Dr. Portaro has been an Assistant Professor of Spanish at SUU since 2013. She received her B.A. (English and Spanish/Minor in Latin American Studies) from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2004. She later received an M.A. (2007) and Ph.D. (2013) in Latin American Literatures and Cultures from the University of California, Davis. Her specializations include 19th and 20th century Latin American literature, women’s studies, the intersection between literature and journalism, non-fictional genres, and Peruvian literature.
In her dissertation, she analyzed the works of female Peruvian intellectuals at the beginning of the twentieth century and how journalism was used as a place of encounters and transgressions, crucial for the formation of a female intellectual subjectivity. Through the study of the printed press and the utilization of so-called minor genres –letters, chronicles, pamphlets, interviews, editorials, manifestos, essays, and (auto) biographical texts, she analyzed how female writers, such as Magda Portal, Angela Ramos, Maria Wiesse, and Blanca Luz Brum, negotiated and positioned themselves in the public sphere and the labor market.
She considers Lima, California, and Utah “home” and is happiest when she is sharing a delicious meal and having long conversations with family and friends. Her weaknesses include used bookstores, vinyl, coffee, papas rellenas, and her son’s laughter. She is still searching for the best pollo a la brasa.