Chet Halka

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1986 to present: Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, VA.  Tenured  1989.  Assistant Professor  (1986-1992), then Associate Professor (1992-1999 ), and Full Professor of  Romance Languages (2000). 

1982 to1986: St. Andrew's School, Middletown, DE
Spanish Instructor and Section Head in charge of program

1976 to 1982: Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA
Instructor and Assistant Professor of Spanish

1974 to 1975: Brown University
Teaching Assistant of Spanish

1967 to 1969, 1972:  Dartmouth College
Assistant Teacher of Spanish (Rassias Language Method)

EDUCATION: Ph. D. from Brown University in 1977 with a specialization in contemporary Latin American narrative and a thesis on Gabriel García Márquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude

M. A. from Brown University in 1975 with a thesis on Don Quijote

B.A. Cum Laude from Dartmouth College in Spanish, 1969

TEACHING: Language courses taught: Elementary, Intermediate, third year (Composition and Conversation), and Advanced level language courses.

Literature and Culture courses taught: Contemporary Latin American Literature, Latin American Novel, Survey of Latino Literature, The Latino Novel, Modern Spanish Literature, Contemporary Latin American Women’s Literature, Latin American Culture; seminars include Jorge Luis Borges, Cien años de soledad and La casa de los espíritus, Don Quijote, Isabel Allende, Freshman Colloquium and Hispanic Thought; supervision of Independent Study courses on various aspects of Hispanic Literature and Culture (examples: the novels of Miguel de Unamuno, Sevilla, works by Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez and Pablo Neruda, the painting of Frida Kahlo, the art of Rufino Tamayo).

Melquiades, Alchemy and Narrative Theory: The Quest for Gold in Cien años de soledad. International Book Publishers, 1981.

Aleixandre and Cernuda
, co-authored with Linda Lehrer and Shelly DeLaurentis. Brown University, 1974. This is a volume of poetry translations done at the suggestion of Professor Edwin Honig.


"One Hundred Years of Solitude: Two Additional Translation Corrections," 173-175 in the Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 24, number 1, Fall 2000.

"Under A Mantle of Stars and some common themes in the works of Manuel Puig," 74-79 in MACLAS Latin American Essays, vol. IX, 1996, ed. Juan Espadas. Middle Atlantic Council on Latin American Studies, 1996.

"Teaching One Hundred Years Of Solitude in History, Politics, and Civilization Courses," 33-44 in Approaches to Teaching One Hundred Solitude, ed. M.E. de Valdés and M.J. Valdés. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1990. This volume is part of the MLA series "Approaches to Teaching World Literature."

"One Hundred Years of Solitude: The Beginning and the Ending of the novel," 41-50 in MACLAS Latin American Essays, vol. II, 1990, ed. R. Alexander, E. Couturier and J. Espadas. Rutgers University: Middle Atlantic Council on Latin American Studies, 1990.

"Perspectivismo en Don Quijote y en Cien años de soledad: una compression," 21-38 in Hispanófila, January 1987.

"The Holdfast Motif in La vida es sueño: self-interest and self-sacrifice," 17-22 in [Proceedings from the] National Symposium on Hispanic Theatre, ed. A. M. Franco. University of Northern Iowa, 1985.

"Don Quijote in the Light of Huarte's Examen de ingenios: A Reexamination," 3-13 in Anales Cervantinos, XIX, 1982.

Book Reviews:

"Paul Julian Smith, The Body Hispanic: Gender and Sexuality in Spanish and Spanish American Literature," 284-85 in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, LXIX (July 1992).

"Shannon, Robert M., Visions of the New World in the Drama of Lope de Vega, 175-76 in Boletín de Comediantes, vol. 44, no. 1 (Summer 1992).


"La ausencia y su presencia en unos cuentos de Juan Rulfo y José Donoso," presented at the 63rd Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, in Lexington, Kentucky, April 15, 2010.

"Two anthems of Self-determination: Gloria Anzaldúa's 'To live in the Borderlands means you' and Jimmy Santiago Baca's 'A Daily Joy to Be Alive'," presented at the 60th Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, in Lexington, Kentucky, in April, 2007.

"Psychological and Sociological Aspects of Personal Identity in Three Modern Latino Works: Down These Mean Streets, Bless Me, Ultima, and Going Under," presented at the 59th Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, in Lexington, Kentucky, on April 20, 2006.

"Silence and laughter in Luiz Valdés's Los vendidos, presented at the 18th Annual International Conference of Literature, Visual Arts, and Cinema, on October 25, 2003, in Atlanta, Georgia.

"Chaos as catalyst in Isabel Allende's Hija de la fortuna," presented November 9, 2002, at the 17th Annual International Conference of Literature, Visual Arts, and Cinema, in Atlanta Georgia.

"One Hundred Years of Solitude: Text and Context," given at Willamette College in February, 2000.  

"Some Decentering Techniques in Zoé Valdés's Te di la vida entera, presented  May 11, 2000, at the Twentieth Annual Cincinnati Conference on Romance Languages and Literatures  in the session "La mirada femenina: fragmentaciones y desplazamientos"

"Borges, Modern Science and the Postmodern," presented February 27, 1999 at the LA CHISPA (Louisiana Conference on Hispanic Literature), in New Orleans, LA.

"Gender de(con)struction in three works: La bella durmiente, "Cambio de armas," y Como agua para chocolate," presented at the Fifth Annual Conference on Ibero-American Culture and Society, which was held at the University of New Mexico, February 8-11, 1996.

"Silence and Silencing in Three Works: La bella durmiente, Cambio de armas and Como agua para chocolate" presented April 8, 1995 at a conference on Literature and Linguistics in Palm Springs, CA, "Strangers in Paradise: Voices in Exile."

