Giovanna Montenegro, PhD

Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Romance Languages
Binghamton University- SUNY


PhD Comparative Literature    University of California, Davis, CA

(Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory)

MA Comparative Literature Jan. 2007  San Francisco State University

                                                      BFA Photography    San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco


Manuscript In Progress

Title:  “Heretical Stains: German Bankers and the Conquest of Venezuela”

A comparative study of German and Spanish travel narratives, chronicles, and maps that analyzes the German conquest and governance of Venezuela by the Welser bankers and its cultural memory on both sides of the Atlantic.


“The Welser Phantom”: Apparitions of the Welser Venezuela Colony in Nineteenth and Twentieth-century German Cultural Memory.” Transit: A Journal of Travel, Migration, and Multiculturalism in the German-speaking World.11.2 (2018): 21-53. – Article awarded Latin American Studies Association-Venezuela Section- Best Article- Humanities 2019 Prize.

“Venezuela.” Handbook of International Futurism. Ed. Gunther Berghaus. Berlin: De Gruyter. 2018. 894-904.

“Conquistadors and Indians ‘Fail’ at Gift Exchange: An Analysis of Nikolaus Federmann’s Indianische Historia (Haguenau, 1557).” MLN, 132 (2017): 272-290.

“Indigenismo and Futurism in Latin America: José Carlos Mariátegui and the Peruvian Avant-Garde.” International Yearbook of Futurism Studies: Special Issue: Futurism in Latin America. Vol. 7 (2017).  International Yearbook of Futurism Studies Volume 12

“Futurism in Venezuela: Arturo Uslar Pietri and the Reviews Indice and válvula.” In Günter Berghaus, Ed. International Yearbook of Futurism Studies. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012.

“Encuentros cinematográficos y tecnológicos en el aula.” With Consuelo Cervantes and Valentina Velázquez-Zvierkova. Brújula. 8 (2010):103-104.

Book Chapters

“Teaching El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega’s Royal Commentaries along with Visual Representations of the Exploration, Conquest & Colonization of Peru.” Approaches to Teaching the Works of Inca Garcilaso. Eds. Christian Fernandez and José Antonio Mazzotti. Prospectus for Volume Pre-Approved and Forthcoming. Manuscript Accepted.

“Venezuelan Avant-Garde: María Calcaño’s Erotic Poetry.” In Renée Silverman, Ed. The Popular Avant-Garde. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010.

Encyclopedia Entries

“Early Native Voices from the Spanish Colonies.” Gale Researcher: American Literature. Cengage Learning. <> Published in 2016.

“Literature from the Discovery and Conquest of Florida.” Gale Researcher: American Literature. Cengage Learning. <> Published in 2016.

Book Reviews

Review of Beauty, Virtue, Power, and Success in Venezuela 1850-2015, by Elizabeth Gackstetter- Nichols, Chasquí 47.1(May 2018): R20-21.

Review of Autobiographical Writing by Early Modern Women, by Elizabeth Teresa Howe, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 95.1 (2018): 113-114.

Review of The Black Doctors of Colonial Lima: Science, Race, and Writing in Colonial and Early Republican Peru, by José R. Jouve Martín, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 94.9 (2017):1040-1041.

 Review of  Murder & Counterrevolution in Mexico: The Eyewitness Account of German Ambassador Paul Von Hintze, 1912–1914. Ed. by Friedrich E. Schuler. German Studies Review, 40 (2017): pp. 206-208.

 Review of Phronesis-Prudentia-Klugheit: Das Wissen des Klugen in Mittelalter, Renaissance und Neuzeit; Il sapere del saggio nel Medioevo, nel Rinascimento e nell’età moderna, eds. A. Fidora, A. Niederberger, and M. Scattola. Comitatus 45 (2014):306-308.

Review of Aguirre o La posteridad arbitraria: La rebelión del conquistador vasco Lope de Aguirre en historiografía y ficción histórica (1561-1992), by Ingrid Galster. Nuevo Mundo: Mundos Nuevos . Jan. 2012.

Review of Eyes, Lies and Illusions: The Art of Deception by Laurent Mannoni, Werner Nekes, and Marina Werner. German Studies Review 12 (2006): 623-25.


German to English:

Metzig, Gregor M. “The Cloister as a Crossroads of Diplomacy Between Emperor Maximilian I. (1486-1519) and Portugal.” Casa Perfeitísima 500 anos da fundaçao do mosteiro da Madre de Deus (1509-2009). Lisbon: Instituto dos Museus e da Conservação, 2009.

