Hi, I'm Fernanda

I am an engaged arts and humanities scholar interested in education and community-based work.

My current position as PhD Student in Latin American Literature and Culture at the University of Colorado Boulder has allowed me to discover my passion for teaching and my desire to continue contributing to the promotion of teaching excellence, the design of innovative learning materials and the development of service-learning programs and community-campus partnerships.

As a literary scholar in the field of literature and culture in Spanish I am interested in the representation of pain, disability, illness and gender in contemporary Latin American literature. I am especially drawn to experimental literature: textual artifacts that escape generic classification and that can be better understood when analyzed through the field of performance studies. I would also like to emphasize that my scholarly attention to social constructs, marginal voices, stories of resistance and performativity is constantly informing my creative work as an applied-theater practitioner as well as my commitment to civic engagement on campus.

I firmly believe in the potential of art and the humanities to enable transformative social change. Interdisciplinary collaboration, service-learning programs and community-based projects are key components to make this transformation possible and my goal is to work toward a greater implementation of these practices.


Interdisciplinary Portfolio


Engaged Graduate Student

Spring 2018 - Fall 2019

I was selected by the Office for Outreach and Engagement at CU Boulder to be part of a small graduate student cohort in charge of developing community-engaged projects. My participation in this cohort has allowed me to attend the Downtown Colorado Inc. conference and the annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit and to network with leaders and artists from all over Colorado. I was also trained to facilitate dialogue on difficult or controversial topics and to apply the tools of my discipline to serve the local communities. More information about my community-based project here.

Graduate Student Lead

May 2017 - May 2019

I am currently serving as a Graduate Student Lead, which is a campus-wide responsibility for assisting and training other graduate students to teach their classes effectively. As GTP Lead I also serve as a liaison between the Graduate Teacher Program and the Spanish and Portuguese Department, where I give discipline-specific workshops on teaching and professional development.

Graduate Part-Time Instructor

August 2014 - May 2019

I have worked as a graduate teaching assistant throughout all these years at CU. I have taught basic, intermediate and advanced Spanish classes (all 5-credit language courses) as well as content courses on Spanish literature in translation. For more information click here.

Applied Theater Practitioner

April 2015 - December 2017

I collaborated in a project by Motus Theater called SALSA Lotería and served first as a Spanish interpreter/translator and assistant dramaturg and later as acting coach and assistant director. Motus is a community theater that encourages discussions on immigration issues by bringing silenced stories and marginalized voices to the stage. Our aim with SALSA Lotería was to raise awareness about the struggle of Latina immigrants in the US, while also supporting the performers in their process of reflecting about traumatic experiences and trying to find real solutions to their migratory status. 

Translator Expert

2015 - 2019

From April 2015 to July 2015 I assisted theater director Kirsten Wilson with the translation (both, from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English) and edition of the monologues performed in SALSA Lotería, a bilingual theater production by Motus Theater. 

Since November 2016 I am annually collaborating with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and its educational program "Shakespeare & Violence Prevention Tour." My task is to translate into Spanish selected passages from Shakespeare's works. So far, I have translated pieces of Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet.

Creation of Spanish Video-Trainings

Summers 2012 and 2013

The German company Lingua TV, hired me to develop a storyline for an online language course in Spanish and to be the protagonist of the story. During this project, I selected and adapted grammar and vocabulary content for each episode, I wrote all the scripts and acted as the main character in the first season of the Spanish course. You can look at the first episode here.

My Education


PhD Candidate in Spanish, CU Boulder

2014-Present (Candidate since 2017)

My position entails teaching lower- and upper-division Language and Literature courses while also working on my dissertation. For more information about my experience as a teacher click here

Master in Spanish and Latin American Literature, University of Salamanca


My Master's Thesis, titled La palestra como escena: Una propuesta de análisis teatral para los cuentos de Andrés Neuman, explored the theatrical qualities of the short story and its full expression in Andrés Neuman´s work. 

BFA in Theater, RESAD (Madrid)


It is the oldest theatre school in Spain and one of the most prestigious in Europe. I received a degree in Acting. Among the course topics were: Acrobatics, Voice, Fencing, Dramatic Literature, History of Theatre, Make-Up, Mask Work, Acting, and many others.


©2018 by María Fernanda Iwasaki. Proudly created with Wix.com