Olga Herrera  portrait

Olga Herrera

Assistant Professor of English
Degree
M.A., Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
B.A., DePaul University
At St. Thomas since 2009
Office
JRC 357
Hours
(Spring 2015) M/W 11:00am-12:00pm; also by appointment
Phone
(651) 962-5613

My research examines the literary making of Chicago as a mythic place of work and opportunity for migrants and immigrants alike. In particular, I focus on how Chicago Latino and other writers of color have critiqued the image of the "City of Big Shoulders" in order to ask how race, class, and gender can affect one's access to work and urban experience. I am also interested in urban literature more generally and the construction of space, place, and community in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. In my teaching and research, I enjoy discussing film and pop culture, with a focus on representations of race and gender.

Spring 2015 Courses

Spring 2015 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 204 - 01 Literacy in Contemporary Amer M - W - F - - 0935 - 1040 JRC 301
CRN: 22479 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Olga L. Herrera Social media, texting, and instant messaging: these are all examples of 21st-century technology that is changing the way we read and write. Instead of declaring the death of the book, we will consider how print and digital literacy converge in a participatory culture that produces creative work, encourages collaboration, and shapes the flow of information. Our approach to what constitutes a "text" will be flexible and may include blogging, texting, media boards, videomaking, podcasting, wikis, etc. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 204 - 02 Literacy in Contemporary Amer M - W - F - - 1335 - 1440 JRC 301
CRN: 22480 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Olga L. Herrera Social media, texting, and instant messaging: these are all examples of 21st-century technology that is changing the way we read and write. Instead of declaring the death of the book, we will consider how print and digital literacy converge in a participatory culture that produces creative work, encourages collaboration, and shapes the flow of information. Our approach to what constitutes a "text" will be flexible and may include blogging, texting, media boards, videomaking, podcasting, wikis, etc. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 304 - 01 Analytical/Persuasive Writing M - W - F - - 1215 - 1320 JRC 301
CRN: 21383 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Olga L. Herrera You’ve heard that learning to write well can prepare you for a number of different careers. But what does it mean to “write well” and how does that change depending on the situation? In this course, we will consider the practice of analytic and persuasive writing within the context of different professional areas that demand great writing and editing as key skills—book publishing, community newspapers, and nonprofits. Our course will center on the theme of environmental sustainability, which will be at the core of the different book, newspaper, and nonprofit writing projects we develop. Writing assignments for book publishing may address all aspects from editorial to production and sales, including evaluations of manuscripts to tip sheets for marketing. In writing for community newspapers, students may select an environmental sustainability project to interview and photograph. Writing for nonprofits may include writing press releases, grant applications, newsletters, and annual reports. Each of these contexts will require students to adjust their rhetorical modes and strategies. We will do a great deal of writing in this course, both informal and formal; we will learn to give and receive productive feedback; and we will engage in intensive revision. Through participation in this course, you will gain experience in writing analytically and persuasively for the professional world, and emerge a stronger, more confident writer. This course counts towards the writing distribution requirement for English majors. Please be advised that this course does not count towards the UST core literature and writing requirement. Prerequisite: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

Summer 2015 Courses

Summer 2015 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2015 Courses

Fall 2015 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 203 - 03 Your Utopia & My Dystopia M - W - F - - 0935 - 1040 JRC 227
CRN: 42581 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Olga L. Herrera What¹s your idea of a perfect world? How would it be different from your friends¹ ideas? Some of our greatest stories have taken up our dreams of utopia and imagined the way competing needs and desires distort those dreams, producing a dystopian reality. In this class, we will discuss literary and cinematic work that revolves around notions of power and the way societies get shaped to privilege power even when the goal is to create a living situation that is equitable to everyone. Sometimes dystopias result from attempts to hoard power; sometimes they result from efforts to create utopias. Is it possible that utopias are never as good as intended? Maybe, as Thomas More¹s UTOPIA suggests, they don't really exist at all except as ideals in the mind of people with power. Possible texts include THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins; BATTLE ROYALE: THE NOVEL by Koushon Takami; NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro; V FOR VENDETTA by Alan Moore and David Lloyd; THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi; PARABLE OF THE SOWER by Octavia Butler; HUM by Jamaal May; and the films BLADE RUNNER and V FOR VENDETTA. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 203 - 41 HONORS:Your Utopia/My Dystopia M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 JRC 227
CRN: 42579 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Olga L. Herrera What¹s your idea of a perfect world? How would it be different from your friends¹ ideas? Some of our greatest stories have taken up our dreams of utopia and imagined the way competing needs and desires distort those dreams, producing a dystopian reality. In this class, we will discuss literary and cinematic work that revolves around notions of power and the way societies get shaped to privilege power even when the goal is to create a living situation that is equitable to everyone. Sometimes dystopias result from attempts to hoard power; sometimes they result from efforts to create utopias. Is it possible that utopias are never as good as intended? Maybe, as Thomas More¹s UTOPIA suggests, they don't really exist at all except as ideals in the mind of people with power. Possible texts include THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins; BATTLE ROYALE: THE NOVEL by Koushon Takami; NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro; V FOR VENDETTA by Alan Moore and David Lloyd; THE WATER KNIFE by Paolo Bacigalupi; PARABLE OF THE SOWER by Octavia Butler; HUM by Jamaal May; and the films BLADE RUNNER and V FOR VENDETTA. The writing load for this course is a minimum of 15 pages of formal revised writing. This course satisfies the Writing Across the Curriculum Writing Intensive requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
GENG 558 - 01 Latin American & Latino/a Lit - - W - - - - 1800 - 2100 JRC 481
CRN: 42434 3 Credit Hours Instructor: Olga L. Herrera In our current transnational moment, writers and scholars have sought to interrogate national literary traditions, preferring instead to examine patterns of mutual influence among writers and cultural currents across fluid boundaries. In the Americas, this hemispheric turn allows us to better view the complex and shared histories, language, culture, and traditions among Latin Americans and U.S. Latinos/as. In this class, we will read authors from across various American borders whose concerns help us complicate notions of borders, identity, migration and immigration, and language. Authors and texts may include Jose Martí’s NUESTRA AMERICA, Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, Elena Poniatowska’s MASSACRE IN MEXICO, Francisco Goldman’s THE ORDINARY SEAMAN, Federico Garcia Lorca’s POET IN NEW YORK, Luis Alberto Urrea’s THE HUMMINGBIRD’S DAUGHTER, Julio Cortázar’s HOPSCOTCH, Ana Menendez’s LOVING CHE, Ana Castillo’s The MIXQUIAHUALA LETTERS, Daniel Alarcón’s AT NIGHT WE WALK IN CIRCLES, Sandra Cisneros’s THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET, and Jorge Luis Borges’s DREAMTIGERS. This course satisfies the Multicultural Literature distribution requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)