Jessica Daves

PhD Student
New Cabell Hall 458
Office Hours:
9AM-10:50AM, W, or by appointment


Ph.D., Spanish, University of Virginia (expected graduation, 2018)

M.A., Spanish, Auburn University (2013)

B.S., Spanish Education, Auburn University (2011)


My dissertation examines bilingual texts from Spanish-speaking Caribbean and Caribbean American writers, including but not limited to Angie Cruz, Nelly Rosario, Roberto G. Fernández, and Rosario Ferré. I examine the contradictions and difficulties presented in writing bilingually in Spanish and English, as well as portraying Spanish-speaking characters in English, keeping in mind that, considering the works I am studying are published in the United States, the readership could well be English monolingual for many of these works. With that in mind, I consider the ways in which various writers open their works to monolingual readers, or whether their use of both Spanish and English inhibits any but bilingual readers from fully enjoying the work, as well as the implications of implied readership on the message and dissemination of the texts. In addition, I consider the attitude toward bilingualism explicit within the texts, and, when appropriate, I also consider ways in which the relationship between the United States and the three Hispanophone Caribbean nations affects those attitudes portrayed in the texts. I also consider the ways in which various characters take advantage of either their Spanish or their English or both to create or diminish bonds and relationships with other characters. In other words, I examine ways in which various characters either reject or embrace one or both of their languages with the purpose of identifying – or rejecting identity – with immigrant and Caribbean people, particularly those of the same nationality as the character in question. The purpose of my work, therefore, is to expand knowledge of Caribbean American works that take advantage not only the English but also the Spanish language of their authors.

Research Interests

  • Bilingualism and Bilingual Texts
  • Immigrant Literature
  • US Latino Literature
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Translation Studies
  • Contemporary Caribbean Literature
  • Reader-Response Theory


  • SPAN 1010-1020, Elementary Spanish
  • SPAN 1060, Accelerated Elementary Spanish
  • SPAN 2010, Intermediate Spanish 1
  • SPAN 3300, Texts and Interpretations


“La mania de la traducción: Consideraciones sobre la “traducción” en La traducción de Pablo de Santis y “Nota al pie” de Rodolfo Walsh,” MIFLC Conference, October 13-15, 2016, James Madison University

“¡Salud, oh Colón!”: The influence of Colón in Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo’s Viaje a la Habana,” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, April 14-16, 2016, Lexington Kentucky

“Poetic Exploration across Lost Borders: Defining “New Latino Poetry” in The Wind Shifts,” Auburn Research Week, April 2013

“Poetic Exploration across Lost Borders: Defining “New Latino Poetry” in The Wind Shifts,” "Entre Nosotros” Faculty and Student Presentations in honor of visiting writer, Francisco Aragón, October 16, 2012

"Two Crabs in the Same Shell: A phraseological comparison of Rosario Ferré’s ‘Language Duel’ poems,” Auburn Research Week, April 2, 2012

Grants & Awards

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities South Atlantic Studies Fellowship, Spring 2016

Graduate Scholars Symposium Second Place Presenter (Humanities), April 2013

Graduate Scholars Symposium First Place Presenter (Humanities), April 2012