Spanish and Hispanic Studies Newsletter

Message from the Chair

There are several pieces of good news to report this fall.

We are most appreciative for recent gifts to the department. We are thrilled to be designated as a recipient of a major planned gift. Additionally, we received a generous gift to designate an endowed scholarship to facilitate the study of Spanish. Thank you to these special friends for their tremendous acts of generosity.

After fifteen years of service at TCU, Dr. Bonnie Frederick retired last December, and this very month, Dr. Arturo Flores, now in his thirty-fifth year, follows suit. We wish both colleagues well as they begin a new chapter in their lives. Congratulations to Drs. Sohyun Lee and Ryan Schmidt, both of whom were granted tenure and promotion last year. We warmly welcome Dr. María del Puy Ciriza Lope, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics, and Dr. Rodrigo Figueroa Obregón, Lecturer, as new members of the department.

Our research record has been enriched by three recent book publications, one by Dr. Donald Frischmann, another by Dr. Lee Daniel, and a co-edition by me. In spring 2016, the department launched a free tutoring service for students of Spanish who need extra help outside the classroom. We also implemented the ACTFL standards as a guide in teaching our lower-division courses.

In collaboration with TCU Human Resources, the Center for International Studies, and the Intensive English Program, SHS this past summer inaugurated a Faculty and Staff Summer Spanish Academy designed for TCU faculty members and staff who want to improve their oral skills in Spanish.

On the curricular front, two new courses have appeared on Class Search: Flamenco A-Z and Spanish through Children’s Literature, to be followed in the spring by two more, Spanish for Heritage Speakers and Pronunciation and Phonology. It is our hope that, by next year, we will have re-instituted a Latin American Studies Major, along with a lower-division Portuguese language program.

SHS alumni, I invite you to stay in touch and send us news and updates; we’d love to share them. Students, I encourage you to get engaged with your home academic unit by joining La Mesa Hispánica, serving as a reading coach in one of our designated elementary schools, or by studying abroad. Come by and visit the department whenever you need assistance.

— Komla Aggor, Ph.D.

New Faculty

Dr. María Ciriza Lope

Dr. María Ciriza is the new Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics in our department. A native from Bilbao (Spain), she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois with an Advanced Certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education. Her research interests focus on Spanish heritage speaker pedagogy, language revitalization, language contact and change, and medical translation and interpretation.

She has published several book chapters and articles in journals such as: Discourse, Context and Media; Spanish and Lusophone Linguistics; Journal of Latinos and Education; and International Journal of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest.

Currently, she is co-authoring a book with Springer Publishing entitled, Aging in a Second Language. Her collaborations abroad include several months of fieldwork in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Andes documenting contact phenomena between Spanish and Quechua, the most widely-spoken indigenous language in South America. Also, for over a decade she has been investigating the innovations in both the Basque and Spanish languages in rural and urban areas of the Basque Country.

She hopes that in her future work at TCU she will introduce students to meaningful experiences in the local Fort Worth community as well as to other regions of the Spanish speaking world.

Dr. Rodrigo Figueroa Obregón

Dr. Figueroa, a native of Mexico, is with us as a lecturer during the 2016-17 academic year. He specializes in Mexican literature of the 20th century.



Aggor, Komla and Yaw Agawu-Kakraba, eds. Diasporic Identities within Afro-Hispanic and African Contexts. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015

Frischmann, Donald H. and Miguel Ángel May May, eds. U Túumben K’aayilo’ob X-Ya’axche’ / Los Nuevos Cantos de la Ceiba (The New Songs of the Ceiba). Mérida, México: SEDECULTA (Secretaría para de la Cultura y las Artes del Estado de Yucatán), 2015. 522 pp.

Articles & Essays


Schmitz, Ryan. “Theory of Mind in Early Modern Spanish Manuals of Courtly Conduct.” Cognitive Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literature. Ed. Isabel Jaén and Julien Simon. Oxford University Press, 2016. 164-180.

—. “The Hand as Metaphor in Cervantes’s Novelas ejemplares.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies. 93.2 (2016): 99-112.

Aggor, Komla. “Miguel Hernández’s Aesthetics of the Double.” Studia Iberica et Americana 2 (2015): 273-303

Lee, Sohyun. “Apariciones eróticas y el juego paródico del misticismo en Entre todas las mujeres (1992) de Isabel Franc.” Cuaderno Internacional de Estudios Humanísticos y Literatura 22 (2015): 73-81

—. “Rural Repopulation and the Fabrication of a Global Village: The Case of Aguaviva” Ana Corbalán & Ellen Mayock, eds. Toward a Multicultural Configuration of Spain. Local Cities Global Spaces. Madison: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2015. 111-22.

Book Reviews

Daniel, Lee. Rev of Michael K. Schuessler, Foundational Arts: Mural Painting and Missionary Theater in New Spain. The Colonial Latin American Historical Review 2.2 (2015): 274-75


Grants and Honors

Karen Martin was honored by a graduating senior in Spring of 2015 with a gift to the Senior Class Legacy.

Donald Frischmann received the “Distinción al Mérito Teatral” (Award for Theatrical Merit), in recognition of his research in community theatre; awarded by the Asociación Mexicana de Investigación Teatral in Culiacán, Sinaloa, November 20, 2015.

Frischmann also received a TCU Global Citizenship fund to invite writer, Lázaro Hilario Tuz Chi, to the campus. November 2015.

Sohyun Lee received an IDG grant for a study-abroad field study in Peru. July 2015.

Mary McKinney received three awards last year:

  • 2014-2015 Faculty of the Year award from Housing and Residence Life. TCU. April 30, 2015.
  • A scholarship from Junta de Castilla y León and Academia Mester, Salamanca, Spain, for professional development and participation in classes and workshops. May 18-July 3, 2015.
  • A TCU Service-Learning Course Development Grant. August 2015.


Student Achievement and Research Activity

Elizabeth Stallard received an offer under the cultural and language assistants program patronized by Spanish Ministry of Education.

SHS and education major Elizabeth Harrison received the department’s Student Travel Award and attended the Texas Foreign Language Association Conference (“Proficiency and Beyond: Global Competency Through Language, Culture & Literature”) in Houston, October 15-17.

The following students presented papers at the 2015 AddRan Festival of Undergraduate Scholarship and Creativity: Mackenzie Fleck, Audrey Laker, Brendan Mulqueeny, Caleigh Prewitt, Haley Schroer and Jenna Wiles.