Koichi Hagimoto


(781) 283-2703
B.A., Soka University of America; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Koichi Hagimoto
Assistant Professor of Spanish

Specialized in nineteenth-century Latin American and Caribbean literature and culture; also interested in trans-pacific studies.

My forthcoming book, Between Empires: Martí, Rizal and the Intercolonial Alliance (Palgrave Macmillan), compares the anti-imperial literature and history of Cuba and the Philippines in the late nineteenth century.  This study focuses on the writings of José Martí and José Rizal, perhaps the most prominent nationalist authors of the two contexts.  In 1898, both countries achieved their “independence” from Spain, although they were immediately converted into targets of U.S. expansionism.  Caught between the two empires, Cubans and Filipinos shared similar colonial experiences as well as anti-imperial struggles.  Through literary and historical analyses, I argue that Martí and Rizal construct the conceptual framework for an “intercolonial alliance,” which highlights the possibility of a collective consciousness of resistance that would juxtapose colonized people in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. 

In addition, my academic interests are centered on the emerging field of trans-pacific studies, which seeks to examine relationships between Latin America and Asia.  I am actively involved in scholarly conferences throughout the United States as well as in Latin America and Spain.  My recent publications include “From Hegel to Paz: Re-reading Orientalism in Latin American Writing” in Hipertexto (2013), “Anti-Colonial Melodrama: Gender Relations and the Discourse of Resistance in José Martí’s Lucía Jerez (1885)” in Latin American Literary Review (2012), and “A Trans-Pacific Voyage: The Representation of Asia in José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi’s El Periquillo Sarniento” in Hispania (2012).  I am one of the co-organizers of the 6th International Conference on Orientalism and the Asian and Arab Presence in the Hispanic and Lusophone World, which will be held in Tokyo in the spring of 2014.   

For me, research is inserparable from teaching. I take enormous pleasure in teaching courses related to Spanish language as well as Latin American literature and culture.  I believe that, with proper instruction and support, any student can develop an appreciation for the diverse cultural production of the Hispanic World. With this belief, I strive to impart my knowledge and enthusiasm with my students in creative ways.  At Wellesley College, I teach courses on Elementary and Intermediate Spanish, Literary Genres of Spain and Latin America, Caribbean Literature and Culture, the Making of Modern Latin American Culture, and a seminar entitled Asia in Latin America: Literary and Cultural Connections.  In 2012, I was awarded the Anna and Samuel Pinanski Teaching Prize (the citation can be read here).