Isabel Balseiro

Alexander and Adelaide Hixon Professor of Humanities
Professor of Comparative Literature

AB 1985, Barnard College
PhD 1992, New York University

Isabel Balseiro specializes in African and Latin American literatures, cinema from the Global South, postcolonial studies, translation theory, and interdisciplinary approaches to literary culture. She is the editor of Running towards Us: New Writing from South Africa (Heinmann, 2000), which focuses on post-apartheid literary discourse and grapples with the “new” South Africa as reflected in poetry and fiction preoccupied with history, language, and memory. With Ntongela Masilela she co-edited To Change Reels: Film and Film Culture in South Africa (Wayne State UP, 2003), an inquiry into the history of South African film and its future–one that focuses on the country’s cinematic production while squarely facing questions of race. And with Tobias Hecht she co-edited South Africa: A Traveler’s Literary Companion (Whereabouts Press, 2009).  In Poesía descalza (Valparaíso Ediciones, 2020), Balseiro recovers the oeuvre of twentieth-century poet María Acuña. A visiting research associate at the University of Cambridge, the Federal University of Pernambuco, and the University of Cape Town, she is the recipient of fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Irvine Foundation, among others.

Courses Taught

(Please refer to HSA Departmental Courses for this semester’s courses.)

  • AMST120 HM – Hyphenated Americans
  • MS172 HM – Third Cinema
  • MS173 HM – Exile in Cinema
  • LIT144 HM – Poe Goes South: The Fantastic Short Story in Latin America
  • LIT145 HM – Third-World Women Writers
  • LIT146 HM – Twentieth-Century South African Literature
  • LIT147 HM – Writers From Africa and the Caribbean
  • LIT155 HM – Post-Apartheid Narratives
  • LIT156 HM – Translation; or, the Foreignness of Language
  • LIT158 HM – Zora Neale Hurston: Theories of Race, Gender, and Art