Orlando Bentancor, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Cultures, joined Barnard College’s faculty in 2008. Previously, he taught at Princeton University, the University of Southern California, the University of Michigan, and the Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. He is a recipient of the James H. Zumberge Faculty Research and Innovation Fund grant, as well as the Rackham Merit Fellowship. Professor Bentancor's main interests include Colonial Latin American literature and intellectual history; Medieval and Early Modern Spanish philosophy; literature, science, and technology; and poststructuralist philosophy and postcolonial theory.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Research Unit of the DLCL, materia was started in Fall Quarter 2014 with the aim of opening a new discursive space on campus for sustained intellectual exchange on the decentering of "the human" in the humanities. We are particularly pleased with the truly interdisciplinary nature of the research group; our regular participants come from the departments of Iberian and Latin American Cultures and Comparative Literature (the pillars of the group), as well as from English, Modern Thought and Literature, German Studies, Anthropology, and Music. Faculty, graduate students, visiting scholars, and undergraduates are counted among our members. Our Latin Americanist-centered, inclusive approach has proven felicitous: a combination of theory, fiction, and other cultural products from the region and from elsewhere enriches our reflections.