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María Luisa Guardiola


Department Chair, Spanish



  2. Phone: (610) 328-8164
  3. Kohlberg Hall 342
  4. Office Hours: On Leave 2023-2024
Maria Luisa Guardiola

At Swarthmore, Professor Guardiola teaches courses that focus on the representation of the Spanish Civil War in literature and cinema, nineteenth and twentieth century women writers, a survey on Spanish literary history, the role of memory in literary, film and cultural narratives to build national identity, and a recently crafted course on the ‘other,’ focusing on alterity and the new migratory waves in Southern Europe. Additionally, she offers Honors seminars on Federico García Lorca, 19th-century Spanish literature and women’s voices throughout the centuries.

As of Fall 2020 Professor Guardiola is the Faculty Advisor for Off-Campus Study, a position consult with OCS staff regarding the academic component of the study abroad experience.

Professor Guardiola has extensive experience directing study abroad programs. She directed the Hamilton College and St. Lawrence University programs in Madrid, Spain, several times. Under her directorship the programs were restructured to enhance the cultural experience and immersion of the participants. She also taught two embedded study abroad courses at Swarthmore that took students throughout Spain to experience first-hand what they learned in the classroom.

Professor Guardiola received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and her degree of "Licenciada en Filología Hispánica" from the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. She specializes in nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first century Spanish literature, with an emphasis in women writers. She has written on romantic authors such as Cecilia Böhl de Faber, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda and Antonio García Gutiérrez. She also works on the literary production of "fin de siglo" writers such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, and Benito Pérez Galdós. She has done research on Catalan women writers of the early twentieth century, Caterina Albert and Mercé Rodoreda, creators of a modernist style of their own. She has done extensive work on important writers of the second half of the twentieth century: Carmen Martín Gaite, Carme Riera, Montserrat Roig and many others. She has presented at many national and international literary conferences.

She published La temática de García Gutiérrez (La mujer), a book on the female characters and their role in the works of Antonio García Gutiérrez, a Spanish playwright whose literary production spans the nineteenth century (PPU, 1993). Professor Guardiola prepared a critical edition of García Gutiérrez's El trovador (Crítica, 2006, RAE 2013), the play that Verdi used for the libretto of his renowned opera "Il trovatore". This critical edition is the first one to include the author's signed 1836 manuscript and is included in the emblematic Biblioteca Clásica collection directed by Francisco Rico. The edition of Pepita Jiménez, an important realist novel, is designed to help the student understand the essential aspects of late nineteenth century narrative style (Punto de Lectura, 2001). Recent publications include chapters in two volumes of the MLA Approaches to Teaching series devoted to Carmen Martín Gaite and Emilia Pardo Bazán and a few articles focusing on the use of space as a strategy to avoid censorship in Entre visillos (1958) by Carmen Martín Gaite, and exploring the subversive elements of retelling a traditional folk story by Caterina Albert. She is a member of the editorial board of a prestigious journal on Spanish literature.

Professor Guardiola's CV