Lecturer of Spanish

My background combines formal education in the natural sciences and the humanities. I was initially trained in biology and worked a few years in the environmental field, which allowed me to trace the evolution of environmental actions in Latin America over time. My teaching is often interdisciplinary and framed under sustainability as an emerging paradigm. I have also piloted and integrated the use of technology as a pedagogical and presentational tool.

In my work I endeavor to bring together the worldviews of science and humanities through teaching, technology, transdisciplinary research and mentoring. The context for my work is sustainability and human natures, in the multicultural landscape of Latin America. I draw from diverse fields including literature and plastic arts; geography and discourse analysis, to enable students to see the connections and interactions of social and cultural life within their environments and those of others. Pedagogically, I employ a diverse range of approaches and integrate digital humanities. I approach teaching as s journey of constant inquiry and view interdisciplinarity as a means to re-enable the connections that have often been fractioned in our scholarly models.

Languages spoken:

  • English (native/near native)
  • Spanish (native/near native)
  • Italian (native/near native)

Research and/or Creative Works


Scholarly Books and Monographs
2013 Re-engraving Assayer’s Initials in Potosi Cobs. English-Spanish edition. Co-authored with Emilio Paoletti. Buenos Aires: Editorial Dunken. Print.

Chapters in Scholarly Books and Monographs
Forthcoming “The Gift of a Different Gaze: A Social-Environmental Imagination of Collective Meaning in Helen Escobedo’s Open-Space Installations, 1997-2010.” Natura Loquens/Natura Agens. Carmen Flys & Juan Ignacio Oliva, Eds..

2017. “From Management to Governance: Rethinking Water Policy and Privatization on Easter Island.” The Politics of Freshwater: Access, Conflict and Identity. Tamar Mayer & Catherine Ashcraft, Eds. Abingdon: Rutledge.

Journal Articles
2018 “The Melting of Humankind. How Art Deepens our Dialogue about Climate Change.” ReVista. Harvard Review of Latin America. Spring-summer: 26-29. Web. https://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/book/ melting-humankind

2015 “Sustainability as a Pedagogical Principle in Liberal Arts Education: Explorations from the Foreign Language classroom.” International Journal of Sustainability Education. 11 3: 23-34. Web http://ijsed.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.275/prod.74

2013 “Resignifying Environmental Epistemology through Latin America’s Artistic Representation: A Sustainability Perspective from the Humanities.” The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social & Cultural Context, 8. 3: 175-188. Web. http://ijsesc.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.273/prod.41
2012 “Designing a Virtual Social Space for Language Acquisition.” International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE) 3. 3: 21-42. Web. http://www.igi-global.com/article/designing-virtual-social-space-language/70397

2012 “Articulación del mito Eva Perón en la narrativa de Tomás Eloy Martínez: un performance político materializado en el cuerpo.” pergencias, Revista de estudios lingüísticos y literarios,10. 2: 20-29. Web. http://pergencias.arizona.edu

Conference proceedings
2015 “Voces silenciadas, sabiduría olvidada. Limitaciones discursivas de la representación cultural en la era de la globalización.” [Silenced Voices, Forgotten Wisdom. Discursive Limitations of Cultural Representation in the Era of Globalization.] LASA Southern Cone.

Associations and Affiliations

  • New England Council of Latin American Studies (NECLAS) Executive Committee member
  • Latin American Studies Association (LASA), Co-Chair of Environmental Section
  • Latin American Studies Association (LASA), Southern Cone and Visual Culture sections
  • Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) & EASLCE
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Association for Borderland Studies (ABS)
Maria Woolson

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Environmental humanities, 20th and 21st century Latin American literature and cultures, interrelated areas of transnational politics, ethnicity and cultural identity, ecocriticism, visual and performance studies, postcolonial theory, pedagogy, Spanish language
Global change is increasingly understood as systemic, eco-social and complex. This challenge require that institutions deepen the capacity to foster leadership and catalyze systemic responses to both local and regional problems. For such visions to be realized, students will need competencies for working across boundaries and differences ranging from diverse disciplines and methods, to identities and cultures; and many of those skills will come from humanistic perspectives that are often overlooked in favor of technical orientations. This talk will highlight ways in which the humanities and the arts contribute to a robust understanding of the sustainability paradigm while fostering a dialogue across disciplines, and discuss opportunities to create actionable pathways for engaging the 2015 United Nations SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).


  • Ph.D. Spanish, The University of Arizona


  • (802) 656-0723
Office Location:

542 Waterman

Office Hours:

Fall 2018: MWF 2:10-3:10

  1. M. Woolson: SnapPages

Courses Taught

  • SPAN 001: Elementary I
  • SPAN 002: Elementary II
  • SPAN 051: Intermediate I
  • SPAN 052: Intermediate II
  • SPAN 140: Analyzing Hispanic Literatures
  • HCOL 185: Honors College Sophomore Seminar: Environment, Ecocriticism, and Being Global