Natalia Trigo joins faculty of Spanish programs

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021

The Department of Modern Languages has announced its decision to hire Natalia Trigo, a specialist in bilingual creative writing, as assistant professor of Spanish under the University's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hiring initiative. 

Trigo contributes to a commitment made by The University of Texas at Arlington's Interim President Teik C. Lim to enhance the recruiting, retention, and promotion of underrepresented faculty and staff, one of eight objectives announced in the University's commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion last July.

In a statement this week, Department of Modern Languages Chair Ignacio Ruiz-Pérez said Trigo was a clear choice for the open-rank positions created by the Office of the Provost to increase faculty and staff diversity on campus.

"Natalia is an immigrant and a native speaker of Spanish. In addition, she is of Mexican origin, like many of our students," Ruiz-Pérez said. "Therefore, she is a candidate that clearly represents our student population and will be an exemplary role model."

Trigo is the 2019 winner of the International Aura Estrada Prize for Literature, a biennial award given to an emerging writer aged 35 years or younger, who writes Spanish narrative prose. Her winning book, Marfa, will be published by Almadía, an independent publisher based in Oaxaca, Mexico.

"The importance of Marfa is twofold: firstly, it addresses issues of race, identity, and gender, which are relevant to the public agenda of our nation," said Ruiz-Pérez. "Secondly, the book exemplifies the flourishing Spanish-language literature written by immigrants in the United States."

Ruiz-Pérez hopes that Trigo's expertise in bilingual creative writing and immigration literature will fill a gap in U.S. Latino and Mexican American literature in the department's Spanish curriculum.

Trigo is a graduate of the doctoral program in Creative Writing in Spanish at the University of Houston and a former writer-in-residence at the Ucross Foundation. Her writing has appeared in Nexos: Cultura y vida cotidiana, Rio Grande Review, and Revista Tierra Adentro.

"The student body of our Spanish programs are composed of a majority of Latino students who are highly motivated to preserve their cultural heritage," Ruiz-Pérez said. "I am positive that Natalia's credentials and expertise will be elemental to the advancement of UTA's mission and principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion."