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
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.

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 201 - W05 City Lights: Urban Experience M - W - F - - 0935 - 1040 JRC 301
CRN: 43421 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Olga L. Herrera This course explores urban experience through the perspective of writers working in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. It will focus on the way writers in those three genres use language and literary devices to address the life and landscape of the city. Although most of the writing done in this class will be analytical, we will also look at each of the three genres from a user's perspective, using some of the tools of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry to make our own sense of the urban environment. Likely authors to be examined include Carl Sandburg, Edith Wharton, Nelson Algren, Sandra Cisneros, Jamaal May, Lon Otto, James Baldwin, Kao Kalia Yang, and Jonathan Franzen. 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 - 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 What's your idea of a perfect world? How would it be different from your friends' 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)

J-Term 2017 Courses

J-Term 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location