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

Concierto Marzo 2016.
Mariachi Águila de Oro. Dir. Cindy Flores, State Play House, California State University - Los Angeles. Winter concert , March, 2016
Office Location: KH King Hall A-3031
Phone: 323-343-2267 Email:

Member of CAL STATE LA Golden Eagle Aguila de Oro Mariachi Band. 

Office Hours: King Hall A 3031 

(FALL 2016)


12:45 – 1:35 p.m. & 3 to 4:25 p.m.


12:45 – 1:35 p.m. & 3 to 4:25 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. Since 2009 I am member of the CSULA Mariachi Band Aguila de Oro (Golden Eagle).


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). 


Title Date

Along with Paola Maín. "A Practical Aproch To Teaching Mexican Political Cabaret". Latin American Theater Review 50.2 (2016): 11-24.


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


"Apuntes a la historia del cabaret político mexicano: aspectos contraculturales." Latin American Theater Review. University of Kansas  49.2 (Fall 2015): 5-23.


Along with Paola Marín General Editor of Revista Karpa 8 (2015): Dossier "Art and Memory in Colombia" (Ed. Elkin Rubiano)


"Un cuerpo barroco dador de placer: Astrd Hadad". Moringa: Artes do Espectáculo [Universidade Federal da Paraiba] 5.2 (2014)






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



Course Course Title Day & Time Room Semester

SPAN 4010

Introduction to Literary Analysis 

Tu  / Th  4:30 – 5:45 p.m.

KH C1069

FALL  2016

SPAN 3001

Advanced Composition and Grammar

Tu / Th  1:40 – 2:55 p.m.

KH B1017

FALL  2016

SPAN 1001-002 SPAN 1001-004

Elementary Spanish for Non-Heritage Speakers I

On-line course 


FALL  2016


Additional Website: