About me


Dr. Medina-Vilariño is currently an Associate Professor of Spanish, Race and Ethnic Studies, and Latin American Studies at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. She completed a B.A. in Hispanic Studies at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Ponce, Puerto Rico (her hometown;) an M.A. in Spanish at the University of Florida in Gainesville; and a Ph.D. in Spanish at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds minors in Latin American Studies and Latin@/x Studies.


En Puerto Rico

As an undergrad, she studied abroad in Spain, France, Italy, and Switzerland. Through the Foreign Languages Area Studies fellowship she was able to study abroad in Brazil during her doctoral studies, where she also conducted research on contemporary poetry and Afro-Brazilian culture. She complemented cultural immersion experiences, by developing her pedagogy skills as a graduate student, and completed a Teaching Scholar Certificate and a Graduate Teacher Certificate with the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Illinois. A impactful motivational force for her was being included several times in the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent.

Her areas of expertise are Hispanic Caribbean contemporary literatures, films, and cultural studies. Her research emerges from the intersection of Latino/a/x Studies, Caribbean Studies, and Latin American Studies, which she connects in her work through theoretical approaches to transnationalism, migration, gender and sexuality, national identity, and race.  Her upcoming book (to be published by Editorial Isla Negra) examines the literary, cybernetic, and cinematic representations of Dominicanness (the processes of identity construction and the embodiment of “dominicanidad”) in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the United States.  She has published articles on Dominican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican films and literatures, and has taught numerous courses in Latina/x/o Studies Cultural Studies, Latin American Studies, Spanish for Heritage Speakers, and Spanish language/literature at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels, where she regularly emphasizes Civic Engagement.  Among her other current research projects is a study of the integration of a Latina/x/o Studies curriculum and pedagogy in Spanish departments.