Julio Noriega at his desk
Photo by Steve Davis

When he first arrived at Knox in 2009, Julio Noriega’s office was in George Davis Hall. But after a stint directing Knox’s study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain, he moved to Borzello Hall. But location isn’t a big deal to him—“I’m happy at Knox anywhere,” Noriega said. He teaches Spanish language and culture classes at the College, and enjoys sharing his love of hispanic, Andean, migrant, and indigenous literatures with students and others.

Julio's bike leaning against a large bookcase in his office.

1. I use my bike as a mode of transportation to Knox when the weather permits. It’s nice since my home is close, though I do have a car in case it’s too cold or raining. I enjoy biking all around Galesburg when I can.

2. I’ve been collecting books since my undergraduate studies and I’ve built a specialized library. Among my prized Quechua collection are books that I inherited from former Knox professor Edmundo Bendezú through his wife, Mary Ann. Included in the collection are Bibliographie des langues aymara et kicua by Paul Rivet from 1951, Diego González Holguín’s Vocabulario de la lengua general de todo el Perú from 1952, and Dioses y hombres de Huarochirí from 1966, translated by José María Arguedas.

Records sitting on a desk display album art.

3. These records are part of a collection of Spanish, guitar-led instrumental music from the 1960s and ’70s. I enjoy this style of music and share it with others whenever I have a chance.

4. Two of these mugs were given to me by former Knox students— just prior to her departure for graduate studies, a student from Oklahoma gifted me one, and the colorful mug is from a student who studied French and Spanish. The green-striped mug is from home. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I cherish my mugs.

Julio sitting behind mugs he has displayed on his desk.
A painted gourd.

5. I received this gourd as a gift from an indigenous artist in Huancayo, Peru, about a decade ago. The art tells a story that is read from left to right. It’s about a fox who is playing the part of a messenger. The artist created it by drying the gourd and then burning the images onto it.

6. I use a fountain pen when writing and grading papers. I have a small syringe to soak the ink out of the inkwell and then inject it into the pen. I also use a small leather notebook here that I scratch notes in and write about my daily activities. I tell students that they don’t want to look in it because they might see their grades!

7. This shelf is where I keep my degrees and awards. Among them are my college degrees and a contest certificate from the University of Miami. Eventually, I would love to fill this shelf and the walls around my office with original art.