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Emily Jeanne DiFilippo

Graduate Student, Spanish and Portuguese

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While my maternal grandmother's family has lived in Illinois since the 18th century, my father and maternal grandfather are of Abruzzese and Sicilian origin, respectively. To me, the culture of the Mediterranean region is not only of great intellectual interest, but also of profound personal importance.

I myself am a native of Saint Charles, Missouri and a former high school Spanish teacher. In addition to literature and culture, I also love studying the Italian and Catalan languages, quilting, practicing yoga, and standard poodles. 

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

20th and 21st century Peninsular narrative, Gender and Women's Studies, Critical Disability Studies, Queer theory,

Research Description

  • My dissertation project examines disability in literary and cultural production of Spain in the context of the economic crisis (2005-2015). 


  • MFA, University of Notre Dame, Creative Writing (2010)
  • MA, Washington University in St. Louis, Spanish (2005)
  • BA, Washington University in St. Louis, English & Spanish (2003)

Distinctions / Awards

  • Award for Excellence, UIUC Department of Spanish & Portuguese. 2016.
  • Best Graduate Paper Award, 2015
  • Diffenbaugh Fellowship, Academic Year 2012-13


  • Anthony M. Pasquariello Award for Catalan Studies. 2015.
  • European Union Center Graduate Student Research Grant. October, 2014
  • SP Conference Travel Grant. Spring 2016.
  • Summer Research Fellowship, UIUC Department of Spanish & Portuguese. 2015.
  • SIP Conference Travel Grant. Spring 2014.
  • UIUC Graduate College Conference Travel Grant. Fall 2015.


  • Oral Spanish (SPAN 208). Spring, 2015
  • Spanish Cultural Studies II (SPAN 320). Spring, 2016
  • Introduction to Cultural Analysis (SPAN 254). Summer, Fall 2013, Fall 2014
  • Readings in Hispanic Texts (SPAN 200). Fall, 2015
  • Spanish Composition (SPAN 228). Spring, Summer 2014

Conference Presentations

  • Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, University of Kentucky at Lexington, April 16, 2016: “Black, black, black de Marta Sanz: La rabia de una coja guapa"
  • Midwest Modern Languages Association Convention, Columbus, OH, November 13, 2015: “Mi hermano era normal”: Reading Disability and Interdependence in Belén Gopegui’s El padre de Blancanieves"
  • Women of the Mediterranean Conference, Sant’ Anna Institute at Sorrento, Italy, June 12, 2015: “‘Un amor ben inútil’: Disability in Montserrat Roig’s L’hora violeta”
  • Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, University of Kentucky at Lexington, April 11, 2014: “‘Aquella mar nostra’: Queer Space in Two Short Stories by Carme Riera”
  • Women’s and Gender History Symposium, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, February 28, 2014: “Between Heaven and Spain: Eroticism and Domestic Violence in Take My Eyes”

Editorial Work

  • Translation: “The Figure of Lazarus and Anti-Epic Rhetoric: History and Memory of the Spanish Civil War in the Catalan Novel” by Xavier Pla
  • Translation: “Excessive Subjects in a State of Consensus” by Luisa Elena Delgado. Presented at the Modern Language Association Annual Convention, January, 2014.
  • Copy editing: La nación singular. Fantasías de la normalidad democrática española (1996-2011) by Luisa Elena Delgado. Published by Siglo XXI de España, 2014.

Service to the Profession

  • SIPGO (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese Graduate Student Organization) Secretary, Academic year 2013-2014