Modern Languages and Literatures (323) 343-4230

Gastón A. Alzate
Associate Professor of Spanish; Ph.D., Arizona State University
Contact: (323) 343-2267

Professor Alzate specializes in Mexican and Colombian literature with a focus on theater and performance art. he published articles in the field of Mexican Theater in journals, such as Chasqui, Gestos (UC Irvine), Revista de Psicologia Política (Universidade de São Paulo-Brazil), Tramoya (Universidad Veracruzana-Mexico) and Latin American Theater Review (University of Kansas). He has published a book on contemporary Mexican cabaret, Teatro Cabaret: imaginarios disidentes (Ediciones de GESTOS, UC Irvine, 2002). He also won the 1993 National Essay Award in Colombia with his book on Colombian poet Alvaro Mutis (Un aspecto desesperanzado de la literatura: Sófocles, Hölderlin, Mutis).

Fluent in: Spanish, Portuguese.

Gretchen Angelo
Associate Professor of French; Ph.D., Yale University
Contact: (323) 343-4246

Gretchen Angelo specializes in medieval French literature.

Fluent in: French.

Pablo Baler
Assistant Professor of Spanish; Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Contact: (323) 343-4243

Dr. Baler specializes in contemporary Latin-American literature and visual arts.

Fluent in: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Hebrew.

Joseph A. Chrzanowski
Emeritus Professor of Spanish; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Contact: (323) 343-4237

Joseph Chrzanowski is an expert on the 20th century novel, short story and theatre and translation of plays into English. His interest also extends to knowledge of the most recent works of Venezuelan playwright Mariela Romero.

Fluent in: Spanish.

Maria Dolores Costa
Professor of Spanish; Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
Contact: (323) 343-4238

Dr. Costa specializes in 19th and 20th century Spanish narratives, and gay and lesbian writers.

Fluent in: Spanish.

Felipe Diaz
Associate Professor of Spanish; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Contact: (323) 343-4241

Dr. Diaz specializes in Spanish literature of the Golden Age and medieval Spanish literature.

Fluent in: Spanish.

Domnita Dumitrescu
Professor of Spanish; Ph.D., USC
Contact (323) 343-4235

Dr. Dumitrescu’s area of expertise is in Spanish language with emphasis on language structure, pragmatics and sociolinguistics of the Spanish-speaking world. She is also interested in the contrastive analysis of Spanish, English, French, and Romanian. Dr. Dumitrescu served as president of the Southern California Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, 1992-94, and as associate editor of Hispania (1995-2001). She was a Fulbright Scholar to Argentina, fall 1993.

Fluent in: Spanish, Romanian, French.

Kylie Hsu
Professor of Chinese and Linguistics; Ph.D., UCLA
Contact: (323) 343-4275
E-mail: or

Dr. Hsu’s specialty is in Chinese linguistics, particularly in the analysis of word structure, language use in written and spoken discourse context, language and cultural socialization, heritage language pedagogy, and intercultural communication. She is the author of A Discourse Analysis of Temporal Markers in Written and Spoken Mandarin Chinese: the Interaction of Semantics, Syntax, and Pragmatics, published by the Edwin Mellen Press, New York, 1998; Selected Issues in Mandarin Chinese Word Structure Analysis, also published by the Edwin Mellen Press, New York, 2002; and a series of Practical Chinese Exercises, published by Learn Perfect Publishing, Los Angeles, 2005-2008.

Fluent in: Mandarin (Chinese).

Christophe Lagier
Associate Professor of French; Ph.D., Princeton University
Contact: (323) 343-4273

Dr. Lagier teaches a variety of subjects ranging from language and culture to literature and business French. With a specialization in post-World War II French theater, Lagier authored a book, Le théatre de la parole-spectacle: Jacques Audiberti, René de Obaldia et Jean Tardieu, published by Summa Inc. in fall 2000. He is currently doing a study on contemporary problems of immigration, racism and integration in France. He has served as a full-time resident director in France for the CSU International Programs. In 2003, he was named Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms) by the French government, which is among the highest academic honors bestowed in France.

Fluent in: French.

Sachiko Matsunaga
Professor of Japanese; Ph.D., University of Hawaii, Manoa
Contact: (323) 343-4240

Sachiko Matsunaga specializes in Japanese psycholinguistics, second-language acquisition and reading research. Her current research interests include the affect of computer-assisted instruction on learning Japanese as a second language. She is the faculty adviser for the Japanese Speech Contest at Cal State L.A.

Fluent in: Japanese.

Elena Ruzickova
Associate Professor of Spanish; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Contact: (323) 343-4235

Dr. Elena Ruzickova specializes in Spanish sociolinguistics and pragmatics.

Fluent in: Spanish.

Alejandro Solomianski
Assistant Professor of Spanish; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Contact: (323) 343-4241

Dr. Solomianski specializes in Latin American literature, cultural studies and subaltern studies.

Fluent in: Spanish.

Hildebrando Villarreal
Professor of Spanish; Ph.D., UCLA
Contact: (323) 343-4230

Dr. Villarreal specializes in applied Spanish linguistics especially with reference to the teaching of Spanish as a second language and to native Spanish speakers. He is the coauthor of Puntos de Partida, A Leer: Un Paso Mas, and Puntos en Breve.

Fluent in: Spanish.

Qingyun Wu
Professor of Chinese; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Contact: (323) 343-4242

Dr. Qingyun Wu’s Chinese language expertise includes comparative literature, women’s literature and the study of culture and literature. She coordinates the annual Chinese Poetry Contest at Cal State L.A.

Fluent in: Mandarin (Chinese).

Toshiko Yokota
Assistant Professor of Japanese; Ph.D., UC Irvine
Contact: (323) 343-4277

Dr. Yokota specializes in Japanese language and literature.

Fluent in: Japanese.