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Ruth Brown

PhD, Hispanic Studies University of Kentucky

MA, Spanish University of Kentucky

BA, Spanish Berea College

I teach a wide variety of courses, including Intermediate Spanish, Spanish American culture, Spanish for Heritage Speakers, and the service-learning course Hispanic Kentucky. I am particularly interested in finding practical and professional ways for students to engage with our local Latinx communities and use Spanish in practical, personal ways. Currently my teaching emphasis includes instructional design and service-learning curricular development, in particular in relation to inclusive and digital pedagogies

In my role as Director of Elementary Language Instruction, I provide administrative oversight and supervise the instruction of the six courses in our elementary and intermediate Spanish language sequence. This work involves managing the curriculum for these classes, providing professional development and mentoring for the Graduate Teaching Assistants who teach these classes, and conducting program evaluations.

My research applies the field of migration studies to our local context through the collection and documentation of the histories and cultures of Kentucky’s Hispanic and Latino people and communities through the in-progress Kentucky Hispanic Heritage Project ( I also enjoy studying creative narratives (films, short stories, novels, and chronicles) about Hispanic and Latinx communities in Kentucky and migration in the Spanish-speaking world, in particular Mexico and Central America.

Beyond the university, I have many years of experience working and traveling in Mexico and the US-Mexico Border region.  I worked with Lexington's Hispanic community for over seven years as a social services provider, health educator, interpreter/translator, and community organizer. During that time, I made many trips to Mexico, visiting the states from which Kentucky's migrants hail and getting to know the Mexican health care system and reasons why people choose to migrate. In 2013-14 I served as Director for Georgetown College's Inmersión en Español Spanish Immersion Program. I have also participated in activities with the Foundation for Latin American and Latin@ Culture and Arts, the Latino Leadership and College Experience Camp, and the Lexington Latino Festival Health Fair planning committee.

Research Interests:
Latinx populations in the U.S.
Second Language Acquisition
Instructional Technology
Language in Kentucky
19th-21st century Latin American Latinx and US culture

Spring 2024 Office hours

  • In person or via Zoom: Monday and Friday 9:30-11:30 am and 1-2 pm
  • Via Zoom: Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30 pm

Need help? Have questions? The best way to reach me is via email or Canvas messages. Monday-Friday I will respond within 24 hours, usually sooner. If you message me on Friday evening-Sunday I will get back to you on Monday morning. 

Community events and organizations

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @UKHispanic for information about community events and opportunities to volunteer.


Selected Publications:

"In Spanish, Here in Kentucky: Authentic Local Materials for the Spanish-language Classroom/En español, aquí en Kentucky: Materials auténticos y locales para las clases de español." Kentucky Hispanic Heritage Project, 22 September 2023.

"‘It’s Important that Diversity is the Hub of Lexington’s Growth’/ ‘Es importante que la diversidad sea el foco del desarrollo en Lexington’.” Kentucky Hispanic Heritage Project, 31 May 2023.

“Migration Chronicles: Reporting on the Paradoxes of Migrant Visibility.” Textos Híbridos: Revista de estudios sobre la crónica latinoamericana. 2.1 (2012)

“Tensiones heterogéneas: La redefinición de lo subalterno en Sab y Aves sin nido." Retomando la palabra: las pioneras del xix en diálogo con la crítica contemporánea. Claire Martin and Nelly Goswitz, eds. (forthcoming from Iberoamicano in June 2012)

“El activismo local de Maquilapolis: Armonizando la mirada femenina con una política de lugar.” Letras femeninas 36.2 (2010): 199-213.

Review of Woman and Change at the U.S.-Mexico Border: Mobility, Labor, and Activism. Journal of Cultural Geography 26.2 (2009): 248-9.

“Chronicling the Border: Chicano Advocacy in a Mexican Genre in Across the Wire.” Enkidu Magazine 2008 Summer Conference Proceedings.