Katrina Barrientos




Katrina Barrientos
Katrina Barrientos





PhD in Iberian and Latin American Studies

Research Interests

A native of New York, Katrina Corazon Barrientos is pursuing her PhD in Spanish Literature and is currently a Presidential Fellow and Kellogg Institute Doctoral Student Affiliate. Katrina earned her BA and MA in Spanish Literature with a minor in Latin American & Caribbean Studies, summa cum laude, from the University at Albany in New York. 

From the outset, Katrina’s research has lent a decolonial lens to her readings of various artistic and cultural productions. Her honors thesis, “La adversidad de ser: Resistencia al colonialism psicológico en la poesía de Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda y Nicanor Parra,” analyzed the voice of decoloniality in diverse poetic forms across decades and national borders. Since then, Katrina has focused her academic work from a broad interest in decoloniality and nation-building, to a finer link between decoloniality, colored bodies and space in 20th- and 21st-century Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx and Afro-Brazilian poetry. In her writings, she connects physical objectification and spatial invasion with issues of race, violence and human rights violations in our postcolonial world. Katrina’s current dissertation research centers on shame, sinfulness and agency in black female bodies in a selection of Afro-Caribbean feminist poetry by Nancy Morejón, Georgina Herra, Mayra Santos Febres, Lourdes Vázquez, Aida Cartagena Portalatín, and others.

When she is not busy with her academic pursuits, Katrina enjoys writing her own poetry and novels about characters of color as they navigate life in America and sometimes lose each other, but find themselves. She also draws an ever-growing collection of fine pencil portraits of human rights leaders she admires, such as Frantz Fanon, La Machi Francisca Linconao and Rigoberta Menchú. Katrina is also a music enthusiast who plays the piano, sings operatic pop and occasionally composes original pieces.


Barrientos, K.C. “Aesthetics of Entrapment: Cinematographic Representations of Mayan Circular Cosmologies in Jayro Bustamante’s Ixcanul (2015).” Under review.

Barrientos, K.C. “Technicity as Violence and Mistranslation of the American Dream in La carreta (1951) by René Marqués.” Under review.

Barrientos, K.C. “‘Strand-ed’: Interrogating the Shame of the Afro-Latina Female Body in Elizabeth Acevedo’s ‘Afro-Latina’ and ‘Hair.’” Label Me Latina/o 10.2 (2020): 1-11. Web.

Barrientos, K.C. “‘Learning to Sleep in New Places’: Language, Third Space and Othering in ‘Negocios’ and ‘Invierno’ by Junot Díaz.” Portals: A Journal of Comparative Literature 17 (2020). Web.

Abad, Katrina B. “From Locus Amoenus to Locus Horribilis: Provincial and Urban Spaces of Cultural (Re)Assertion and Hegemony in Yates and Sigel’s When the Mountains Tremble and Bustamante’s Ixcanul.” Scholars Archive at University at Albany 6 October 2017: 1-15. Web.

Abad, Katrina B. “Guión de Yo fumo puros como mi abuela: un cortometraje.” Scholars Archive at University at Albany 4 March 2017: 1-3. Web.

Conference Presentations

“‘Learning to Sleep in New Places’: The Othering Process of Transculturation in the Translation of Language and Space in ‘Negocios’ and ‘Invierno’ by Junot Díaz.” Presented at the 73rd Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference, University of Kentucky, April 16-18, 2020.

 “Subversión del mito occidental del canibalismo africano ante la máquina colonial en ‘Ñam-ñam’ de Luis Palés Matos.” Presented at Calibans and Caribbeanisms: Troubling the Image, Marquette University, April 2-4, 2020.

“Agorafobia ante el mar abierto de decolonialidad en Retorno al país natal de Aimé Césaire.” Presented at the 39th Cincinnati Conference on Romance Languages & Literatures, University of Cincinnati, April 4-6, 2019.

“From Locus Amoenus to Locus Horribilis: Provincial and Urban Spaces of Cultural (Re)Assertion and Hegemony in Yates and Sigel’s When the Mountains Tremble and Bustamante’s Ixcanul.” Presented at Views from Below: The Underdog in Contemporary Latin American and Spanish Film, University at Albany, October 6, 2017.

“‘La gran niebla en el alma’: Voces de autoidentificación y decolonialidad temprana en la poesía de Feuillet, Escobar y Hernández.” Presented at the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies (MACLAS) Hemispheric Transformations Conference, University of Virginia, March 25, 2017.

Yo fumo puros como mi abuela: Una reinterpretation cinemática de “Mi abuela fumaba puros” de Sabine Ulibarrí. Short film presented at the Annual Latin American & Caribbean Students (LACS) Graduate Student Conference, University at Albany, March 4, 2017.

“Lost in Translation? English Influence on the Pragmatic and Idiomatic Expressions of Spanish Heritage Speakers.” Presented at the 13th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference, University at Albany, April 29, 2016.

“People Power, Persistence and Pride: A Comparison of 20th-Century Nonviolent Movements in South Africa and the Philippines.” Presented at the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) Social Research & Social Justice (SRSJ) Undergraduate Conference, Muhlenberg College, April 4, 2014.

Contact information

343 O'Shaughnessy Hall

Mailing Address:

University of Notre Dame
Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
343 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556