ProfileCarlos J. Alonso is the Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor in the Humanities. He came to the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia in fall 2005 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Edwin B. and Leonore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages. He specializes in 19th- and 20th-century Latin American intellectual history and cultural production, and in contemporary literary and cultural theory. He is the author of Modernity and Autochthony: The Spanish American Regional Novel (Cambridge UP), and The Burden of Modernity: The Rhetoric of Cultural Discourse in Spanish America (Oxford UP), and editor of Julio Cortázar: New Readings (Cambridge UP). He was also Editor of PMLA—arguably the premier journal of literary criticism and theory—during 2000-03, and edited the Hispanic Review in 2003-06, a period that ushered in changes that led to an award in 2005 for best journal design by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. While at Penn, Prof. Alonso was the recipient of a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the university's highest award for pedagogical excellence.
At Columbia he was chair of the department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures from 2005-10, and was Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society for four years. He has taught recently the required graduate seminar on "Literary and Cultural Theory" and the course "Theories of Culture in Latin America." Under his editorship the department's Revista Hispánica Moderna received the 2009 Council of Editors of Learned Journals Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement.
Prof. Alonso became Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in July 2011.