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AATSP Member Spotlights

 

Member Spotlight

Every few weeks, the AATSP “spotlights” one of its members in an attempt to recognize the many ways in which AATSP members promote the study and teaching of Spanish and Portuguese at all levels of education. We invite you to read the current spotlight below. You can also click at the bottom of this page to view archived spotlights. 
 


Benjamin Fraser


 East Carolina University
Greenville, NC


Both of my parents taught Spanish in my home town of Williamsburg, Virginia—my mother at the high school level and my father at the college level—and so I grew up hearing of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese and seeing copies of Hispania lying around the house. As children, my sister and I were so fortunate to be able to travel with them outside of the continental United States—I remember trips to Mexico City, Puerto Rico, and Lisbon—but what perhaps impacted me most was the year we spent living in Albuquerque, NM (198283). The fact that our parents hosted exchange students from Columbia, Argentina, and Venezuela continued to broaden my horizons. The fascination with language I developed from a young age stuck with me, through the University of Virginia (199498) where I took courses in Spanish, Portuguese, and American Sign Language. During the summers of 1997 and 1998, I was able to return to Mexico as a volunteer and then supervisor on the Amigos de las Américas program, first to Oaxaca and then Guanajuato. For graduate school, I returned to the southwest to complete an MA (2001) and PhD (2006) at the University of Arizona, one of the best decisions I have ever made.


The AATSP and Hispania are so important for the work we do as educators at all levels (K12, postsecondary, post-graduate). As incoming Editor of Hispania, I feel very fortunate to be picking up where outgoing Editor Sheri Spaine Long and the editorial team of Jennifer Brady, Conxita Domènech, and Domnita Dumitrescu left off. In particular, the Centenary Issue of the journal (100.5, 2017) is a monumental undertaking, a superb achievement, and a resource for all members of the AATSP. The topics covered in those pages are a road map for the key challenges with which we will need to grapple in coming years. These involve matters of classroom innovation, changing student needs, linguistic diversity and language proficiency, curricular and programmatic issues, textbooks, technology, study abroad, career paths, connections with communities outside of our educational institutions, and nuanced disciplinary concerns.


Working with the editorial team and editorial board members of Hispania, I want to make sure that Hispania remains a privileged place within which we continue to explore, debate, and implement the changes that will keep our professions vibrant throughout the twenty-first century. We must sustain and increase its reputation as a rigorous journal publishing original peer-reviewed scholarship that spans the various fields of Spanish and Portuguese, and we must also actively seek to increase its relevance for and use by our association’s K12 members. I look forward to hearing from all AATSP members regarding how to best collaborate on the next steps. I hope you can join us at the Hispania session in Salamanca, Spain, at the 2018 annual AATSP conference for an interactive discussion! In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at fraserb2010@gmail.com.

 

Biography

 

Benjamin Fraser (Ph.D. University of Arizona, 2006) is Professor of Hispanic Studies in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University (NC), where he has also served as Department Chair since 2014. He previously held faculty positions at Christopher Newport University (VA) and the College of Charleston (SC).


Fraser’s editorial experience includes a number of positions with peer-reviewed journals and a book series. He has served as Founding and Executive Editor of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, as Senior Editor, Managing Editor, and Assistant Editor of the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, as Assistant Editor of Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, and, with Susan Larson, as Founding Co-Editor of the the Hispanic Urban Studies book series. He has contributed articles and book reviews to Hispania and has also served as an Associate Editor of the AATSP’s flagship journal. A contributor to the Centenary Issue (2017, 100.5), he also co-edited the Hispania special focus issue dedicated to “The Scholarship of Film and Film Studies” (2015, 98.3), with David William Foster and Bill VanPatten. He is the editor and co-editor of the book-length collections Deaf History and Culture in Spain: A Reader of Primary Sources (2009, Gallaudet UP), La urbanización decimonónica de Madrid: textos de Mariano José de Larra y Ramón de Mesonero Romanos (2011, Stockcero), Trains, Literature and Culture: Reading and Writing the Rails (with Steven Spalding, 2012, Lexington Books), Trains, Culture and Mobility: Riding the Rails (with Steven Spalding, 2012, Lexington Books), Marxism and Urban Culture (2014, Lexington Books), Cultures of Representation: Disability in World Cinema Contexts (2016, Wallflower Press/Columbia UP), and Transnational Railway Cultures: Trains in Music, Literature, Film and Visual Art (Berghahn Books, under contract).


A researcher specializing in contemporary culture, Fraser explores literature, film, visual art, popular culture, comics, and urban space from an interdisciplinary perspective. He is the author of eighty articles and book chapters published across the fields of Hispanic Studies, Cultural Geography, and Disability Studies. He has authored eight single-authored monographs: Encounters with Bergson(ism) in Spain (2010, U of North Carolina, Studies in Romance Languages and Literatures, #295), Henri Lefebvre and the Spanish Urban Experience (2011, Bucknell UP), Understanding Juan Benet: New Perspectives (2013, U of South Carolina P), Disability Studies and Spanish Culture: Films, Novels, Comics and the Public Exhibition (2013, Liverpool UP), Antonio López García’s Everyday Urban Worlds (2014, Bucknell UP), Toward an Urban Cultural Studies: Henri Lefebvre and the Humanities (2015, Palgrave), Digital Cities: The Interdisciplinary Future of the Urban Geo-Humanities (2015, Palgrave), and Cognitive Disability Aesthetics: Visual Culture, Disability Representations, and the (In)Visibility of Cognitive Difference (2018, U of Toronto P). Among his current projects are the monograph Visible Cities: Urban Images and Spatial Form in Global Comics (U of Mississippi P, under contract) and another book exploring the work of comics artist Pere Joan.


Click below to view archived AATSP Member Spotlights

Spotlight Archives