Bruce Dean Willis, Ph.D. - The University of Tulsa
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Bruce Dean Willis, Ph.D.

Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature


Bruce Willis, Ph.D., teaches advanced Spanish courses on Latin American literature and culture. He is a specialist in 20th- and 21st-century literature from the region, fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese, and has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in the field. Both of his books combine analysis of Spanish American and Brazilian works: “Aesthetics of Equilibrium” on the poetics of Vicente Huidobro and Mário de Andrade, and “Body Articulations” on the representation of the body in a selection of Latin American vanguard works of the early 20th century.

His current research project focuses on writers, singer-songwriters, and visual artists of Greater Mexico, of a generation born between 1965 and 1975. These creators – including Yuri Herrera, Lila Downs, and Daniel Lezama, among others – reintroduce and reinterpret Mesoamerican, Catholic, and modern Mexican iconography in ways that showcase changes in perception of identity, especially regarding Mexico’s complex relationship with the United States.

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow, Oklahoma Center for the Humanities Symposium: Food, 2016-17
  • Co-PI, 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Grant, US State Department: “Descobrindo a Terra: Exploring Geology and Geophysics in Brazil,” 2014-15
  • Award for Excellence in Teaching, Kendall College of Arts & Sciences, The University of Tulsa, 2013
  • Visiting Research Fellowship, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, 2009


  • Ph.D., University of Virginia
  • M.A., University of Virginia
  • A.B., College of William and Mary

Research interests and areas of expertise

  • Latin American Vanguard Literature
  • Mexican Literature and Culture
  • Brazilian Literature and Culture
  • Indigenous Literature and Culture
  • Ecopoetics
  • African Culture in the Americas