Latin American Literature - Migrant Workers
Alejandra Molina often uses Spanish American literature as a stepping stone to outreach in the Latino community. Her interest in Spanish American colonial literature stems from her early college career. Since then, she has incorporated the stories of Spanish American peoples into much of her work. From this vantage point, she sees how stories from Spanish colonial literature are becoming increasingly relevant in today’s world.
Molina is the faculty adviser for the Colleges’ Latin American Organization and the Spanish Language House. In the fall of 2002, Molina collaborated with the Hispanic Network of the Finger Lakes to organize Hispanic Heritage events through the month of October. Molina also coordinates students of the Colleges to mentor middle and high school students in the Geneva area and works with local migrant workers to help them obtain their GED.
Molina’s interest in exploring Hispanic issues through film and theatre has led to the development of a film series around selected topics or a select filmmaker that deals with pertinent issues of the day. Recent topics of her film series’ include women in Mexican film and in revolution, and a post-September 11th America.
On December 11th of 2002, Human Rights Awareness Day, Molina acted as adviser to a student-run theatrical production, which focused on the lives of farmworkers in the United States. She has long studied migrant farm workers in rural areas and can offer the results of her years of research on this topic.
In effort to share her knowledge of Latin American issues and interest with the campus, Molina has brought speakers to the Colleges, including a Colombian storyteller and Argentinean artists.
Part of Molina’s aim is to bring Latino awareness to the Colleges’ campus while establishing a connection to Geneva’s Latino population. Realizing a tremendous lack of historical documentation of Latin American culture in the Geneva area, Molina developed an internship for two students at the Geneva Historical Society for research and documentation of Latin Americans in the area with their findings to be published at the conclusion of the internship.
Interview opportunities and additional background information may be requested through the Office of Communications, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York. Phone: (315) 781-3540. After business hours, Communications staff members are accessible through contact information on their answering machine at that number.
Alejandra Molina joined the faculty in 1995. She received B.A. and M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. in Spanish American Colonial Literature at Cornell University. Her dissertation was entitled “Captured Objects/Captivating Subjects: The Effect of the Captive in Spanish American Letters.”
Molina recently completed a play, María González, which was inspired by the lives of migrant farmworkers. The play premiered at Cornell with performances in Geneva and Ithaca. The play is part of Molina’s continuing efforts to raise awareness of the Hispanic community of the Finger Lakes and the result of years of research in migrating laborers.