Teaching Experience

Assistant Professor Comparative Literature & Romance Languages, Binghamton University  2015- Current

Travel & Exploration 

Enlightenment and Empire 

Specters of War and Colonialism

Intro to World Literature

Perspectivas de la naturaleza en la época colonial (España, América Latina)

Cultura Hispana    

 España Contemporanea

Lectura avanzada e interpretación


Cuzco, Peru Study Abroad Program- Faculty Director- Binghamton University:

Sustainability in an Era of Globalization:History, Culture and Literature of the Andes Summer 2016; Summer 2017.

Lecturer German and Russian Department, University of California, Davis Spring 2014-2015

First Year German 

Lecturer Women and Gender Studies Department, UC Davis                             Spring 2015

 Intro to Women and Gender Studies 

Instructor UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine: Continuing Education  Spring 2015

Spanish for Veterinary Professionals

Instructor Davis Adult Education    2014-2015 Italian Conversation for Travelers

 Associate Instructor (Sole Instructor), University of California, Davis           2010-2013

Comparative Literature 1 Great Books of Western Civilization “The Ancient World” Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013.

Comparative Literature 2 Great Books of Western Civilization “From the Middle Ages to Enlightenment.” Winter 2012, Spring 2012.

Comparative Literature 3 Great Books of Western Civilization: “Modern Crisis.” Fall 2009, Winter 2010.

Spanish 1 (Spring 2010)

Italian 2  (Substitute; Winter 2010)  

Reader, Spanish Department, Introduction to Latin American Culture and Poesía y artes visuales (Prof. Ana Peluffo)                                      Winter & Spring  2011

English as a Second Language (ESL) Instructor, Communication & Culture Program, UC Davis Extension               2010-2017

Intercultural Research Project

US Culture & Society

Everyday Expressions and Idioms

Composition Intermediate


Reading and Vocabulary- Intermediate and Advanced

Teaching Assistant, University Of California, Davis,                                             2008-2009

Comparative Literature 6 “Myth and Legend”

Teaching Assistant: Comparative Literature 5 “Literature of Fantasy and the Supernatural”     

Other Teaching Activities

Chaperone for High School Teens, Salamanca, Spain, Edu-Culture Int.       Summer 2010

Bilingual Educational Administrator, Embassy of Spain, Ministry of Education   2006-07

Distinctions & Awards


  • 2018-American Association of University Women Publication Grant
  • 2017-Huntington Library Short-Term Grant
  • 2017-Newberry Library Short-Term Grant
  • 2017-Herzog-August Bibliothek Short-Term Grant
  • 2014- NEH Fellowship “Mapping Nature in the Americas”- Newberry Library
  • 2011-2012-Fulbright Fellowship, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany
  • 2012-Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Development Fund for Russian Course
  • 2011-Davis Humanities Institute Summer Travel Grant
  • 2011-Declined-CAORC Critical Language Scholarship in Kazan, Russia
  • 2008-CAORC Critical Language Scholarship in Astrakhan, Russia


  • Summer 2019- Lois B. De Fleur International Innovation Fund
  • Summer 2019- Participant Binghamton University Digital Humanities Institute
  • Spring 2019-Presidential Diversity Research Grant 
  • 2018-2019-Institute of Genocide & Mass Atrocity Prevention Curriculum Development Award
  • Fall 2017-Dean’s Research Leave   Spring 2017-Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) Fellowship
  • 2012-2013- UC Davis-Mellon Research Initiative in Early Modern Studies Fellow
  • June 2011-Tinker Foundation Pre-Dissertation Travel Grant for Venezuela
  • 2007-2011-Tinker Foundation Pre-Dissertation Travel Grant for Venezuela
  • 2006-Sally Casanova Summer Research Fellowship, Freie Universität Berlin
  • 2005-2006-Sally Casanova CSU Pre-Doctoral Program Scholar

