Cristóbal Garza González, assistant professor of Spanish and Adriana Martinez Diaz De Leon '22

Maple scholar student curates anthology to be taught in Spanish classes at Goshen College

by Sadie Brenneman ’25

Adriana Martinez Diaz De Leon, a 2022 graduate and psychology major from Goshen, alongside Cristóbal Garza González, assistant professor of Spanish, spent eight weeks over the summer curating an anthology, a collection of poems and other pieces of writing, to be studied in Goshen College Hispanic and Latinx culture and literature courses.

Her study, “Hidden Works: 21st-century Female Latin American and Latinx Writers in U.S. culture and Academia” are tailored to the needs of Goshen College students who will soon have the opportunity to engage with the works in their Spanish classes.

“There are many perspectives that are not necessarily touched upon in literature, in this case, female writers with different nationalities, identities and sexualities,” said Martinez.

Literature textbooks used in Spanish classrooms, including those used by GC professors, often represent mostly male writers due to their popularity but lack newly discovered female writers.

Through this project, Martinez hopes to expose students to themes and topics that are rarely addressed in academia. To ensure her curation efforts aligned with the interests of her audience, she conducted a brief survey looking at reading practices, media consumption and literary preferences of Goshen College students taking Spanish classes.

Although Martinez received less than 20 responses, the information helped narrow the scope of her research. She identified preferences for genre and topic, noting students preferred biographies, autobiographies and poetry over fiction, along with topics covering immigration, history and healthcare.

Her research also revealed that students primarily received information from films and TV shows over news outlets. Students also expressed an interest in focusing on Chicano and indigenous culture, particularly the origins.

Using her selected works, Martinez developed activities that include an introduction to the author, the context of the work and an excerpt. Each excerpt is paired with comprehension questions that address vocabulary, language and construction as well as discussion questions that address themes.

Considering that anthologies often take up to two years to create, her selection “is the bare bones of what we would want an anthology to be,” said Martinez.

Nevertheless, the collected works and activities Martinez assembled will continue to grow and evolve through use in Spanish classes with the hope of bringing forth a more inclusive Latin American and Latinx perspective to Goshen College.

Goshen College’s Maple and Hickory Scholars Program allows students to spend eight weeks focusing on a particular area of research, alongside a professor who serves as both a supervisor and colleague. While participating in the Maple Scholars program, students live together on campus and take turns sharing updates on their research. The Maple and Hickory scholars programs are a unique undergraduate opportunity for our students to do hands-on research alongside their professors in interesting and diverse subject areas across various disciplines.

Read more about all 2022 Maple and Hickory Scholar projects.