Richard Reitsma, PhD, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, received his M.A. from Purdue University, and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. His doctoral research focused on issues of gender, sexuality, and race in plantation literature of the American South, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. At Canisius, Richard teaches Spanish, Latin American Studies, and Honors courses. A longtime judge for the Lambda Literary Awards, his current research concentrates on gender and minority representation in literature and film of the American South, U.S. Latinos, and Latin America. Past research and publications include an examination of messages of diversity and tolerance in children’s animated movies, an exploration of the tensions between sexuality and ethnic identity in Latino film, and “Lethal Latin Lovers: Sex and Death in Latin American Cinema,” and “Sexuality, Masculinity, and the State in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.” Current research revolves around three areas: Interviews with immigrants deported from the United States to Mexico and their struggles to adapt; an historical look at how Buffalo manufacturing profited from slavery in the Caribbean; and an exploration of the LGBTQ movement in Santa Clara, Cuba as a model for intersectionality in the face of crisis.
Dr. Reitsma is also the founder and director of the Borders & Migrations Initiative an interdisciplinary series of films, art work, speakers, workshops, research, teaching materials, and community outreach. In 2019 Dr. Reitsma with Dr Ertorer of Sociology received the Mission & Identity Grant to further develop the Borders & Migrations Initiative.
In 2020 Dr. Reitsma was awarded membership in DiGamma Honors Society, and was awarded the Faculty Service Award. In 2020 Dr. Reitsma received the VPAA Summer Research Grant.
In 2021, Dr. Reitsma was featured on the Pedagogy Primer Podcast to talk about how borders, migration, and Jesuit pedagogy can impact learning experiences in and out of the classroom.
Margaret Stefanski, Professor of Spanish, received her M.A. degree in Spanish Philology from the University of Warsaw, Poland and her Ph.D. from SUNY at Buffalo. Her research focuses on Spanish Peninsular Literature, interdisciplinary connections between verbal and visual arts, and pedagogy of teaching languages. Currently, Dr. Stefanski writes and presents on Spanish, Hispanic, and Polish short-short fiction or microfiction, which enables her to integrate several aspects of the high/low postmodern culture in her research and teachings. She is also founder and organizer of the annual Polish Film Showcase, under the auspices of the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius University. Latest international publications include “Los freaks del circo: convergencias de espacio y forma entre la fotografía de DianeArbus y el microrrelato de Ana María Shua.” Microtextualidades: Revista Internacional de microrrelato y minificción, 2019; “Entre invención y descubrimiento: la minificción polaca de Mrożek y Stachura.”Minificción y nanofilología: latitudes de la hiperbrevedad, Iberoamericana-Vervuert, 2018; “La vida es circo: estética y estrategias narrativas en Fenómenos de Circo de Ana María Shua.”Un universo que se expande: Los nuevos mundos de la minificción. Universidad de la Laguna, 2017; “La minificción y el arte urbano: hacia un encuentro entre genéros”Description: UniDiversidadPuebla: Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, 2015; “La minificción y el realismo socialista en la obra de Sławomir Mrożek”. La minificción en el siglo XXI: aproximaciones teóricas. Bogotá D.C.: Universidad Nacional de Colombia. 2014.
Dr. Stefanski also organizes and leads the Short Term Study Tour on Roman-Arab Spain and El Camino de Santiago. She also directs the Study Abroad in Puerto Rico and Andalusia.