Conference Papers

  • Presenter: “Biomedical Technology?: The Extraction of Balsam and the Welser’s Secret Laboratory in the Province of Venezuela.” Colonial Technologies and the Emergence of Latin America panel. Latin American Studies Association. Boston, MA. 27 May 2019.
  • Presenter: Roundtable. Nuevas tendencias en el estudio de la piratería en la Edad Moderna Temprana.  Latin American Studies Association, Boston, MA. 26 May 2019.
  • Presenter and Co-Organizer: “The De Soto Expedition:Indigenous Actors in El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega’s: La Florida del Inca (1605) .” Early De-Colonials: Resistances and Rereadings of the Pre-Modern and Early-Modern Panel. American Comparative Literature Association, Washington, D.C. 8 March 2019.
  • Presenter: “La preocupación de Humboldt por sus instrumentos científicos en su Relation historique du Voyage aux régions équinoxiales du Nouveau Continent.” Congreso Internacional Alexander Von Humboldt. Mérida, Mexico. 21 November 2018.
  • Presenter: “German Capital in the Atlantic as Precursor to the Welser Governance of Venezuela.” Financing Conquest and Empire in Latin America: New Perspectives Panel. Latin American Studies Association, Barcelona. 26 May 2018.
  • Presenter: “The Nuremberg Merchant-Humanist Circle in the 1500s and their Perspective of “Home and the World.” Presenter in Medieval and Early Modern Encounters Seminar. American Comparative Literature Association. 1 April 2018.
  • Presenter: “German Heretics as Governors of the Colonies? Emperor Charles V and the Welsers in Venezuela.” Presenter in “Iberian Sovereignties Panel.” Latin American Studies Association Conference, Lima. 30 April 2017.
  • Presenter: “The Trope of Ethnography in Spanish Colonial Texts through Current Ethnographic Discourse.” Presenter in “Colonial Ethnographies Panel.” Modern Language Association, Philadelphia. 6 January 2017.
  • Presenter: “La representación de los Welser en la historiografía colonial venezolana.” Presenter in “Historia I. Representaciones, celebraciones, y estatuas ” IV Jornadas de la Sección de Estudios Venezonlanos (LASA), Caracas. 17 November 2017.
  • Presenter: “The De Soto Expedition in Text and Map: Indigenous Actors in El Inca Garcilaso De La Vega’s Florida of the Inca (1605).” Presenter in “Reconsidering Narratives of Discovery and Conquest” Panel.  American Society for Ethnohistory Conference. Nashville, November 9-12, 2016.
  • Co-Organizer: “Hemispheric Approaches to Literature and Cartography in the Americas.” American Comparative Literature Association. March 17-20, 2016. Harvard University.
  • Presenter: “The Essequibo & El Dorado: A Cartographic Exercise in Mapping Fantasy in Nineteenth-Century South American Boundary Disputes.”Hemispheric Approaches to Literature and Cartography in the Americas Stream. American Comparative Literature Association. March 19, 2016. Harvard University.
  • Discussant: “Nation and Race in the Visual Culture of Latin America.” Latin American Studies Association Conference. May 29, 2015. San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Presenter: “Connecting Habsburg Spanish and Portuguese Empires During the Age of Discovery: Nuremberg and Augsburg.” Presenter in “Connecting Spanish and Portuguese Empires” Panel.  Modern Language Association Conference. January 9, 2015. Vancouver, BC.
  • Presenter: “Captivity Narratives, or The Desire to Escape from and in the New World: A Look at Hans Staden’s Wahrhafftige Historia (1557) and Werner Herzog’s Aguirre Der Zorn Gottes (1972).” Presenter in “Germans and ‘Others’ in Early Modern Literature” panel. German Studies Association Conference. Saturday, September 20, 2014. Kansas City, MO.
  • Commentator: “Agency and Transformation in German Women’s Travel Narratives.” German Studies Association Conference. Saturday, September 20, 2014. Kansas City, MO.
  • Presenter: “Praying Against the Sights and Sounds of New World Paganism: Jean de Léry and Hans Staden amongst the Tupis in Sixteenth-Century Brazil.” Presenter in “Panel 2: Ancient, Medieval, and Pre-Modern Iterations of Religion and Literature.” Faultlines of Modernity Conference: New Contexts for Religion, Ethics, and Literature. June 2, 2014. San Francisco State University.
  • Presenter: “Mandeville and Marco Polo in German Fifteenth and Sixteenth-Century Cosmography and Cartography.” California Medieval History Seminar. May 3, 2014. Huntington Library.
  • Presenter: “Do Mediterranean Studies Speak to Latin American Colonial Studies?: A Suspected German Lutheran Conquers A Suspected ‘Morisco’ in the Canaries Before Taking On the New World.” The Mediterranean Seminar/ University of California Multi-Campus Research Project. “Minorities in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean.” Winter Workshop March 8, 2014. San Francisco State University.
  • Participant & Presenter: “Ethnography in Sixteenth-Century German Travel Narratives.” In “The Challenge of Ethnography in German Studies” Seminar. German Studies Association Conference. October, 2013. Denver, CO.
  • Presenter: “The Identity Crisis of Comparative Literature in North America and Europe.” XXe Congrès de l’Association Internationale de Littérature Comparée (AILC). 18-24 July 2013. Paris, France.
  • Presenter: “The Sublime in Sixteenth-Century Travel Narratives and Images. Textual and Visual Representations of Encounters in South America.” Junges Forum, Gesellschaft für Überseegeschichte. 8-10 June 2012. University of Vienna, Austria.
  • Presenter: “Hübsch oder hässlich? Légendes dans l’Indianische Historia (1557) de Niklaus Federmann.” Journée d’Etudes “Aufklärung, visions et spectres, entre traditions et nouveaux défis.” University of Toulouse Le Mirail. December 16, 2011.
  • Presenter: “The Cartographer’s and the Adventurer’s Narrative: Depiction of the New World and Reading Practices in the Early Modern Period.” Alexander Von Humboldt & Ibn Batouta Conference. Rabat and Kenitra, Morocco.  November 21-24, 2011.
  • Presenter: “German Conquistador and the Native Other: Niklaus Federmann and the German Colonization of Venezuela.” Fifth International Alexander von Humboldt Conference: Travels Between Europe and the Americas. Freie Universität, Berlin. July, 2009.
  • Presenter: “Interpretations of Natural Beauty in Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory, and Derrida’s Truth in Painting.” Modes of Transgression: Graduate Student Colloquium in Early Modern and Eighteenth-Century Studies. UC Davis. April 18, 2009.

