).  The award winning Uruguyan writer exiled in Sydney, Michael Gamarra, has asked Jacqueline to translated his prose texts—novel and short stories—from Spanish into English.  She interviewed him while in Australia in April (2012) to present a paper at the international symposium hosted by CRITIC (Colloquium for Research in Text, Identity and Culture) at the University of Wollongong, “In All Languages:  Translingual Cultural Production.

While in Australia Jacqueline met with and interviewed exiled women writers from the Southern Cone, whose works have been marginalized given that they are written in Spanish.   She is now focusing on the experiences of these women in Australia, which has been defined by continuous negotiation between patriarchal values brought over from home (Latin America) and those prevailing in the host society (Australia), including the appropriateness of women’s place in the world of literature and the arts.  She is also exploring the influence of nationalist self-definitions of the host country on the experience of these women, which has had a profound impact on the role of women as they attempt to integrate into the new environment.

Jacqueline is also in the process of co-editing an edition of the BASTA (Enough!) series, which originated in Chile.  The editor of the Chilean feminist press, Asterion (founded during the harsh dictatorship of the Pinochet regime in the 70’s and 80’s), Pia Barros, compiled one hundred “microcuentos” (short short stories) by Chilean women writers to protest violence towards women.  Argentina and Peru followed suit and created their own versions of the BASTA! Series.  Jacqueline is co-editor of a BASTA! series written by Latina women writers in the US protesting violence towards women; Dr. Emma Sepúveda –Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and founder/director of the Latino Research Center at the University—is the co-editor.

While at Case, Jacqueline has organized not only a number of talks by scholars in her field, but also several art exhibits on campus:  two exhibits in the former Mather Gallery, one of the arpilleras (tapestries stitched clandestinely by Chilean women to protest the violence under the Pinochet dictatorship) in 1997; another one in 2002 featuring the costumes and headpieces created by the Cuban artist, Zaida del Rio, who was the featured guest artist at Cleveland Musuem of Art’s PARADE THE CIRCLE that year.  She has organized two exhibits in MSASS, one of the black and white photos of the Afro-Colombian people of the El Chocó region by the photographer, Steve Cagan, and another of the arpilleras, in collaboration with the College Honors Program.  A most recent exhibit organized by Jacqueline was in the Art Gallery of CSU in 2010, featuring the dramatic artwork (paintings and sculpted stones) of the Chilean artist, Angelica Besnier, whose works were inspired by her experiences with the indigenous shaman in the north and south of Chile.  Jacqueline was extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to collaborate with her colleagues at this neighboring institution.

With funding for a proposal for the Women’s and Gender Studies program (co-authored with her colleague from DMLL, Ethnic Studies and WGST, Cheryl Toman) on social justice and creativity, in 2005 Jacqueline orchestrated three significant events, entitled UNO, DOS y TRES.  The first of the events was an exhibit of photography of Latin American portraits by the photographer, Steve Cagan, in University Hospital’s Humprey Atrium Gallery.  The second was the performance in Severance’s Rienberger Hall of the dramatic work, YO SOY MINERVA (I AM MINERVA), written by the Dominican historian, Mu-Ken Sang Ben, about the life of Minerva Mirabal, one of three sisters who were assassinated because they defied the dictatorship of the Trujillo (it is because of their death that the annual Day Against Violence Towards Women was founded); the famous Dominican actress, Edilí, performed the role of Minerva in this moving work, which was followed by a question and answer program with the audience.  The third event was the performance of AMIGAS in Strosaker, based on 30 years of correspondence between the two Chilean writers and human rights activists, Emma Sepulveda and Marjorie Agosin.  Jacqueline’s colleague, Gilbert Doho directed the work, and two of her students played the roles of Marjorie and Emma, who were both in attendance!

Jacqueline has served on numerous committees on all levels of the University, including PAC-M (President’s Advisory Committee on Minorities) and FSCMA (Faculty Senate Committee on Minority Affairs).  She is committed to social justice and service, and has served as Faculty Advisor to the Latino/a student organization, La Alianza, for the past 16 years (since her arrival to Case).  In the 17 years that Jacqueline has taught at Case, she has been nominated 12 times for the Wittke Award (Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching) and several times for the Jackson Award (for mentoring).