Juan Fernandez-Cantero

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  • Post-Doctoral Scholar
  • Hispanic Studies
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Social Theory
1106 Patterson Office Tower
(859) 257-1469
  • Other Affiliations:
Research Interests:

Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies. University of Kentucky, KY. 2020.
Certificates: Historic Preservation; Social Theory; Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies; Gender and Women's Studies.

Bridging the Gap. Medical Interpreter Training. The Cross Cultural Health Care Program. 2021.
Master of Hispanic Studies. Auburn University, AL. 2014.
M.Ed. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Universidad de Alcalá, Spain. 2010.
M.S. in Business Administration. Universidad de Alcalá, Spain. 2009.

Honors and Awards:

2020. University of Kentucky 2020 Provost TA Outstanding Teaching Award.
2019. Graduate Research Grant. Sigma Delta Pi.
2019. Dissertation Enhancement Award. Department of Hispanic Studies, University of Kentucky.
2019. Arts & Sciences Certificate of Outstanding Teaching. College of Arts & Sciences, University of Kentucky.
2019. Viji Jaganathan Scholarship for Cross-Cultural Understanding. University of Kentucky.
2019. Hispanic Studies Community Service Award. University of Kentucky.
2017. McCrary Award for Outstanding Second-Year Graduate Student. Department of Hispanic Studies, University of Kentucky.
2015. Graduate School Academic Year. Graduate School, University of Kentucky.
2014. Certificate of Achievement for Academic Excellence - College of Liberal Arts. Intl Student Organization, Auburn University.
2014. Top International Graduate Student. Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Auburn University.


De Alcalá de Henares a Ciudad de México: ciudades, universidades y preservación del patrimonio histórico


Director: Mónica Díaz (Hispanic Studies, History)
Committee Members: Douglas Appler (Historic Preservation), Moisés Castillo (Hispanic Studies), Francie Chassen-López (History), Carmen Moreno-Nuño (Hispanic Studies)

Dissertation Summary:

My dissertation explores the relationship between the city of Alcalá de Henares, Spain and Mexico City, Mexico, in terms of the colonization-decolonization processes of the latter. First, Alcalá de Henares and a few years later, Mexico City, suffered profound urban transformations that led to the construction of the so-called City of God (Civitas Dei). The City of God was a utopia: an urban, philosophical and educational model conceived during the first stages of the early modern period. By following Saint Agustine’s precepts, in his book, The City of God Against the Pagans, cardinal Francisco Ximénez de Cisneros created in Alcalá the first planned university city; this project can also be interpreted as the intersection of the Spanish humanist agenda along with the new ideas of the modern state introduced by the Catholic Monarchs in the 15th century. During the conquest and colonization of the Americas, such an urban, educational, and religious model came to be a perfect tool for the indoctrination of indigenous people. Whereas the City of God in Alcalá de Henares and Mexico City will be studied in Chapters One and Two, Chapter Three explores the use of the University of Alcalá’s Renaissance architecture in the Americas, the decolonization process of Mexico’s Royal University when it became the National Autonomous University, and the creation of an outstanding university campus. The final chapter will be devoted to analyzing the use of Renaissance and colonial urbanism, as well as the architectural heritage in both Alcalá and Mexico City in relation with the UNESCO’s World Heritage program, and the role of public history in the creation of national narratives.
Ultimately, by studying the history of Alcalá de Henares and Mexico City, their universities, and their preserved heritage one can understand why both cities have a shared past and a mutual present within the 21st century world-system.


2021. Las necesidades procedentes de la diversidad cultural y lingüística [Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Primary Education]. Commissioned book. MELC, S.A., Universidad del Atlántico Medio. Spain. 



El Quijote en Alcalá de Henares: graffiti, arte urbano y autorrepresentación.” Vernacular: New Connections in Language, Literature, & Culture, no. 5, 2020, Article 4, pp. 1-31.

El ascenso criollo y la construcción de la independencia mexicana, una aproximación genealógica.” Revista de Historia de América, no. 157, June 2019, pp. 87-105, doi:10.35424/rha.157.2019.70.


Conference Talks:

2019. “Migración e hibridez colonizadora en Historia de la monja alférez”. 39th Cincinnati Conference on Romance Languages and Literatures. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

2018. “Ariel y Calibán en la planificación urbanística universitaria latinoamericana”. IX International Congress, Hispanic Association for the Humanities. Universidad de Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.

2018. “Las Cervantas: feminizando la nación”. 21st Annual Hispanic and Lusophone Studies Symposium. The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

2017. “De Alcalá de Henares a Lubbock: una fachada renovada”. XVIII Annual Conference on Latin American and Iberian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

2016. “El Quijote en Alcalá de Henares, arte urbano y autorrepresentación”. VII International Congress, Hispanic Association for the Humanities. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain.

2015. “Juego de Noches, el amor en juego”. Foreign Languages and Literatures Mini-Symposium. Auburn University, Auburn, AL.

Invited Talks:

2020. Recent Defenders Panel. 2020 Summer Dissertation Writing Camp. Graduate School, University of Kentucky. May 22nd.

2020. “La ciudad ideal hispana, del medievo a la edad temprana moderna” at Spanish 224 (Introduction to Hispanic Literatures), University of Wisconsin-Madison. March 11th.

2019. “Ciudad de México, poniendo cruces en el mapa” at Nuestro Rumbo: Rutas de investigación en Hispanic Studies. University of Kentucky. March 4th.

2018. Panel of Experienced TAs, Graduate School. University of Kentucky.  August 9th.

2018. “Arquitectura, urbanismo y descolonización universitaria” at SPA 314 (Civilization of Spanish America), University of Kentucky. April 2nd.

2018. “Universities and Identity in Latin America” at LAS 201 (Introduction to Latin America), University of Kentucky. March 20th.

2016. “The Archive” at SPA 770 (Introduction to Hispanic Studies), University of Kentucky. October 11th.

Courses Taught:

University of Kentucky:
SPA 101 - Elementary Spanish I
SPA 102 - Elementary Spanish II
SPA 201 - Intermediate Spanish I
SPA 202 - Intermediate Spanish II
SPA 203 - High Intermediate Spanish
SPA 211 - Intermediate Spanish Conversation
SPA 302 - Spanish for Business Professionals
SPA 323 - Introduction to Spanish Translation
SPA 332 - Spanish and Latin American Business Environments

A&S 100 - The Culture of European Cities (Teaching Assistant to Dr. Susan Larson)

Auburn University:
FLSP 1010 - Elementary Spanish I
FLSP 1020 - Elementary Spanish II