Beth Jörgensen

Beth E. Jörgensen

  • Professor Emerita of Spanish

PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison


Beth Jörgensen's research has focused primarily on Mexican literature of the twentieth century. Her book on the writing of Elena Poniatowska was the first comprehensive study of the work of this influential Mexican author. The co-edited volume The Contemporary Mexican Chronicle: Theoretical Perspectives on the Liminal Genre brings together reflections on the practice of chronicle writing by prominent Mexican journalists and critical and theoretical studies by scholars in the field.

Her study of nonfiction literature, published as Documents in Crisis: Nonfiction Literatures in Twentieth-Century Mexico, encompasses the genres of autobiography, memoir, historical essay, testimonio, chronicle, nonfiction novel, and ethnographic life writing, and examines both canonical and marginalized texts from twentieth-century Mexico.

Her current research engages the theories arising from disability studies in order to explore the representations of disability in Mexican literature and culture. It looks at fiction written by authors who do not claim a disability identity, and at diverse forms of writing (life-writing, blogging, poetry, fiction) created by or in collaboration with persons with disabilities. Her co-edited volume Libre Acceso: Latin American Literature and Film through Disability Studies (2016) offers a comprehensive introduction and thirteen original essays in this emerging field in Latin American studies.

Research Overview

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • CLT 101C:  Disability Studies: Rethinking Difference and Diversity (Fall 2015)
  • CLT 200:   Topics in Critical Thinking: Discerning Difference - Literary Representations of Disability (Fall 2019)
  • SP 157:  Spanish in ... (Summer 2018)
  • SP 200:  Advanced Spanish Composition (Spring 2016)
  • SP 204:  Coming to Terms: Spanish American Literature, from Tradition to Innovation (Spring 2019)
  • SP 206:  Spanish-American Cultures (Spring 2014)
  • SP 207:  Spanish in ... (Summer 2018)
  • SP 256:  Contemporary Spanish-American Prose (Fall 2013)
  • SP 257:  Spanish American Theater and Poetry (Spring 2012)
  • SP 260:  (Re)Writing Gender in Spanish-American Literature (Fall 2016)
  • SP 261:  Facing Facts: Nonfiction Literature in 20th-Century Spanish America (Spring 2018)
  • SP 262C:  Disabling Discourse: Disability in Spanish-American Literature (Spring 2017)
  • SP 262F:  Identity Signs: Spanish-American Coming of Age Stories (Spring 2015)

Selected Publications

Books and Monographs

Articles and Book Chapters


Literatures and cultures of Spanish America from the period of independence to the present; women writers and nonfiction literatures, fiction, theater, and poetry; disability studies

Honors and Activities

  • University of Rochester Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2016
  • Prize for Best Book on Mexico in the Humanities for 2010-2011, awarded by the Mexico Section of the Latin American Studies Association for Documents in Crisis: Nonfiction Literatures in Twentieth-Century Mexico
  • Chair, Board on Academic Honesty in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering
  • Executive Committee, Mexican Forum of the Modern Language Association, 2013-2017
  • Editorial Board, "Ambitos Feministas. Revista Crítica Multidisciplinaria de la Coalición Feministas Unidas" (Modern Language Association Allied Organization)
  • Editorial Board, "Textos Híbridos: Revista de Estudios sobre la Crónica Latinoamericana"
  • Past president, Feministas Unidas
  • Past president, Iota of New York of Phi Beta Kappa