Dr. Castañeda
Contact Information

Associate Professor of Spanish

I was born in Cuba and grew up in Denver, Colorado, learning English at school at a very young age, and further developing my Spanish skills at home with my extended family. I attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins for my B.A. degree. The desire to study in Spain resulted in my discovery of Wisconsin and Marquette University. As a sophomore at CSU, I attended Marquette’s Study Center at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. My year-long experience in Spain inspired me to continue my studies in Spanish and Spanish–American literature. After completing my B.A. in Spanish and teaching certification at the secondary level, I decided to continue on to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I served as a teaching assistant in Spanish, completing the M.A. in 1978, and the Ph.D. in 1987.

During my graduate studies, I became involved in study abroad and directed summer and academic programs to both Spain and Mexico through the Experiment in International Living and the School for International Training. While working on my dissertation, I received a lecturer position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The stars aligned and just as I was applying for positions, and hoping to find a more tropical climate, I was offered a position at Marquette, where I have taught a variety of Spanish language, culture and literature courses since 1985. To complete the circle, I served as Resident Director of Marquette’s Study Center in Madrid during 1989-1991 and as the program’s administrative director on campus for three years. I was promoted to associate professor of Spanish in 1997,and served as chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures from 2000 to 2009.

My area of specialization is 20th Century Spanish-American Narrative. I have published primarily on the Peruvian novelist, Mario Vargas Llosa. I served as associate dean of the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences for three years (2010-2013), and have since returned to my faculty responsibilities in the department.

Teaching Fields


International Education at Marquette

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Learn more about our international education programs.