Maria Claudia André of the Hope College Spanish faculty received a travel grant from the University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies in support of her work on two research projects.

André, who is a professor of Spanish and chairperson of the department of modern and classical languages at Hope, used the $1,000 award to travel to Gainesville, Fla., and conduct research at the university’s Latin American Collection from March 13 to 19.

She spent the time working on two projects.  The first, “In Search of the Virgin Mary: Saint Mary and the Construction of National Identities in Latin America,” is exploring the different narratives, perceptions and representations of the Virgin Mary in Latin America.  The second, “Performing Gender in Latin America,” studies the ways in which women in the region are subverting traditional feminine roles through physical and visual performance in the public space.

A member of the Hope faculty since 1994, André specializes in Hispanic American literature and Latin American studies in her teaching at the college.  She has presented papers at national and international conferences and published articles in several literary journals.

She has edited or co-edited several books, including “Chicanas and Latin American Women Writers: Exploring the Realm of the Kitchen as a Self-Empowering Site” (Edwin Mellen Press, 2001), “Antología de Escritoras Argentinas Contemporáneas” (Editorial Biblos, Buenos Aires, 2003), “Entre mujeres: colaboraciones, influencias e intertextualidades en la literatura y el arte latinoamericano” (Red internacional del libro, Santiago de Chile, 2004), “Iconos femeninos latinos e hispanoamericanos” (Floricanto Press, 2006), “Seven Plays by Argentine Playwright Susana Torres Molina” (Edwin Mellen Press, 2007), the “Encyclopedia of Latin American Women Writers” (Routledge, 2008), “En esa habitacion propia” (Sirpus, 2010), “Dramaturgas argentinas de los años 20” (Editorial Nueva Generación, 2010) and “The Woman in Latin American and Spanish Literature” (McFarland and Company Inc., 2012).

André holds a bachelor’s degree in translation and interpretation from the Universidad del Salvador (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and a doctorate in Latin American and Spanish literature from the State University of New York at Albany.