Ernest Rafael Hartwell, PhD

Associate Professor of Spanish (Minor Advisor of Spanish), Affiliated Faculty of Latin American Studies



BA in Spanish and Religious Studies, NYU 2010

Coursework in Literary Theory and Criticism, Universidad de Buenos Aires 2009

PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures, with a specialty in 19th-century Latin American Literature, Harvard University 2017


Current Courses


Fall: SPAN 203 Intermediate Spanish & SPAN 332 Cultures of Latin America

Winter: SPAN 301h Grammar and Composition for Heritage Learners & SPAN 332 Cultures of Latin America

Spring: SPAN 352 Survey of Latin American Literature 



Fall: SPAN 340 Introduction to Literary Analysis & SPAN 430 Cultures through Film (topic to be determined)

Winter: SPAN 301h Grammar and Composition for Heritage Learners & HNRS 350 Gossip and the Spanish Pacific

Spring: SPAN 450 Latin American Literature Seminar (topic to be determined) & SPAN 332 Cultures of Latin America



Ernest Rafael Hartwell's teaching and research areas are in 19th-century Latin American, Caribbean, and Philippine literature. He engages with methods in postcolonial thought, critical race theory, and cultural studies, within the fields of Hispano-Philippine studies and Caribbean studies. His current research project, borne of his doctoral dissertation, examines experiments in prose (travel writing, historiography, novels) aimed to counteract colonial divisions and disparities by 19th-century anticolonial writers of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, Spain's last remaining overseas colonies at the time. 

On campus, Ernest teaches Spanish language courses in the L2 and Heritage sequences, Latin American culture and literature courses, and advocates for the rights of his students and colleagues. Off campus, he enjoys playing basketball, wandering through nature, learning new languages, cooking Filipino food, and finding the best tacos in every city (check out Mi Rancho and Tacos el tule in Bellingham!).

Selected Publications


Ernest Rafael Hartwell. 2024. Brazo, corazón, y lengua: Immigration and Anti-Colonial Biopolitics in the Spanish Caribbean and the PhilippinesTransnational Philippines: Cultural Encounters in Philippine Literature in Spanish.


Ernest Rafael Hartwell. 2023. Convenient Quadrilaterals and Imagined Indians: An Introduction to "El pabellón colonial: Revisiting Cuba and the Philippines" Co-authored and co-edited with Hugo García González. Peripherica: A Journal of Social, Cultural, and Literary History.

Ernest Rafael Hartwell. 2/1/2023. Intercolonial Intimacies: A Conversation with Paula C. Park. Diacritics: DVAN. 


Ernest Rafael Hartwell. 12/28/2022. Review of Park, Paula C. Intercolonial Intimacies: Relinking Latin/o America to the Philippines 1898-1964. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022. Transmodernity, Fall Issue 2022.


Ernest Rafael Hartwell. 5/2019. “Bad English and Fresh Spaniards: Translation and Authority in Philippine and Cuban Travel Writing.” UNITAS, 92, 1, Pp. 43-74.  unitas-92-1-ernest-hartwell-bad-english.pdf


Ernest Rafael Hartwell. 11/15/2018. “Imperial Endnotes: The First Filipino and Boricua Historians.” Latin American Literary Review, 45, 90, Pp. 53-67. lalr_90_6_hartwell_proof3.pdf


Ernest Hartwell. 10/1/2012. “Bodies (un)made: Aging and Violence in Two Argentine Novels.” Transverse Journal, 2012, 12, Pp. 21-42. Publisher's Version