Senior Lecturer of Spanish

In addition to the University of Chicago, UC Berkeley and Yale, Deborah has studied at the Universidad de Salamanca and the Universitat de Barcelona. She has studied literature in English, Spanish, French and Catalan and worked as an editor in English and Spanish. After earning her Ph.D., Deborah worked for ten years in trade book publishing as a literary agent and editor.

In 2007 Deborah returned to academia and taught Spanish at Southern Connecticut State University and Yale University before coming to UVM in 2010. Since her arrival at UVM Deborah has become a frequent contributor at conferences for professional organizations including the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the Modern Language Association (MLA), the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), and the International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT). She has published in Crime Fiction Studies (Edinburgh UP) and the FLTMAG (an online publication of IALLT).

Deborah's current research interests run in two directions: woman writers on the fringe of detective fiction, and the teaching of foreign languages to foster social learning, intercultural competence, and bilingual identity.



“‘Hard-boiled’ detectives in Spain and Mexico: The ethical reorientation of a genre.” Crime Fiction Studies, Edinburgh University Press, Fall 2021, vol. 2.2: 154-170.

“Language learning and identity: Helping students develop a sense of themselves as second-language learner, speaker, and community participant.” The FLTMAG, Nov. 2021,

Associations and Affiliations

Phi Beta Kappa
Modern Language Association (MLA)
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT)

Professor Deborah Cafiero

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Contemporary Hispanic narrative; Spanish language instruction; online and technology-enhanced foreign language instruction


  • Ph.D. Contemporary Peninsular Literature, Yale University


  • (802) 656-0656
Office Location:

542 Waterman

Office Hours:

Fall 2022: Tuesday, 9:00-11:00, and Thursday, 10:00-12:00

Courses Taught

  • SPAN 101: Migrant Tales
  • SPAN 001 Online
  • GRS 196: Detective Fiction of Spain & Mexico (la novela negra taught as an advanced Global/Regional Studies course)
  • WLIT 095: Crime Fiction of Spain & Mexico (la novela negra taught as first-year seminar)