Ana Cornide is a native of Madrid, Spain, where she received her B.A. and MA degree in Spanish and Latin American Literature from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She received her PhD in Spanish from the University of Virginia. She has taught at Earlham College and currently she is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Critical Service Learning at the Spanish and Portuguese Department at the University of Arizona.
Her research is firmly situated in contemporary cultural and performance studies, with a strong commitment to the examination of race and ethnicity and their interchange with gender and sexuality studies. For the past years, a central focal point for her academic research has been the cultural politics of migration and the figure of the migrant as a site of cross-cultural dialogue, which connects her work to broader fields of transatlantic border studies and theories of globalization. She has conducted research, presented at conferences and taught a contemporary group of writers, performance artists, and film directors–individuals who have then gone on to shape and been shaped by this trend. Her current research project focuses on how gendered discourses and racialized ideologies shape the representation of North African immigrants in Spanish culture as well as how new migrant narratives (literature, film and performance arts) give rise to new iterations of what it is to be of and within Spain and Europe.
At the U of A, Ana’s outreach work promotes development through arts and humanities to serve as a means of overcoming social barriers. As the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, she created a critical service-learning program that involves integrating experiential opportunities for students in the department to focus on critical service learning, social entrepreneurship, leadership, and community-based projects and outreach. Amplifying the work on civic engagement in the department builds off the plan to become a potential institutional base for helping community-based development in general. Since the beginning of the program in the fall of 2014, partnerships have been established with 33 organizations in the fields of education, human rights, law, public health, counseling, and diplomacy.
She is currently part of the initiative of collaboration between the Owl & Panther Project and the Tucson Museum of Art as a second iteration of the Museum as Sanctuary program – a unique community partnership focusing on the benefits of creative expression through art-making and in-gallery activities for Refugee Children.
She is also a member of the new initiative South Tucson Youth Leadership Council where health services providers, after school programs, and arts organization in the South of Tucson seek to develop a model for leadership development for young people across Southern Arizona using literacy education and the arts.
Alongside her academic career, she has acted, directed, and produced Spanish-language plays and political performance art pieces in Madrid (Spain) with Gonzalo Escarpa, Jordi Corominas and the theater company Ron Lala in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the director Goyo Cáceres and in Charlottesville, VA with Fernando Operé.
Since 2014, she has been a board member for Borderlands Theater, a professional theater company recognized nationally and internationally for the development and production of theater and education programs that reflect the diverse voices of the U.S./ Mexico border region. She was chosen by the former director of the company, Barclay Goldsmith, to serve as the dramaturge for the final play of the 2015-16 season, The Ghosts of Lote Bravo by Hilary Bettis, a project funded by the National New Play Network
Ana is co-founder of the theater group Digna Theatre which produces plays about human rights in a local and global context to promote education and social advocacy. Digna Theatre partners with local and international human rights organizations to provide audience members with opportunities to be agents of change and social transformation. The first production is the play Digna by Patricia Davis. Digna is directed by Barclay Goldsmith, features Alba Jaramillo as Digna, and is accompanied with live music by Rebeca Cartes. She defines drama as a powerful teaching tool that integrates verbal and nonverbal aspects of communication and promotes the development of creativity. It is based on the social and communal aspects of learning where self-awareness and the awareness through/of others emerge.
In Spring 2016, Ana was selected as the recipient of the Richard Ruiz Diversity Leadership Faculty Award for the 2015-2016 academic year. This prestigious award honors faculty who have significantly contributed to enhancing the academic distinction of the University of Arizona by creating a diverse and inclusive community.