Gaston A. Alzate, Ph.D

FICA, Buenos Aires, Mesa académica cabaretera, dic 2017
FICA (Festival Internacional de Cabaret- Buenos Aires, Mesa académica cabaretera, dic 2017.
Office Location KHKing Hall A-3031

Director of Editorial KARPA, Dissident Theatricalities Visual Arts & Cultures

Member of CAL STATE LA Golden Eagle Mariachi Band

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

Office Hours: King Hall A 3031 





3:15 - 4:15 pm (or by appointment)



Currently I am Full Professor of Spanish. 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 Mentorship Recognition, which distinguishes faculty who provide extraordinary academic mentoring 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 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). Before living in the US I won the National Essay Award with my book Un aspecto desesperanzado de la literatura, a comparative study of the work of Sophocles, F. Hölderlin and Álvaro Mutis (Colombian Ministery of Culture). I also won the Alejo Carpentier National Short Story Award with "Luisa Fernanda" (Universidad Central, Bogotá). Since 2009 I have been a 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, Grand 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 fifteen 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 culture with a focus on literature, theater and performance art. With the collaboration of Dr. Paola Marín, I founded the academic electronic journal KARPA in 2008, devoted to theatrical dissidences, visual arts, and culture. It publishes articles in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. It was indexed by the MLA International Bibliography. Previously a journal, it is now a peer-reviewed publication, 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 research on Contemporary Mexican Political Cabaret focusing on the processes of interweaving diverse cultures. My experience at Berlin allowed me to better understand international 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 specific historical conditions.


Title Date

Hacia una historia integral del teatro independiente en Buenos Aires (1930-1944) de María Fukelman, Edición general a cargo de Christina Baker y Gastón Alzate. Ediciones KARPA, Los Angeles, 2022.

"Die Theaterrepublik der Wenigen: Technologie, Ängste und Hoffnungen in Zeiten der Pandemie - Theaterbrief aus Mexiko" (The theatrical republic of the few: Mexican theater in pandemic times: discovering digital technology, shying activism). Berlin, 2021. A cooperation between the international research hub "Interweaving Performance Cultures" of  Free University Berlin and

"Ethical and Political Implications of 'Performance' in a Rural Cultural Practice: Afro-Colombian Women Singers from the Town of Pogue". Tiyatro Eleştirmenliği ve Dramaturji B.lümü Dergisi. (Istanbul) 32, (2021): 1-22. 

Along with Paola Marín. "Cuerpos ausentes y armas fundidas: arte y cambio social en la Colombia contemporánea". REVISTA CONCEIÇÃO/CONCEPTION, v. 9 n. 1 (2020): Artes, performatividade, crise generalizada e necropolítica,[Universidade Estadual de Campinas-UNICAMP].

La escena expandida. Copilación de textos: Mara Lucia Leal y Narciso Larangeira Telles da Silva (Narciso Telles). Edición general a cargo de Gastón Alzate. Editora Asociada: Marcia Olander. Ediciones KARPA en asociación con la Revista Rascunhos/GEAC (Universidad Federal de Uberlandia). (2109)

Along with Paola Marín, editor of Cartografías críticasVolumen 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 KARPA2018.


Along with Paola Marín, author of "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.  /al/karpa/karpa-10


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

Teatralidades, disidencias y liminalidades I" /al/karpa/karpa-9





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)

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

National Short Story Award. Fundación Alejo Carpentier. Universidad Central. Bogotá.


Jury of theater competition "Premio innovación y juventud 2011". Universidad Autónoma de Baja California/Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Tijuana, México. (2011)

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.  Universidad Javeriana. Bogotá, Colombia.

Studies of piano, flute and composition. Real Conservatorio Superior de Música y Canto. Madrid, Spain


Course Course Title Day & Time Room Semester


SPAN 3150: Latin American Civilization. Synthesis of cultural characteristics of Spanish America.

SPAN 3800: Commercial Spanish. Intensive study of business Spanish; theory and practice of commercial correspondence and negotiation in Spanish; translation of English commercial documents into Spanish; introduction to the socio-economic panorama of Spanish-speaking countries.

SPAN 4210: Contemporary Mexican Literature (Los de abajo, Pedro Páramo, La muerte de Artemio Cruz, Nellie Campobello, Agustín Yañez, Elena Garro, Rosario Castellanos, Elena Poniatowska, José Revueltas)

SPAN  4010: Introduction to major forms and aesthetic concepts of, and critical approaches to, Hispanic literature.

SPAN  4100: Introduction to Spanish Peninsular Literature from 1700 to present.

SPAN  4130: Latin American Literature II. Overview of the Latin American literatures from 1888 to present.

SPAN 4750: Latin American Theaters. Rabinal Achí.. Teatro maya de Rabinal, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala. "Los empeños de una casa". Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. "Los papeles del infierno". Enrique Buenaventura. "Una rosa con otro nombre". Emilio Carballido. "Entre Pancho Villa y una mujer desnuda". Sabina Berman. "Los invasores". Egon Wolf. "Decir Sí". "La que sigue". Griselda Gambaro. "Historias para ser contadas". Osvaldo Dragún. "Zoot Suit". Luis Valdez.

SPAN 4441: Masterworks Latin American Lit. (1-Gabriel García Márquéz- El ciclo de Macondo. 2- Trilogía desesperanzada: A.Caicedo, A.Mutis, F.Vallejo)

SPAN 4541: "Cien años de soledad" (Seminar)





SPAN 5450: Latin American Poetry AFTER RUBEN DARÍO: C. Vallejo, P. Neruda, JL.Borges, A. Mutis, Sabines, Nicanor Parra, Enrique Molina, A. Pizarnik, Roque Dalton, E. Cardenal, P.A.Cuadra.





SPAN 5000: Academic Writting (in Spanish) Theory and practice of advanced scholarly writing in Spanish. Introduction to discourse analysis and the theory of argumentation; contrastive rhetoric and elements of style; research ofelectronic databases; and academic style sheets.