Gastón Alzate, Ph.D ____________________________________________________________________ Department of Modern Languages & Literatures

2nd Annual Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities-Sacramento State
Spanish Masters Students and prof. G. Alzate at the 2nd Annual Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities-Sacramento State University, Oct 28 2016.
Office Location: KH King Hall A-3031
Phone: 323-343-2267 Email:

Member of CAL STATE LA Golden Eagle Mariachi Band

Office Hours: King Hall A 3031 

(FALL 2016)


2:57 – 4:27 p.m. 


2:57 – 4:27 p.m. 



I am from Cali (Valle del Cauca), Colombia. Currently I am Full Professor of Spanish where I teach Latin American Theater, Performance Art and Literature. During 2011 I was Research Fellow of the Verflechtungen von Theater Kulturen (Interweaving Performance Cultures). Freie Universität, Berlin. Previously, I was Director of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies (LALACS) at Gustavus Adolphus College (1999-2006). I also served as advisor for the Independent Study group in Cuba, SPAN, University of Minnesota (1999-2000). I worked as Research Associate with David William Foster (1996-1997), and as Teaching Associate at Arizona State University (1994-1996). In 1993 I won the National Essay Award with my book Un aspecto desesperanzado de la lietratura, a comparative study of the work of Sophocles, F. Hölderlin and Álvaro Mutis (Colombian Ministery of Culture). In 1987 I won the Alejo Carpentier National Short Story Award with "Luisa Fernanda" (Universidad Central, Bogotá). Since 2009 I am member of the CSULA Mariachi Band Aguila de Oro (Golden Eagle). 

                                                                Mariachi Homeless. Kairós. N. Buenaventura

            In July 2016 I played the role of a "homeless" Mariachi in the film Kairos: el momento oportuno directed by Nicolás Buenaventura


For the last years, at California State University, Los Angeles, I have taught Theater Production in Spanish (Teatro en español), and developed several collaborative projects involving the Music and Theater Departments (see Mariachi Quixote). I have also taught undergraduate and MA courses on Contemporary Latin American Theater and Literature, graduate seminars on Latino and Latin American Performance Art, and on Mexican Popular Cultures from the point of view of theater and performance studies.  I am fortunate in that my academic life has given me the opportunity to balance both teaching and research in my field. At Cal State I love having the opportunity to work with a diverse student population. I try to create a comfortable and humorous atmosphere that promotes communication between cultures, while at the same time promoting a high level of learning. 


My central line of research and publication has been Mexican and Colombian literature with a focus on theater and performance art. My research has generally focused on the connections between Western tradition and Latin American culture, particularly the need to re-accommodate theoretical frameworks originating in Europe and the US when studying Latin American and US Latino productions. 

With the collaboration of Dr. Paola Marín, I founded the academic electronic journal Karpa in 2009, devoted to theatrical dissidences, visual arts, and culture. It publishes articles in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. The journal is a peer-reviewed publication indexed by the MLA International Bibliography, which encompasses Latin American and Iberian performing and visual culture manifestations such as political cabaret, dance, performance art, theater, social theatricalities, graffiti, photography, and film.

During my Fellowship at the Verflechtungen von Theater Kulturen in Berlin (2011) I did a research on Contemporary Mexican Political Cabaret focusing on the diverse processes of interweaving of cultures. My experience at Berlin allowed me to better understand additional perspectives on the Performance Studies field. These include the German scholarly tradition and the viewpoints of so-called Third World scholars who have questioned the intercultural component in the origins of the Performance Studies field in the U.S., principally the fact that performative manifestations from cultures beyond the Anglo-European context are often times stripped of their specifichistorical conditions.   (More information here). 



“La escritura queer de una subjetividad rabiosa: la obra literaria y performativa de Fernando Vallejo”. Revista de estudios Colombianos (forthcoming)


"El cabaret en la plaza pública: Doce Dioses en pugna en la delegación Tlalpan". Investigación Teatral: Revista de Artes escénicas y performatividad [Universidad Veracruzana] (forthcoming)


Along with Paola Marín General Editor of Revista Karpa 9 (2017): Teatralidades, disidencias y liminalidades" Guest Editors: Eduardo Reinato, Roberto Abdala e Robson Camargo.  (forthcoming)


"Una postmodernidad reaccionaria: El pensamiento literario de Álvaro Mutis." Revista Iberoamericana. University of Pittsburgh (forthcomming).


Along with Paola Maín. "A Practical Aproch To Teaching Mexican Political Cabaret". Latin American Theater Review 50.1 (2016): 31-43.





Research Fellow (2010-2011)

  • Freie Universität, Interweaving Performance Cultures
    Berlín, Germany

Ph.D. Contemporary Mexican Theater, 1997

  • Arizona State University
    Tempe, AZ.

Masters Latin American Art and Performance, 1991

  • Universidad del Rosario
    Bogotá, Colombia.

B.A. Contemporary Latin American Literature, 1989

  • Universidad Javeriana
    Bogotá, Colombia.

Studies of piano, flute and composition, 1979-1984

  • Real Conservatorio Superior de Música y Canto
    Madrid, Spain



CourseCourse TitleDay & TimeRoomSemester

SPAN 5000

Academic writing in Spanish (Theory and practice of advanced scholarly writing in Spanish)  

Tu  / Th  6:00 – 7:15 p.m.

KH D1053

SPRING  2017

SPAN 4130

Spanish American Literature I I (from R. Darío to present)

 Tu / Th  4:30 – 5:45 p.m.

KH B1017

SPRING  2017

SPAN 1001-002 

Elementary Spanish for Non-Heritage Speakers I

On-line course 


SPRING  2017


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