Ruth Brown

rrehle0's picture
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Academic Coordinator for Elementary Language Courses
  • Hispanic Studies
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
1137 Patterson Office Tower
Research Interests:
Currently I am working remotely - if you'd like to meet on Zoom, please send me a message and let me know some times that are good for you!

PhD, Hispanic Studies University of Kentucky

MA, Spanish University of Kentucky

BA, Spanish Berea College


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.. Beyond the classroom, my research interests also include 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.

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)

Courses for Fall 2021


SPA 480: Hispanic Kentucky
In-person: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12-12:50pm (some Fridays held asynchronously)
This course is designed to provide students with opportunities to engage with Lexington’s Spanish-speaking and Latinx communities and to think critically about the cultural, political and socio-economic impact of immigration by Spanish-speakers to Kentucky. We will draw on a variety of sources including student experiences in the community, journalism, visual art, podcasts, and film to inform our study of the history and current experience of los kentuquianos. While some of our readings and supplementary materials will be in English, all course assignments and class discussions will be conducted in Spanish. This course has a community service and engagement requirement of 20 hours. The instructor will help students set up their placements at a variety of community-based organizations and tutoring programs. Students can also complete some of these hours through attendance at community events and cultural programs. Pre-requisites: SPA 310, or consent of the instructor.
SPA 524: Understanding Latinx Cultures
8-weeks asynchronous on-line, weekly deadlines on Tuesday and Thursdays
Part of the Online Graduate Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion
Undergraduate students must have junior standing and the permission of the instructor to enroll. There are no pre-requisites for graduate students.
This course examines the ways in which race and ethnicity have shaped the Americas from the colonial era to the present. Focusing on race and ethnicity as socially constructed categories, and on the ideology of race and diversity in Latin America and the US (past and present), we will treat race and ethnicity as dynamic processes that shape all social institutions, belief systems, and individual experiences. Through the study of historical and contemporary sources, testimonies of personal experience, and our own independent exploration, we will explore the historical and social relationships among European, Native Americans, and Africans, looking at how these histories impact the present-day experiences of people in the United States whose ancestry originated in Latin America, or who immigrated to the US from a Spanish or Portuguese speaking country. This course is held in English.