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Joshua Deckman
048 Burrowes, Cubicle 4
Office Phone: (814) 863-9441

Office Hours:

  • M 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM, F 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Josh is currently a doctoral candidate in Latin American literature and culture. He received his B.A. in Spanish and Education from Washington & Jefferson College and a certificate from the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico. He earned his M.A. in Hispanic Literature from Penn State in 2015 and a doctoral minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in 2016. His dissertation project, currently titled “The Poetics and Politics of Pain: Spiritual and Emotional Resistance to Empire in the Afro-Caribbean and its Diasporas,” focuses on articulations of resistance to structures of coloniality, the specter of slavery, and patriarchy in Puerto Rican, Dominican, Haitian, and Cuban afro-descendent women’s literary and cultural productions. Through an analysis of spiritual and emotive discourses, he hopes to operate from a transnational perspective that moves across national and linguistic boundaries to remap the Hispanophone, Anglophone, and Francophone worlds of the African Caribbean. 

Josh recently received a Latin American Studies Travel Grant to pursue these questions in Havana, Cuba, where he conducted archival research in la Biblioteca Nacional José Martí and los Archivos de la Nación. Parts of this project have been presented at the 2016 Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies Conference (CALACS). He will also be presenting his work with the Haiti/Dominican Republic Section Panel at the 2017 conference of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) in Lima, Peru.

In addition to the elementary, intermediate, and advanced Spanish language courses that he has taught at Penn State and in the Language Institute, he also teaches Latinx Studies and literature/cultural survey courses. In the summer of 2017, Josh will have the opportunity to co-direct a summer abroad trip to Puebla, Mexico, where he will teach courses on Mexican literature, culture, and art.

Research Interests: 20th and 21st-century Caribbean literature and culture; Latinx Studies; African diasporic literary and cultural expression in the Americas; Affect and Emotion; Spatial Politics; Decolonial Theory; Women of Color Feminisms.