Sophie Esch


  • Role:

  • Education:

    • PhD
    • Tulane University
  • Concentration:

    • Mexican and Central American Literature and Culture
    • Latin American Literature and Culture


Professor Esch, Assistant Professor of Modern Mexican Literature and Culture at Colorado State University since 2014, earned her PhD from Tulane University. Her research areas include violence, technology, gender, and animal-human studies. Her research focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century Mexican and Central American literature, music, and photography. Her book, Modernity at Gunpoint. Firearms, Politics, and Culture in Mexico and Central America, forthcoming with University of Pittsburgh Press in 2018, provides a critical exploration of the links between violence, technology, and modernity in narratives of war and revolution. Through an analysis of novels, songs, and photographs, the book elucidates the pivotal role of firearms in political and cultural discourses about the Mexican and Nicaraguan Revolutions, as well as postwar Central America and drug war Mexico. Sophie Esch was a Global Teaching Scholar on the Fall 2016 voyage of Semester at Sea. Currently, she is a Global Environmental Sustainability Resident Fellow to work on her new research on the link between drug and wildlife trafficking in Latin American literature.



2018 Modernity at Gunpoint. Firearms, Politics, and Culture in Mexico and Central America, University of Pittsburgh Press, Illuminations Series, forthcoming 2018.


2017 “In the Company of Animals: Otherness, Empathy, and Community in De fronteras by Claudia Hernández,” Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, vol. 51 no. 3, 2017, 571-593.

2016 “Rambo pinolero y Robocop guanaco: La novela del desmovilizado en la literatura centroamericana de posguerra,” AFEHC. Asociación para el Fomento de los Estudios Históricos en Centroamérica. 69, n.p.

2014, “In the Crossfire: Rascón Banda’s Contrabando and the ‘Narcoliterature’ Debate in Mexico,Latin American Perspectives. 41.2: 161-176.

2010, “Encuentros y desencuentros culturales en el 'estrecho dudoso'. La constitución del espacio río San Juan por viajeros y escritores/as de las Américas,” América. Cahiers du CRICCAL, Transamériques: les échanges culturels continentaux. 39: 157-163.

2009, “Travelers and Littérateurs at the Banks of the San Juan River: Intertextual Fluxion and the Desire for Universality (in Texts by Ephraim G. Squier, Mark Twain, José Coronel Urtecho and Gioconda Belli),” Ciberletras, 21. n.p.

2008, “¿El río San Juan como 'mausoleo de modernidades' de Nicaragua? La negociación literaria del significado de modernidad a las orillas del río,” L'Ordinaire Latino-américain. 211: 145-164.

2008, “Fantasmas del canal, frontera y el poeta en la orilla del río. La constitución del espacio río San Juan en los textos literarios Rápido tránsito, Trágame tierra, Waslala y Al otro lado del San Juan,in: Istmo. Revista virtual de estudios literarios y culturales centroamericanos. 17, n.p.

Curriculum Vitae

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  • SPRING 2018 LSPA 449 Bearing Witness: Testimonial Writing in Latin America

    In this course we will take about a central form of Latin American writing: the testimonio. Looking at texts and documentaries by people whose voices are often excluded from the literary canon, such as indigenous women, black men, workers, the poor, militants, and children, we will discuss the meaning of history and truth, fiction and truth, of having a voice and being voiceless.

  • SPRING 2018 LSPA 436 Advanced Latin American Culture

    In this course, the study of literary texts, music and film within their sociopolitical context will enable students to think, talk and write knowledgeably about Latin America’s diverse cultural expressions and major sociopolitical issues. The course will work along four modules: 1) Migration and Borders; 2) Cultural Contact and Clash; 3) Culture and Politics