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 2016) M/W 12:00-1:00pm; 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 2016 Courses

Spring 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 204 - W01 Literacy & Contemporary Societ M - W - F - - 0935 - 1040 JRC 301
CRN: 21736 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, video-making, podcasting, wikis, etc. 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 204 - W03 Literacy & Contemporary Societ M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 JRC 301
CRN: 21913 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, video-making, podcasting, wikis, etc. 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 482 - D01 Capstone Sem: Pre-Prof Emph M - W - - - - 1335 - 1510 OEC 305
CRN: 21887 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Olga L. Herrera As a capstone seminar, English 482 is designed to synthesize the intellectual and the professional elements of the English major—to bridge the gap between academia and the public sphere and help students use the knowledge and skills acquired within the English major to enter the conversation of the next stage of their lives. Through discussion, reading, writing, and individualized research, the seminar engages students in a focused exploration of their career aspirations. Each student will conduct research and write a substantial essay, apply their findings for different rhetorical situations, and produce reflective writing on their intellectual development and vocational goals.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

Summer 2016 Courses

Summer 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2016 Courses

Fall 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 203 - W08 Your Utopia/My Dystopia M - W - F - - 1335 - 1440 JRC 227
CRN: 42456 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 - W42 HONORS:Your Utopia/My Dystopia M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 JRC 227
CRN: 42446 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. Please note that this section is reserved for students in the Aquinas Scholars honors program.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 215 - L01 American Authors II M - W - F - - 0935 - 1040
CRN: 40579 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Olga L. Herrera How did the modern warfare of World War I change those who fought and those who stayed at home? Why did so many of the best American artists flee to Paris? How did the traditionalism and stability of the 1950s lead to the radicalism and rebellion of the 60s? How has technology, from the typewriter to the internet, reshaped literature? Such questions will be explored in a chronological framework though extensive readings in American literature from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Threaded throughout the literature are themes such as progress and innovation, war, the “lost generation,” the New Woman, race, and conformity and individuality. This course fulfills the Historical Perspectives requirement in the English major. Prerequisites: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)