Assistant Professor of Spanish
- Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. from Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
Dr. León-Távora is originally from Seville, Spain. Having been raised in such a historic European city, Dr. León-Távora was thrilled to work in the oldest women’s college in the United States. She also loves having the opportunity to serve people within her own community and to work with such a diverse student body at Salem.
Prior to Salem College, Dr. León-Távora taught at Universidad de Sevilla, UNC Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, and Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey at Querétaro (Mexico), the latter through a Wake Forest University summer program.
Dr. León-Távora’s main field of expertise is European Modernism and Postmodernism, and 20th century European avant-garde and experimental writing, but she has an obsession for interdisciplinary studies and for connecting different fields. She has published articles and book chapters on Spanish/Spanish American Literature, Comparative Literature, Film Studies, Literature and Science, and Literature and Asian Religions. She has also published several English-Spanish literary translations, such as the book on Cuban art of which she is the co-editor and co-translator: Cuban Artists Books and Prints: Libros y grabados de artistas cubanos: 1985-2008 (J La' Verne Print Communications, 2009).
As advice to students who want to major in Spanish, Dr. León-Távora would definitely recommend for them to pursue some kind of travel. In her own words, traveling provides the student with direct access to the target language and culture by real-life experiences and interaction with native speakers. But most importantly, traveling opens your mind and helps you develop empathy, connecting with other cultures, and growing as a person.
In her free time, Dr. León-Távora likes cooking and sharing her food with family and friends, engaging into new adventures with her dog, Tenoch, attending music shows in the area, and singing and dancing (when in Spain, that nearly always happens at family gatherings in which her dad and brother play the guitar).
“Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness,” by Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi.
“the things you used to own, now they own you” (Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk).
Dr. León-Távora’s inspirational role model is her research adviser, Francisco García Tortosa, who she describes as: “an amazing European scholar, a better literary translator, and the best friend and counselor.” Professor García Tortosa taught Dr. León-Távora how to find the interconnectedness of everything beyond any apparent dissimilarities.
Dr. León-Távora’s first intention was to make a list of her favorite books; then she realized that task was as impossible as answering the typical question “what kind of music do you like?.” But she loves literature in any language she can read, her favorite genres being poetry (Gerardo Diego, Miguel Hernández, Lorca, Alberti, Neruda, Blake, Saint John of the Cross, Ana Rossetti, Rimbaud), short story (Cortázar, Borges, Monzó, Benedetti), and experimental novels (Laurence Sterne, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Italo Calvino, Cabrera Infante, Martín-Santos). She also loves to read about Asian Philosophy and Asian Religions, having The Upanishads among the top ten in her library.