Oakes Faculty Fellows

The Oakes College faculty represents a wealth of expertise from the natural sciences to the humanities, and we are proud to have some of the top scholars in the world among our faculty. Our students major in nearly every discipline at UCSC—from economics and computer science, to theater arts and Latin American and Latino studies—and they are well supported by the depth and breadth of the Oakes College faculty and the extensive knowledge of our advising team.

TBA is Oakes's faculty chair!

The Chair of the Faculty is an Academic Senate member, other than the Provost, who is elected by the college Faculty to serve a two year term, and will serve as a member of the Executive Committee.


Amanda M. Smith
  • Pronouns she, her, her, hers, herself
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • Literature Department
  • Affiliations Spanish Studies, Latin American & Latino Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Research Center for the Americas, College Scholars Program
  • Phone
    831-459-2704 (Office)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Humanities Building 1, 333
  • Office Hours Spring 2022: Tuesday 10-11:20am at Stevenson Café by Google appointment slot
  • Mail Stop Humanities Academic Services
  • Courses LIT 80Q: Jane the Virgin; LIT 124B: Contemporary Latin American Short Story; LIT 160F: Mapping Fictions: Geocritical Approaches to Cultural Studies; LIT 167I: The Environmental Humanities: Latin American Perspectives; LIT 188R: Las humanidades ambientales: perspectivas latinoamericanas; LIT 189B: El siglo XIX en América Latinas: cultura, política y sociedad; LIT 189I: Literatura e indigeneidad; LIT 288Z/231A: 20th- and 21st-century Latin American Commodity Narratives; LIT 288Y: Indigeneidad contemporánea en América Latina; LIT 251/288Y: The Environmental Humanities: Latin American Perspectives

Summary of Expertise

20th- & 21st-century Latin American and Latinx literatures and cultures, Indigenous studies, Amazonia, the environmental humanities, the spatial humanities, sound studies.

For prospective graduate students: The UCSC Literature Department is unique in that it brings together faculty members who at most other US institutions would work in different departments. What this means for our graduate program is that students can design bold and imaginative projects that build on diverse areas of expertise. We are particularly strong in Latin American literary and cultural studies, with faculty members Juan Poblete, Zac Zimmer, and myself; as well as hemispheric Americanists such as Kirsten Silva-Gruesz and Susan Gillman; and a close relationship to the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies. I am currently accepting students working in contemporary Latin American literature and cultures, especially those interested in the environmental humanities and sound studies.

Research Interests

Professor Smith's research explores relationships among space, ecology, decoloniality, and development in Latin American and Latinx cultures. Her book, Mapping the Amazon: Literary Geography after the Rubber Boom (Liverpool University Press, 2021), examines how stories told about the Amazon in canonical twentieth-century novels have shaped the way people across the globe understand and use the region. Her next book project studies the impact of the current climate crisis on configurations of family and kinship in twenty-first-century Latin American and Latinx cultures. Smith is co-founder of the Latin American Sound Studies Working Group with Tamara Mitchell and is working with Mitchell on a special issue on Latin American literary sound studies. Professor Smith's work has appeared in The Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies; ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America; A contracorriente; Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures; and Ciberletras. She also co-edited the provocative graphic novel, United States of Banana.



Biography, Education and Training

PhD, The Johns Hopkins University

MA, Michigan State University

BA, Michigan State University


Languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Quechua

Honors, Awards and Grants

Selected Publications

Please see Google Scholar for a complete list of publications.

Selected Presentations

  • "Extractivism in Iquitos: From the Rubber Boom to Ayahuasca Literature." SPAN 535 Environment and Extractivism in Latin American Culture, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, December 1, 2021.
  • "La vorágine 100 años después." Universidad de Caldas, Departamento de Filosofía, November 19, 2021.
  • "Sounds Like New Values: Decoloniality and Sonic Unintelligibility in United States of Banana: A Graphic Novel (2021) by Giannina Braschi and Joakim Lindengren," XXXIX International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, May 26-29, 2021.
  • "Cartografías literarias amazónicas," Coloquio de Spanish Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, May 24, 2021.
  • "Queer Ecology in Islas by Rodrigo la Hoz," SPAN 550 - Porn Lit: Critical Approaches to Erotic Literature in Latin America and Spain, Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies, University of British Columbia, March 12, 2021.

Selected Recordings