Conference Papers on Professional Topics

  • Organizer Special Session: “Strategies for Advocacy, Lobbying, and Activism in the Humanities: A Roundtable.” With Sasha Colby; Bruce Krajewski (Univ. of Texas, Arlington); Teresa Mangum (Univ. of Iowa); Juan Miranda (UC Davis); Fei Shi (Quest Univ.); Julie Ziegler (Humanities Washington). Modern Language Association Conference. January 10, 2015.
  • Presenter: “Students of Color and Graduate School- ‘Just Don’t Go’ and Recent Debates in Perspective.” Women of Color Conference, UC Davis. May 10, 2014.
  • Presenter: “Class, Women of Color, and the Graduate Student Experience.” Women of Color Conference, UC Davis. May 11, 2013.
  • Co-Organizer: “Terminal: Examining Master’s Degrees.” Roundtable at the Modern Language Association Conference, Boston, MA. January 2013.
  • Co-Organizer: “Colonial Latin America” Forum. University of California, Davis, May 2011.
  • Co-Organizer: “Graduate Student Colloquium.” Department of Comparative Literature. Davis, CA. May 2011.
  • Moderator: “International Graduate Students and Junior Faculty Members: Shaping Our Professional Landscape.” Roundtable. Modern Language Association Conference. Los Angeles. January 2011.
  • Workshop Speaker: “Graduate Students of Color: Strategies for Success.” Modern Language Association Conference. Los Angeles. January 2011.
  • Roundtable Leader for the 2008 ACLA meeting in Long Beach, CA: “The Terminal MA in Comparative Literature – Gateway to the PhD? or a Career in the High-School or Community College?” April 2008.

Service to the Profession

  • Speaker, Workshop for Graduate Students: “Finding Funding.” UC Davis               Nov. 2013
  • Delegate Assembly Member,  Regional Delegate, Western United States and Canada, Modern Language Association                                                                                             2011-2013
  • Graduate Student Representative, Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Profession, Modern Language Association                                                               2009-2011
  • Managing Editor, Peer Review Editor, Copyeditor:

Brújula: revista interdisciplinaria sobre estudios latinoamericanos       2007-2011

  • Student Representative, Graduate Student Association, UC Davis                                    2008
  • Grad. Student Rep. American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)       2007-2009

Professional Affiliations

American Comparative Literature Association

Latin American Studies Association  + Venezuelan Studies Section

Modern Language Association

German Studies Association


Spanish: Native Proficiency.

English: Native Proficiency.

German: Near-native Proficiency.

French: Near-native Proficiency.

Italian: Near-native Proficiency.

Latin: Advanced Proficiency.

Russian: Intermediate Proficiency.

Portuguese: Beginning Proficiency.

Quechua: Beginning Proficiency.