Graduate School

Hispanic Studies PhD Candidate Renker Selected for Teaching Excellence

Tess Renker, a doctoral candidate in Hispanic Studies was selected for her dedication and professionalism to teaching, as recognized by several faculty in her department along with glowing course evaluations.

Tess Renker
Tess Renker

Renker co-designed the course, Advanced Spanish through Literature and Film, with Sarah Thomas, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies. The course was first taught in the Fall of 2020. 

“Amid a global pandemic, looming elections, and mass protests for racial equality, my class worked to grapple with ‘big picture’ questions through our study of Spanish and Latin American literature and film. Our discussions were some of the most stimulating I have experienced at Brown, and our classroom community was one of the most supportive I have seen,” says Renker. 

Felipe Martínez-Pinzón, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies describes how well each session was organized and executed. “The amount of dedication that went to the assemblage of [the course] is noteworthy and is doubtless one of her prime characteristics: her attention to detail, organization and generosity with time.”

He shares that the final creative projects of her students are a testament to her dedication to language and literature teaching. “They are as involved, passionate and generous as Tess was putting together this course,” says Martínez-Pinzón.

The course was so well received that a group of students from the course still meet up with Renker when schedules allow.

“I have loved engaging with Brown undergrads inside and outside of the classroom, and watching them grow into tremendous scholars, community members, and human beings. I am incredibly proud of all my students and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to teach them,” says Renker

Outside of the classroom Renker’s dissertation deals with literature on the topic of Peru's Internal Armed Conflict (~1980-2000), a civil war that disproportionately impacted Indigenous populations living in rural areas. Responding to stereotyped and exclusionary portrayals of Conflict victims produced from the nation's capital, she considers how Indigenous, rural, women, and ex-combatant writers offer alternative visions of the war and contest hegemonic representations of their respective communities.