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Chair & Associate Professor of Modern Languages; Chair of Spanish
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
Associate Professor and Chair of Modern Languages; Chair of Spanish
I enjoy analyzing the monster figures that different cultures have created over time and examining how these horrific entities help a society articulate its moral boundaries. As fantastical and imaginary creations, I wonder why these creatures are dreamt up in the first place, which has motivated me to investigate how different disciplines have approached the subject of monsters. This topic raises the very important question of how we might determine what is real in the world and what is not; and, most importantly, what epistemologies are most effective at helping us make this distinction. I am particularly concerned when any human group uses these fictitious entities of the imagination to characterize other real human groups. The questions I explore, therefore, relate to what monsters reveal about the fears and anxieties of the cultures that produced them (specifically those concerning gender, sexuality, race, religion, and political ideologies) and how monster rhetoric is used to articulate an "us vs them" worldview. My goal is that by understanding the different mechanisms of this monstrous thinking we can diminish its influence so that people will come together, and not run from each other, in order to create a dialogue based on real terms, not illusory and self-serving ones.
Though I enjoy studying how these issues play out in cultures from around the world, my primary focus is on how monsters have been employed over the centuries in the struggle to define what Spain is and on what values have been exalted to characterize Spanish identity. My current research has analyzed these questions in several plays by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote, and Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer's Leyendas.
Years at Knox: 2005 to present
Ph.D., 2007, University of California-Santa Barbara
M.A., Spanish and Spanish-American Literature, 2003, University of California-Santa Barbara.
M.A., Teaching International Languages and Cultures, 2001, California State University-Chico.
B.A., Spanish, 1997, California State University-Chico.
Golden Age literature of Spain: Cervantes and Calderón de la Barca; literary theory; monster studies
"Calderón de la Barca, Pedro." La dama duende. Ed. Fernando Gómez. Delaware: European Masterpieces, 2013.
"Religion, Heritage, and Politics: Literary Representations of St. Patrick's Purgatory in Spain during the 1620s and the Agenda of the Irish Émigrés Behind Them." Symposium 66.1 (2012): 16-30.
"Inverting Plato's Allegory of the Cave: The Cave as a Backstage to the World-Theater in Calderón's La vida es sueño and La hija del aire." Bulletin of the Comediantes 63.1 (2011): 87-104.
Transcription of The Sacke of Roome. E-Humanista, 2004.
"De la revolución exterior a la interior en Zoot Suit." Nerter 5-6 (2003): 68-70.
"Passing through Walls, Transgressing Social Norms: The Rhetoric of Monstrosity and Gender in Calderón de la Barca's La Dama Duende." AHCT Spanish Golden Age Theatre Symposium, El Paso, Texas, 2017.
"Creating Inclusivity in Don Quixote (Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Part II)." Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois. April 2015.
"Savages or Saints? Divergent Representations of the Irish in Spanish Golden-Age Theatre". AHCT Spanish Golden Age Theatre Symposium, El Paso, Texas, 2011.
"Tales of Pilgrimage and Purgatory: St. Patrick in the Golden-Age Literature of Spain." Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, Montreal, Canada, 2010.
"Inverting Plato's Allegory of the Cave: The Cave as Backstage to the World-theater in Various Plays by Calderon de la Barca." AHCT Spanish Golden Age Theater Symposium, El Paso, Texas, 2008.
"Reading Don Quijote 400 years later." Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, 2006.
"The relationship between the cave and metatheater in La hija del aire." Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, 2004.
"The pluralistic functions of the cave in the theater of Calderón de la Barca." Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, 2004.
"De la revoluci?n exterior a la interior en Zoot Suit." University of California-Santa Barbara, 2003.
Campus & Community Involvement
What Students Say
"Fernando Gomez brings a certain enthusiasm into his classroom that immediately draws students into open discussion. Not only is it evident that he has a passion for what he teaches, but he is able to reach out to each and every student through his approachable demeanor. He gives students prompt feedback about their assignments and is always readily available for further discussion outside the classroom. He is an extremely hardworking professor and motivates his students to be the same by his example."