Mexican Studies 
19th- and 20th-Century Latin American Literature
Office: 5323 Rolfe Hall
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Phone: (310) 206-6092
Mailing address:
UCLA Spanish & Portuguese
BOX 951532, 5332 Rolfe Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1542
Maarten van Delden obtained his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University in 1990. Prior to joining the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA in 2009, he taught at New York University, Rice, and the University of Southern California. He is the author of Carlos Fuentes, Mexico, and Modernity (Vanderbilt University Press, 1998) which was recognized as an "Outstanding Scholarly Book" by Choice Magazine, and co-author (with Yvon Grenier) of Gunshots at the Fiesta: Literature and Politics in Latin America (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009). In addition, he is the author of numerous articles and reviews on topics in the fields of Mexican Studies, Latin American Literature, Comparative Literature, and U.S. American Literature. He is currently working on two books: Polemical Continent: Culture Wars in Twentieth-Century Spanish America and Mexico and the United States: A Literary and Intellectual history, 1950-2000.
  • Ph.D. (with distinction) (1990) Comparative Literature, Columbia University
  • M.A. (cum laude) (1983) Algemene Literatuurwetenschap, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • B.A. (first class honors) (1980) English, Cambridge University, England
Research Interests
  • Polémicas in Latin America
  • Literary and Cultural relations between Mexico and the United States
  • The Spanish American New Novel
  • Mexican intellectuals
  • Octavio Paz
Selected Publications
Recent Articles


Submitted       “El ensayo de identidad nacional mexicano en la época posnacional: Mexicanidad
                                    y posmexicanidad en Jorge Castañeda y Heriberto Yépez.” Under review
                                    for a collection of essays on “El ensayo posnacional hispánico” edited by
                                    Reindert Dhondt and Dagmar Vandebosch.
Submitted       “La idea de la democracia en el pensamiento político de Roger Bartra,” for a
                                    collection edited by Mabel Moraña and Ignacio Sánchez Prado.
In press            “Hands-on Modernism: Touch and Gesture in Carlos Fuentes’s La muerte de
                                    Artemio Cruz,” forthcoming in The Reptant Eagle: Essays on Carlos Fuentes and the Art of the Novel, ed. Roberto Cantú.

In press            “The Holocaust in Mexican Literature,” forthcoming in European Review.

2014                “Vanguardia británica/modernidad mexicana: La imagen del México
                                    posrevolucionario en La serpiente emplumada de D.H. Lawrence.” In La Revolución mexicana: Miradas desde Europa, ed. Kristine Vanden Berghe (Brussels: Peter Lang), pp. 99-112.
2014                “Double Itinerary: Narratives of the Revolution in Octavio Paz.” In The Willow
                        and the Spiral: Essays on Octavio Paz and the Poetic Imagination, ed. Roberto Cantú (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing), pp. 156-169.
2013                “Carlos Fuentes, Mexico and the United States,” PMLA 128.3 (May 2013), pp.

2012                “Máscaras mexicanas en La región más transparente.” In La región más transparente en el siglo XXI: Homenaje a Carlos Fuentes y a su obra, ed. Georgina García Gutiérrez (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas/Universidad Veracruzana), pp. 145-158.

2012                “Breve retrato de Carlos Fuentes.” In Araucaria: Revista Iberoamericana de Filosofía, Política y Humanidades, año 14, número 28, pp. 203-208.

2012                “Mirando hacia París: La presencia del debate intelectual francés en la revista Plural de Octavio Paz.” In Las revistas en la historia intelectual de América Latina: Redes, política, sociedad y cultura, ed. Aimer Granados (Mexico City: UAM Cuajimalpa/Juan Pablos Editor), pp. 195-209.             

2012                “Aborrecer lo típico: México y Estados Unidos en Days of Obligation de Richard Rodriguez.” In El juego con los estereotipos: La redefinición de la identidad hispánica en la literatura y el cine posnacionales, ed. Nadia Lie, Silvana Mandolessi and Dagmar Vandebosch (New York and Bern: Peter Lang/Théocrit), pp. 157-170

2010                 “Latin America and Europe in José Lezama Lima.” In Baroque New Worlds: Representation, Transculturation, Counterconquest, ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and
                                     Monika Kaup (Durham and London, Duke UP, 2010), pp. 571-596.

2009                 “El intelectual como terapeuta: Octavio Paz y el psicoanálisis del mexicano.” In El hispanismo omnipresente: Homenaje a Robert Verdonk, ed. An Van Hecke et al.
                                     (University Press Antwerp, 2009), pp. 499-506.

2009                 “La pura gringuez: The Essential United States in José Agustín, Carlos Fuentes, and Ricardo Aguilar Melantzón.” In Reading the United States from Mexico, ed.
                                     Linda Egan and Mary K. Long (Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 2009), pp. 154-176.

2008                 “Abish and Proust.” In 99 Arten das "Ich" und die Welt zu erfinden. Walter Abish: Materialien, Analysen, Gespräche, ed. Robert Leucht. (Bonn: Weidle-Verlag, 2008),
                                     pp. 62-87.

2007                 “The Spanish-American Novel and European Modernism.” In Modernism, ed. Astradur Eysteinsson and Vivian Liska (Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John
                                     Benjamins, 2007), pp. 947-965.

2007                  “The Museum and the Opera House: Modernity and Identity in Alejo Carpentier’s Los pasos perdidos.” In Caribbean Interfaces, ed. Lieven d’Hulst, Jean-Marc
                                      Moura, Liesbeth De Bleeker and Nadia Lie (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2007), pp. 47-65.

2006                   “Polemical Paz.” In Literal: Latin American Voices 7 (2006), pp. 16-18.

Sample Courses

Spanish 280A: The Twentieth-Century Mexican Novel

How did Mexican novelists respond to the enormous changes that took place in their country in the twentieth century? What literary innovations did they develop as they sought to capture new ways of looking at the world around them? These are the questions that will guide us as we read key Mexican novels from the 1910s to the 1990s. Among other topics, we will look at how Mexican writers responded to the Mexican Revolution, at their portrayals of indigenous peoples, and at their views of mass society and consumer culture. We will examine the new techniques twentieth-century Mexican authors developed to create more refined representations of the inner worlds of their characters, as well as more accurate portrayals of the experience of living in a modern society. Authors studied include Mariano Azuela, Juan Rulfo, Rosario Castellanos, Carlos Fuentes, Jorge Ibargüengoitia, José Agustín, and Cristina Rivera Garza. The class will also read selected critical texts that approach the novels studied from the perspective of subaltern studies, indigenismo, modernist and postmodernist aesthetics, feminism, narrative theory, and psychoanalysis.

Spanish 290: Octavio Paz

Mexican poet and essayist Octavio Paz had an extraordinarily rich and varied literary career that spanned more than six decades of the twentieth century. Working in the symbolist and avant-garde traditions, he produced some of the most enduring poetic works of the modern era in Latin America. As an essayist he wrote incisively and elegantly on a vast array of topics, including the Mexican national character, national and international politics, the visual arts, poetry and modernity, linguistics, anthropology, love and eroticism, Asian cultures, and the biographies of many of the distinguished writers and artists he met in the course of his long career. Christopher Dominguez Michael once stated that the twentieth century was the century of Octavio Paz in Mexican literature, while Irving Howe called Paz a "hombre orquesta." This course will attempt to give a sense of the importance and diversity of Paz's work through close readings of some of his major poems and essays. We will also examine the controversies that swirled around Octavio Paz as he evolved from a leftist and pro-revolutionary standpoint in the 1930s to a pro-democracy and free market outlook in the 1980s and 90s.