Nancy Hall

Senior Lecturer Emerita in Spanish

Specialized in 19th- through 21st-century literature with a focus on Hispanic American narrative and the literary and cultural history of modern Mexico, I am a bilingual scholar, book editor, translator and teacher.

The intersection of art and politics in narratives from Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina is the focus of my scholarly work. I also examine how writers work through and against previous texts drawn from a wide variety of cultures, languages, and disciplines. Most recently my study of Carlos Fuentes’s treatment of Thomas Hardy through the lens of bioethicist Henri Atlan’s theories of self-organization appeared in the U.K. Bulletin of Hispanic Studies. Currently I am studying a dozen novels published by Carmen Boullosa over the past two decades and in particular, her efforts to reimagine Mexican history as well as canonical texts by Virgil, Dante, Bioy Casares, Garro, and García Márquez, among others.

Every course I teach in the Spanish Department—from elementary to a seminar for senior majors—is organized as an interactive, immersion experience designed to improve students’ oral skills as well as their ability to read and write the language I first learned as a child growing up in Mexico, D.F. Spanish is my lifelong passion, and I teach to share my excitement about how it sounds and what it can express. I rely on energy, tempo, and humor at the early stages of language learning and teaching, and emphasize class discussion, analytical processes, and improved written expression throughout the literature and cultural studies curriculum. In my courses we consider the historical, political and social dimensions of literary material, and often incorporate the visual arts as a way to further explore the cultures of Latin America.

I live in Medfield with my husband Ray Starr. My iPod is full of Maná and La Santa Cecilia, an amazing fusion band from L.A. I love Mexico City, crossword puzzles, baseball, dancing and spending time with my daughter, son, close friends and extended family.


  • B.A., Smith College
  • M.A., Harvard University
  • Ph.D., Harvard University