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J. Mauricio Espinoza

Title: Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature/Cultural Studies
Office: 710C Old Chemistry Building
Tel: 513-556-1578
Email: espinojm@uc.edu

My areas of research are Latin American cultural studies, Central American literature, and Latino/a studies. Within Latin American studies, I concentrate on film/TV and graphic narrative (comics and graphic novels). Within Central American literature, I study poetry and migration narratives. Finally, I study issues of migration, identity formation, and visual representation of Latinos/as in U.S. popular culture.

In addition to research, I write original poetry and translate the work of Central American poets (particularly the twentieth-century Costa Rican poet Eunice Odio).


  • Ph.D. in Latin American Literatures and Cultures, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 2015 (Latin American Cultural Studies and Latino/a Studies).
  • M.A. in Latin American Cultural Studies, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 2011 (Latin American Studies (History and Literature)).
  • M.A. in Latin American Literature, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica, 2000 (Latin American Literature).
  • B.A., Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, 1998 (Journalism, Electronic Media Production, and English).

Research Information

Research Interests

Latin American Cultural Studies
Latino/a Studies
Film Studies
Graphic Narrative
Central American Literature
Literary Translation
Creative Writing
Digital Humanities


Peer-reviewed Publications

  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2016). “Círculos viciosos: Migración y violencia en la narrativa y el cine trans-centroamericanos”. Istmica, 19, 159-169. [Link]
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2012). “From ‘Mother/Land’ to ‘Woman/Nation’: Destabilizing Nation and Gender Structures in the Costa Rican Film El Camino” . Polifonia, 1 (1), 93-104. [Link]
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2017). “Neoliberalism in the Gutter: Latin American Comics and Society since the 1990s”. Studies in 20th & 21st Century, 42 (1). [Link]
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2014). “Latino/a Hero-Making in Robert Rodriguez’s Films: Identity and Ideology” . Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities, 33 (3), 73-84.
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2011). “Dawn of the Latino Zombie: Transnationalism, Spirituality, and Postcolonial Struggle in the Comic Book and Film El Muerto” . Hispanet, 4, 1-29.
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2002). “El Corazón del Juego: El Juego de Pelota Mesoamericano como Texto Cultural en la Literatura y el Cine Contemporáneos". Istmo, 4.

Book Chapters

  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2018). (In Press). “Drawing Up a ‘Post’-Latin America: The Possibilities and Limits of Gender Imagination in Post-Apocalyptic, Post-Human, and Post-Historical Graphic Narrative”. In Frederick Aldama (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Gender, Sex and Latin American Culture New York: Routledge.
  • Espinoza, Mauricio and Luis Estrada Orozco (2018). (In Press). “Hard Punches, Vulnerable Bodies: Latin American Boxing Films and the Intersections of Gender, Class, and Nation.". In Frederick Aldama (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Gender, Sex and Latin American Culture New York: Routledge.
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2018). (In Press). “Migra Mouse: Immigration, Satire, and Hybridity as Latino/a Decolonial Acts". In Nhora Lucía Serrano (Eds.), Immigrants and Comics: Graphic Spaces of Remembrance, Transaction, and Mimesis New York: Routledge.
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2019). (In Press). “Ready Useköl One: Bribri-Inspired Gaming in Neoliberal Costa Rica". In Jennifer Gómez and Gloria Chacón (Eds.), Indigenous Interfaces: Spaces, Technology, and Social Networks in Mexico and Central America Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2016). “The Alien is Here to Stay: Otherness, Anti-Assimilation, and Empowerment in Latino/a Superhero Comics” . In Frederick Aldama and Christopher González (Eds.), Graphic Borders: Latino Comics Past, Present, and Future (pp.181-202). Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2016). “Fifty Shades of Green: The Meshing of Culture, Teaching and Business in College Campuses’ Sustainability Efforts” . In Jonathan Silverman and Meghan Sweeney (Eds.), Remaking the American College Campus (pp.27-41). Jefferson: McFarland.
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2015). “El amanecer del zombie latino-estadounidense: Transnacionalismo, hibridez y lucha postcolonial en el cómic y filme El Muerto". In Rosana Díaz-Zambrana (Eds.), Terra zombi: El fenómeno transnacional de los muertos vivientes (pp.62-79). San Juan, PR: Isla Negra Editores.
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2014). “The Borderland Construction of Latin American and Latina Heroines in Contemporary Visual Media”. In Maja Bajac Carter, Norma Jones and Bob Batchelor (Eds.), Heroines of Comic Books and Literature: Portrayals in Popular Culture (pp.81-93). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2014). “Latino Advertising, Spanish-Language Media, and the Creation of a Pan-Ethnic Cultural Identity”. In Bob Batchelor and Danielle Sarver Coombs (Eds.), We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life… And Always Has (pp.70-83). Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

Encyclopedia Articles

  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2018). (In Press). “Latin American Independence”. 50 Events that Shaped Latino History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic
  • Espinoza, Mauricio (2017). “Comics of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean". A Planetary Republic of Comics

    Popular Magazine Articles

    • Espinoza, Mauricio “Caos, destrucción, y muerte”: Piglia, el cine, y la nece(si)dad de la fidelidad narrativa". Literofilia.

    Other Publications

    • Espinoza, Mauricio (2017). “Amor y Locura: Mexican Micro-Comics in Historical Context". Between Love & Madness: Mexican Comic Art of the 1970s, 5-10 Rice University.

    Additional Publications

    Book of Poems

    • Espinoza, Mauricio Respiración de piedras San José, Costa Rica: Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica (Author).

    Creative Translation

    • Odio, Eunice. Keith Ekiss, Sonia P. Ticas and Mauricio Espinoza (trans). (2018). (In Press). The Fire’s Journey (Part III) Portland: Tavern Books (Co-Author).
    • Odio, Eunice. Keith Ekiss, Sonia P. Ticas and Mauricio Espinoza (trans). (2016). Territory of Dawn: The Selected Poems of Eunice Odio Fayetteville, NY: Bitter Oleander Press (Co-Author).
    • Odio, Eunice. Keith Ekiss, Sonia P. Ticas and Mauricio Espinoza (trans). (2015). The Fire’s Journey (Part II) Portland: Tavern Books (Co-Author).
    • Odio, Eunice. Keith Ekiss, Sonia P. Ticas and Mauricio Espinoza (trans). (2013). The Fire’s Journey (Part I) Portland: Tavern Books (Co-Author).


    • Espinoza, Mauricio (2017). Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016 (Rev. of Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016). Cincinnati Romance Review. (Author). [Link]

    Honors & Awards

    • “Grant Proposal for the Creation of the UC Latino Faculty Association”, University of Cincinnati's Office of Equity and Inclusion; $5,000 matching funds from UC LEAF., 2017 to 2018.

    Experience & Service

    Work Experience

    • 2016 to Present, Assistant professor, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
    • 2009 to 2016, Adjunct professor, The Ohio State University-Wooster, Wooster, Ohio.


    • Committee Member, UC Latino Faculty Association Leadership Committee, 2017 to 2018
    • Committee Member, Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Studies Program Executive Committee, 2017 to 2018