Spanish & Portuguese
B.A., Soka University of America; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Green Hall 328A
Koichi HagimotoProfessor of Spanish
Specialized in 19th and 20th century Latin American literature and culture; also interested in trans-pacific studies.
My first book, Between Empires: Martí, Rizal and the Intercolonial Alliance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 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, the most prominent nationalist authors of the two contexts. Through literary and historical analyses, I argue that Martí and Rizal construct the conceptual framework for what I call an “intercolonial alliance” against both Spain and the United States at the turn of the century.
My second book, Samurai in the Land of the Gaucho: Transpacific Modernity and Nikkei Literature in Argentina (Vanderbilt UP, 2023), explores how diverse literary and cultural approaches to Japan have both defined and defied the concept of modernity in Argentina. I argue that historical imaginings of Japan contributed to the Argentine vision of what I call “transpacific modernity” in the early twentieth century. On the other hand, I study how a new generation of Nikkei or Japanese-Argentine authors is rewriting the conventional narrative of Japan in the twenty-first century based on their own immigrant experiences.
In general, my research interests are centered on transpacific studies, through which I explore diverse aspects of the unexplored relationship between Asia and Latin America. I have edited a volume, Trans-Pacific Encounters: Asia and the Hispanic World (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016), which includes essays examining the multidimensional nature of the historical and cultural intersection between some Asian countries and the Hispanic world. I have also co-edited a special number for Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana (2018), as well as Geografías caleidoscópicas: América Latina y sus imaginarios intercontinentales (Iberoamerica/Vervuert, 2022). Currently, I am co-editing an anthology, entitled Más allá del haiku: antología de autores nikkei latinoamericanos (El Fondo Editorial de la Asociación Peruano Japonesa, 2023), which includes the literary works of over 50 writers of Japanese descent from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru. My articles have appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals, such as Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, Revista Asia/América Latina, Chasqui, Transmodernity, Hispania, and Latin American Literary Review, among others.
For me, research is inseparable from teaching. I take enormous pleasure in teaching all courses related to Spanish language as well as Latin American literature and culture. At Wellesley, I teach Elementary and Intermediate Spanish, Introduction to Hispanic Studies, Introduction to Latin American Studies (in English), Hispanic Caribbean Literature and Culture, Making of Modern Latin American Culture, Nineteenth-Century Latin America, and upper-level seminars on Cuba and on Asia in Latin America. I have also directed the Wintersession program in Cuba. I was awarded the Ana and Samuel Pinanski Teaching Prize in 2012 and the Apgar Award for Teaching Excellence in 2019. In 2021, I was featured in the “Member Spotlight” page of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.
I have served on multiple committees on campus, including the Committee on Lectures and Cultural Events, Slater International Board, the Ruhlman and Tanner Conference Committees, the Committee on Minority Recruitment, Hiring and Retention, the Advisory Board on the Suzy Newhouse Center for the Humanities, the Executive Board for Latin American Studies Program, the Committee on Curriculum & Academic Policy and the Advisory Committee on Academic Staffing.
When I am not working, I enjoy running, playing soccer, and traveling with my family.