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

FICA Buenos Aires, Mesa académica cabatera, Dic 2017
FICA (Festival Internacional de Cabaret- Buenos Aires, Mesa académica cabatera ,Dic 2017
Office Location: KH King Hall A-3031
Phone: 323-343-2267 Email:

Member of CAL STATE LA Golden Eagle Mariachi Band

3rd Interdisciplinary Conference, California State University-Sacramento. Proceedings. (Students publications)

Office Hours: King Hall A 3031 








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. Representing the College of Arts and Letters, in 2018 I won The Cal State-L.A. Outstanding Mentroship Recognition, which distinguishes faculty who provide valuable guidance to graduate studentsIn 2017 I was the Latin American Theater Review Cátedra Woodyard recipient, University of KansasDuring 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). 


Gas Mariachi 2017 Mariachi Homeless. Kairós. N. Buenaventura

           1) With Mariachi Aguila de Oro, Gran Park, Downtown Los Angeles, May 2017. 2) As a "homeless" Mariachi in the film Kairos: el momento oportuno directed by Nicolás Buenaventura, Cali, Colombia, July 2016.


For the last ten 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 Marín editor of Cartografías críticas

Volumen I   Prácticas políticas y poéticas que piensan la pérdida y la desaparición forzada.

Volumen II Prácticas artísticas. Reflexiones en torno al cuerpo y la memoria. Compilación de textos de Ileana Dieguez. Ediciones KARPA.




Along with Paola Marín "Pathos y sacralidad: una lectura levinasiana de la obra de Doris Salcedo y Rosemberg Sandoval".  Cartografías críticasVolumen II. Karpa, 2018


Along with Paola Marín editor of Terror y performance. Rustom Bharucha.  Traducción de Paola Marín.  Ediciones KARPA


"Una postmodernidad reaccionaria: el pensamiento de Álvaro Mutis". Revista Iberoamericana Vol. 83 No, 258, Enero-Marzo, 167-188.






“La escritura queer de una subjetividad rabiosa: la obra literaria y performativa de Fernando Vallejo”. Revista de estudios Colombianos Vol 49 enero-junio, 43-53.
"El cabaret en la plaza pública: Doce Dioses en pugna en la delegación Tlalpan". Investigación Teatral: Revista de Artes escénicas y performatividad [Universidad Veracruzana] Vol. 8 no 12 (2017): 49-72.


Along with Paola Marín General Editor of Revista Karpa 10 (2017): Teatralidades, disidencias y liminalidades II" Guest Editors: Eduardo Reinato, Roberto Abdala e Robson Camargo.


Along with Paola Marín General Editor of Revista Karpa 9 (2017):

Teatralidades, disidencias y liminalidades I"





Outstanding Mentorship and Commitment to Students Engaged in Research. Cal State University-L.A. (2018)

Cátedra George Woodyard recipient.  Latin American Theater Review, University of Kansas. (2017)

Outstanding Teaching Assistant. Arizona State University. (1995)

National Essay Award, Instituto Colombiano de Cultura (Ministerio de Cultura). (1993)

National Short Story Award. Fundación Alejo Carpentier. Universidad Central. Bogotá. (1987)


Jury of the Open Arts Student Competition. 4th International Forum on Visual Arts. Museum Leopoldo Flores/Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, Mexico. (2007)

Jury for the George Woodyard’s 1st Latin American Theater Prize, sponsored by University of Connecticut/Latin American Theater Review. (2006)


Research Fellow, Interweaving Performance Cultures, Freie Universität, Berlín, Germany. (2010-2011)

Ph.D. Contemporary Mexican Theater, 1997. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Masters Latin American Art Criticism, 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





Fall  2018












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