MA Student in Spanish

Nayid Jesus Contreras


One of my personal passions is studying Latin American Literature with a focus on the marginal character, that is, the most vulnerable people among the population, I’ve completed my interdisciplinary double degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies at UBC. I think that the multidisciplinary emphasis of my studies have allowed me to learn about a set of complementing subjects such as Spanish literature, art history, political science, history, sociology, psychology, among others, and has also opened my curiosity for the study of minority people in literature. Especially in Latin America where discrimination, homogeneity, and exclusion are the social codes which end up being represented in its literature. I would like to research how the marginal character (e.g. indigenous people, Afro-descendants, and the LGBT community) are being represented in Latin American Literature and its social implications.


One of my passions is Hispanic literature, but more specifically, contemporary Colombian literature. This is why I would like to research modern Colombian novelists of the 21st century who, perhaps influenced by previous literary eras such as the “Boom” (the worldly acclaimed Latin American literature of the 1960s and the 1970s), intended to diverge from it and created their own style. Today, Colombia is a delta of literary currents that lodges all sorts of genres (romantic, fantastic, police, dirty realism, etc.), with a multiplicity of styles, authors with different backgrounds, and a plurality of subjects such as violence, psychological thrillers or the pre-Columbian heritage.

As Roberto Burgos Cantor has pointed out, “Today the literature of Colombia is offered as a possibility of multiple readings and of varied registration, and is likely to be written and read with an awareness of the anomaly that was not always present” (240). This critic refers to a situation where Colombia has been known in the last decades: violence, guerrilla, drug-trafficking, and poverty. These themes are still present in a real or ghostly manner in many current Colombian authors as a way of giving testimony, constructing memory or as a means of exorcising a less pleasant side of their lives. However, within contemporary Colombian literature little or none has been written about gender minorities, particularly the LGBT community which faces continued discrimination, persecution, and violence.

For this reason, I plan to investigate some of the most relevant contemporary LGBT writers with a special focus on the representation of the gay character. The corpus includes the following novels: Un beso de Dick (1992) by Fernando Molano; Al diablo la Maldita primavera (2004) by Alfonso Sánchez Baute; Delirio (2004) by Laura Restrepo; Mártires del Deseo (2007) by César Alzate Vargas; and Los hombres no van juntos a cine (2014) by Manuel Valdivieso. There are few antecedents about works that deal with the subject of representations of the gay characters in the Colombian novel. In this respect can be referenced the article by Fernando Díaz Ruiz entitled, “La identidad gay de una drag queen globalizada en Al diablo la maldita primavera de Alfonso Sánchez Baute” (2010).


Samuel A. Navarro & Nayid Contreras. (2016). Telecollaboration, to what extent is this a valuable addition to a Spanish Language Program? Northwest Linguistic Conference (NWLC). Northwest Linguistic Conference (NWLC), University of Washington, Seattle, WA (22), 2016.