Ruth Brown

rrehle0's picture
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Academic Coordinator for Elementary Language Courses
  • Hispanic Studies
  • Diversity and Inclusion
1137 Patterson Office Tower
Research Interests:
Fall 2019 office hours: Mon/Wed 9-12:45, Tues 9-2. Other times available by appointment, just ask! 

PhD, Hispanic Studies University of Kentucky

MA, Spanish University of Kentucky

BA, Spanish Berea College


Currently my teaching emphasis includes instructional design and service-learning curricular development. I am particularly interested in finding practical and professional ways for students to engage with our local Latino community. Beyond the classroom, my research interests also include creative narratives (films, short stories, novels, and chronicles) about migration in the Spanish-speaking world, in particular Mexico and Central America.

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.

Selected Publications: 

“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. (under review)

Selected courses


SPA 480: Hispanic Kentucky

This course is designed to provide students with opportunities to engage with Lexington’s Spanish-speaking community and to think critically about the cultural, political and socio-economic impact of immigration by Spanish-speakers in Kentucky. We will draw on a variety of sources including student’s experiences in the community, non-fiction writing, visual art, and cinema to inform our study of the history and current experience of los kentuquianos. As a service-learning course, student will be required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of service-learning and excursions in the community during the semester in addition to regular class discussions, readings, and assignments. While some of our readings and supplementary materials will be in English, the majority of course assignments and class discussions will be conducted in Spanish.  Pre-requisite: SPA 310.


SPA 314: Civilization and Culture of Hispanic America

This course is designed to provide students with a general understanding of the history, politics, socio-economics, and cultural forms of Spanish America, from Pre-Columbian times to the present. We will draw on a variety of materials, including nonfiction writing, visual art, cinema, and multimedia Internet sources to inform our study some of the many cultures, peoples, and nations that make up Spanish America. Through classroom discussions, oral presentations, written work, and individual exploration, students will be asked to evaluate and think critically about Spanish-American cultures while refining their own communicative abilities in Spanish. This class is conducted in Spanish. Pre-requisites: SPA 210 and 211, or 215, or consent of the instructor.


SPA 208: US Latinx Politics and Culture

This course studies U.S. Latino history and culture, with an emphasis on the evolution of the politics of immigration and the use of Spanish in the U.S. These broader issues will be studied with the express intent of determining what they mean for us here in Central Kentucky. Through classroom discussions, oral presentations, written work, and individual exploration, students will be asked to evaluate and think critically about how differences arising from race, ethnicity, language, nationality, political and ethical perspectives, and socioeconomic class impact their personal understanding of social justice and civic responsibility as it relates to the specific context of US and Kentucky Latino cultures and experiences. This course fulfills the UK Core Community, Culture and Citizenship in the U.S.A requirement.


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