Juan Manuel Ávila ConejoPublic Humanities Fellow 2023-2024
Avila is KJCC’s Public Humanities Fellow 2023-2024, assisting in the center’s mission to bring humanities scholarship on the Spanish-speaking world into the mainstream.
Ávila, from Costa Rica,is Ph.D candidate in Comparative Literature at New York University. His research examines culture from the Global South through the lenses of marxism, political philosophy, and ecocriticism; primarily in English, Spanish, French, and Russian. In his dissertation, he studies plantation literature and art from Costa Rica in the first half of the twentieth century through the framework of critical political ecology, comparing local narratives of place against United Fruit Company’s advertising and propaganda materials, and arguing how the struggle for land and labor rights in the plantation zone shaped the development of Costa Rica’s ecological consciousness. He has also published articles on issues of land and tradition, film and historiography, and political philosophy.