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Emily Sterk

Emily Sterk

48 Burrowes, Cubicle 5

Phone: (814) 863-9441

Curriculum Vitae:

Emily Sterk Profile Image


MA, Spanish and Latin American Literature, Penn State University
BA, English and Spanish, Washington & Jefferson College.

Research Interests:

Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Literatures and Cultures; Speculative Fictions; Feminist Studies; Translation Studies; Anti-Colonialism; and Decolonial Thought


Emily Sterk is a Ph.D. candidate in Penn State’s Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Emily’s dissertation, “(S)extractivism in the American Tropics: Sex Workers as Reproductive Laborers of National Identities, Sex Tourism, and the Global Marketplace,” studies a series of cultural and literary representations of sex tourism and sex workers’ role in the coastal tourism economies of Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. She argues that sex workers serve as reproductive laborers that sustain these national economies, while also playing a key role in the intellectual imagination of their respective nations and their positions in the global marketplace.

Emily holds a B.A. in English and Spanish from Washington and Jefferson College and an M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Literature from Penn State. Prior to coming to Penn State, Emily served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at la Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá. There, she taught several intermediate and advanced level English courses and facilitated a book club for English language learners. At Penn State, Emily routinely teaches SPAN 002, SPAN 003, and SPAN 100. Emily is currently serving as an instructor in Penn State’s Department of Comparative Literature.


  • “The Limit of Political Possibilities in Translation: Achy Obejas’s Tentacle, A Translation of Rita Indiana’s La mucama de OmicunléTranslation Review, forthcoming, 2022.
  • “‘I am no Longer the Child my Mother Shipped’: The Achievement of Erotic Sovereignty in Angie Cruz’s Dominicana.” Voces del Caribe, forthcoming, 2022.
  • “La mujer como edificación de la memoria en Lo amador de Roberto Burgos Cantor.” Cincinnati Romance Review, vol. 49, 2020, pp. 78-94.
  • “Cuban Diaspora.” Latino Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students, ABC-Clio, forthcoming, 2022.
  • “James, Conrad Michael. Filial Crisis and Erotic Politics in Black Cuban Literature. Tamesis, New York, 2019 (189 pp.).” Voces del Caribe, vol. 12, no. 1, 2021, pp. 1329-1333.


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