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María Izquierdo

by rjp218 Aug 08, 2017
María Izquierdo

2016/17 Rock Ethics Institute Humanities Dissertation Fellow


  1. Ph.D. Spanish – Penn State University (expected 2017)
  2. M.A. Creative Writing, Narrative – Sacred Heart University, Puerto Rico
  3. B.A. Biology – University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras


María Izquierdo is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. At Penn State, she has taught three different levels of Spanish in the Basic Language Program, Introduction to Hispanic Literature, and Latino Studies. Back in Puerto Rico, she spent a year and half in medical school. That experience, coupled with teaching and tutoring elementary and high school students led her to question the acquisition of certain diagnoses, and subsequent identities, associated with debilitating conditions such as depression.


This project, currently titled "Adaptive Debility: Methods of creation and destruction in present-day neoliberal biocapitalist contexts," falls within literary and cultural studies and engages with disability studies and bioethics. More specifically, María is studying the performance of debility (associated with mental illness) by middle-class individuals in recent Anglo and Hispanic neoliberal biocapitalist texts and contexts. Also, she is evaluating the current, Western conception of the bioethical subject in relation to the notion of worth.