Dr. Christopher McGrath


Dr. Christopher McGrath’s focus as a scholar is the literature and culture of Spanish-speaking Caribbean nations and communities. He is interested in how modern literature of that area portrays dynamics between local people and tourists, and how such literature generates discourse about how colonial legacies and modern globalization shape life and understanding in that region. He’s at work on a book to be titled Mapping the Space of Desire: Caribbean Cultural Discourse and the Tourist Encounter.

At Hope, he teaches courses in Spanish grammar, literature and culture, including the upper-level seminar Caribbean Literature and Culture.

His translations into English of poetry and fiction by Spanish-speaking writers — and vice versa —  have appeared in English-language and Spanish-language publications.

Dr. McGrath has been teaching at Hope since 2016. He previously served on the Calvin College faculty and as a visiting professor at Grand Valley State University and Aquinas College.

Areas of expertise

  • Caribbean literature and cultural studies
  • Contemporary Latin American literature
  • Postcolonial studies
  • Tourism studies
  • Gender studies/masculinities


  • Ph.D., Hispanic cultural studies, Michigan State University, 2010
  • M.A., Spanish, Michigan State University, 1990
  • B.A., Spanish, Calvin College, 1985

Selected presentations and publications

  • “The Dominican Republic as [Post]Colony in Los dólares de arena,” presentation at Caribbean Studies Association Conference (Nassau, Bahamas), 2017
  • “El sujeto y las secuelas de dictadura en la obra literaria de René del Risco,” presentation at Feria del Libro Dominicano (New York), 2017
  • “La memoria y los ecos del poder: La cuentística de Aurora Arias en la [des]coyuntura de temporalidades nacionales,” presentation at annual conference of the Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica (AILCFH), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), 2017
  • “‘Tú no sabes nada americana’: El encuentro turístico en el discurso cultural dominicano,” La Habana elegante, 2012
  • “The Repeating Encounter: Tourism in the Cultural Discourse of the Hispanic Caribbean,” Notandum, 2012
  • “Isla, turista y las estructuras del yo: paisajes [psico]caribeños en la narrativa reciente del Caribe español,” presentation at II Congreso Internacional El Caribe en sus Literaturas y Culturas, at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina), 2015
  • “La música popular y la [de]construcción de la masculinidad dominicana de los márgenes en Bachata del ángel caído de Pedro Antonio Valdez,” in El sonido de la música en la narrativa dominicana, edited by M. Serrata (Instituto de Estudios Caribeños), 2012

Outside the college

Professor McGrath and his wife, who like him is a writer and poet, spend the summers (and sometimes Christmas)  in the Dominican Republic, her home country. He enjoys playing the guitar and singing, and can be found playing roots music at open mics in the Grand Rapids area (when not swimming in Lake Michigan).

Dr. Christopher McGrath

Phone Number616.395.7563

Martha Miller Center 212 257 Columbia Avenue Holland, MI 49423
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