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Kristian Ayala

B.A., Northwestern University, 2014
M.A., University of Chicago, 2018
Kristian Ayala

I research and teach Chicanx literature, 20th-century American literature, and narrative theory. My dissertation is currently titled "The Groaning of Mission Bells: Hispanophilia and Mexican-American Literature." It identifies hispanophilia as a vogue beginning in the late 19th-century for exalting colonial Spain's influence in the North American frontier. This trend found privileged and lasting expression in genre fiction from 1900- 1950. By studying several of these genres, I elaborate a tradition central to Mexican-American literature that, rather than resisting it, strives to make sense and make use of hispanophilia. I argue not only that this literary lineage evinces strikingly ambivalent politics, but also that hispanophilic tendencies haunt the genre fictions of the Chicano Movement. 

At Stanford English I've taught a course on American picaresque novels and assisted courses on narrative theory and post-1865 American literature. With two colleagues I coordinate Generaciones, an interdepartmental reading group in Latinx studies. Outside of the classroom, I serve as a mentor for the Vice Provost of Graduate Education's EDGE program, an initiative designed to promote equity and inclusion. Before coming to Stanford, I taught high school in Chicago and New York City.