Laura Menéndez specializes in modern and contemporary Iberian Literatures and Cultures, with a focus on Catalan Studies and on Transatlantic connections between the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America, and the Caribbean, particularly Cuban Literature and Visual Culture. She is also interested in Gender Studies, Hispano-African Literatures and Cultures, and the intersections between Literature, Urbanism, Film, and Visual Arts. 
 
In her dissertation, "Living Ruins: Narratives of Homes in Modern Barcelona and Havana", Laura scrutinizes representations of the domestic space in Catalan and Cuban literary and cultural productions that emerge as reactions to the processes of construction, destruction, and reconstruction that the cities of Barcelona and Havana have undergone from the end of the nineteen century onwards.

In it, she examines literary, cinematographic, photographic, and architectural works by authors such as Carme Riera, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, José Luis Guerín, Antonio José Ponte, Leonardo Padura, Sara Gómez, and Carlos Garaicoa which, she argues, share a focus on the experience of a space transformed under Catalan-Cuban relations and reflect upon the dwelling experiences that the cities encourage and discourage. In particular, Laura interrogates in these works the entextualization of failed projects of modernity through the modern concept of home and the aesthetic and political implications of the representation - and reality - of ruin as inhabited space. 
 
Laura obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Translation Studies with an emphasis on Literature and Publishing at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and at the University of California, Santa Cruz (Visiting Student.)

She is currently an "All But Dissertation" (ABD) doctoral candidate at Stanford University, where she teaches undergraduate courses and seminars in Iberian and Latin American literatures, photography, and film. 

Dissertation Committee: Prof. Resina (Main Advisor), Prof. Surwillo, and Prof. Hoyos, Stanford University.


Fellowships, Grants, and Awards: 

  • The Europe Center Graduate Student Grant Competition (2023)
  • Graduate Research Opportunity Grant, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (2022)
  • Center for Latin American Studies Field Research Travel Grant, Stanford University (2022)
  • Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, Mellon Foundation and the Stanford Humanities Center (2021-2022)
  • Digital Humanities Graduate Research Fellowship, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), Stanford University (2020-2021) 
  • Centennial Teaching Assistant Award, Stanford University (2021)
  • "Ruins of Modernity" Collaborative Unit Research Funds, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Stanford University (2021-2022 and 2022-2023)

Research Groups and University Service:

  • Coordinator of Research Unit "Ruins of Modernity," Stanford University (2021-2023) with Prof. Resina
  • Editor of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages Year-in-Review Newsletter (Spring 2023)
  • Editor of Crossings graduate publication of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (Spring 2023)
  • Editor of the Iberian and Latin American Cultures Newsletter (2022-2023)
  • Mentor for First-Generation and Low-Income students (FLI) Undergraduate Mentorship Program (starting Winter 2023)
  • Leader of the Spanish Table at Yost/At Home Abroad House (AHA), Stanford University (2022-2023)
  • Co-cordinator of "ILAC Speaker Series: Emerging Voices," Stanford University (Winter 2021)
  • Member of the Collaborative Teaching Project (CTP), Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Stanford University (2021-2022)
  • Graduate Fellow at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, Stanford University (2020-2021)
  • President of the Stanford Catalan Association, Stanford University (2019-present)

Courses taught at Stanford:

  • Spring 2023 - ILAC 278A. Senior Seminar: One Hundred Years of Solitude, A Bilingual Reading. Primary Instructor (PI). Co-taught with Prof. Hoyos.
  • Autumn 2022 - ILAC 104. The Female Gaze: 20-21st Century Iberian Literature and Visual Culture. Primary Instructor (PI.)
  • Spring 2022 - ILAC 193: All About Almodóvar. Primary Instructor (PI.) Co-taught with Prof. Resina.
  • Winter 2021 - ILAC 136: Modern Iberian Literatures. Teaching Assistant (TA). Taught with Prof. Surwillo.
  • Autumn 2019 - ILAC 130: Introduction to Iberia: Cultural Perspectives. Primary Instructor (PI.) Co-taught with Prof. Resina.
  • Autumn 2018 - SPANLANG 11C: Second-Year Spanish: Cultural Emphasis. Primary Instructor (PI.)
  • Spring 2018 - SPANLANG 3: First-Year Spanish, Third Quarter. Primary Instructor (PI.)
  • Winter 2018 - SPANLANG 2: First-Year Spanish, Second Quarter. Primary Instructor (PI.)
  • Autumn 2017 - SPANLANG 1: First-Year Spanish, First Quarter. Primary Instructor (PI.)
Department Affiliation(s)