"Under A Mantle of Stars and Some Common Themes in the Works of Manuel Puig" presented April 1, 1995 at the IX annual MACLAS conference at Albright College, in Reading PA.

"One Use of Film in a Literature Course: Manuel Puig’s Bajo un manto de estrellas and Kiss of the Spider Woman," presented on April 3, 1993 at the VII annual MACLAS Conference at Penn State University.

"Towards a Bibliography for Teaching One Hundred Years of Solitude in Politics, History, Culture and Civilization Courses," presented at the 1989 Mid-Atlantic Council on Latin American Studies in April, at Ursinus College.

"Pedro Páramo: A Jungian Examination," presented at the Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference in October, 1988, at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

"The Holdfast Motif in La vida es sueño: self-interest and self-sacrifice," presented at the National Symposium on Hispanic Theatre, at the University of Northern Iowa, 1982.

"Alchemy in Cien años de soledad: A Metaphor for Humanism," presented at the International Symposium "Hispanism as Humanism" in March, 1980, at SUNY Albany.


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Organized and participated in readings of Latino authors as part of Hispanic Heritage Month at Randolph-Macon Woman's College, October 2002, October 2003, and September 2005

Demonstration to the Board of Trustees of Randolph-Macon Woman's College of the HyperCard interactive grammar program I authored (Spring 1997)

"Latin American Literature: From Jorge Luis Borges to the 'BOOM' and after," presented on April 7, 1990 at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (Parents Weekend).

"Image of Women in Latin America," a lecture/slide presentation, presented at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, March 1990, to the Women’s Studies Program.

"Alchemy in Cien años de soledad," a lecture/class given at Davidson College at the invitation of Professor Alberto Fernandez, January of 1988.

"Alchemy: Pseudoscience or Psychological Truth?," a talk given at the Center for Special Studies at Davidson College in January, 1988, at the invitation of Professor Brockway, the Director of the Center.

"Cien años de soledad," a lecture/graduate seminar given at Brown University in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies in November, 1987, at the invitation of Professor Frank Durand, the Chair of the Department of Spanish.

"The Mexican Muralists," a lecture and slide presentation given at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, at a Dean's Luncheon, Spring 1988

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Advisor to Sigma Delta Pi, a national Spanish honor society, from September 2005
Advisor to the Latina Students Organization, 2004 -
Advisor to the Spanish Club, 2003-

President Phi Beta Kappa chapter of Randolph-Macon Woman's College (term from fall 2001-spring 2003)

Invited to participate in the Distinguished Scholars program at Willamette University, February, 2001.  I met with students from a senior seminar on One Hundred Years of Solitude and also delivered a talk to the community, "One Hundred Years of  Solitude: Text and Context."

Evaluator:  Hollins University  Spanish Program (March 1999).

1996-97. Designed interactive grammar, using the HyperCard software application, for the Destinos language program for Randolph-Macon Woman’s College students.

Attended the 28th Annual Texas Tech University Comparative Literature Symposium, "Latin American Women Writers: Canons, Traditions,Revisions," January 26-28, 1995.

Organized and chaired the panel "Film and Literature in Latin American Studies," in which I also presented a paper, at the VII annual MACLAS Conference in April of 1993.

I chaired a panel on Latin American Literature at the 1989 SECOLAS Conference in Knoxville, TN.

Travel and Study (at the UNAM) in Mexico, 1982.

Peace Corps Volunteer, Rural Education Program in Venezuela, 1969-70.

Travel and Study (at la Universidad de Salamanca) in Spain, 1967.



The Gillie Larew Award for excellence in teaching, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Fall 2003.

Dean's Technology Grant from Randolph-Macon Woman's College for the summer of 2002 to compose the first half of an Interactive Spanish grammar, using the Flash application.  The exercises and grammar are now available to our students on the Internet.

Invited as a Distinguished Scholar to Willamette University, February 2000.  Received an honorarium of $1000.

Summer technology grants, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, to create interactive electronic grammar using HyperCard software, to create Power Point presentations and learn web page creation: summers of 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999.

Participated in a summer institute at the Duke-UNC Program in Latin American Studies entitled "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Culture and Civilization of Latin America" (June 1992)

Accepted to attend a summer seminar on "Hispanic Film into Literature" at Clark University in 1992, but chose to attend the seminar at Duke-UNC instead. Alas, the dates overlapped and I could not do both.

Attended the NEH 1989 Summer Institute "Re-Creating the New World Contact: Indigenous Languages and Literatures of Latin America," at the University of Texas at Austin. I also attended the follow-up mini-institute the next summer and made a lecture/slide presentation entitled "Some Images of Woman in Latin America: Mexico."  For the 1989 Institute I received money from the NEH and also from the Professional Development Committee of the College.

Selected to participate in the NEH 1989 Summer Institute on Don Quijote at the University of Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. I decided to attend the Institute described above instead of this one.

Attended the 1987 Mellon summer Seminar on Cognitive Psychology at William and Mary College.

Invited by the Hispanic and Italian Studies Department of Brown University to give the Herbert A. Kenyon Lecture in 1987. (Each year an ex-graduate student is invited to make a presentation.)

In 1983 I received a summer grant from St. Andrew’s School to study at the University of Mexico in Mexico City. Among the courses I took was one devoted to Mexican muralism.

Held the Kenyon Fellowship for graduate studies at Brown from 1972 to 1976.

Rufus Choate Scholar (an academic honor) at Dartmouth College in 1968-69.

Graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Cum Laude from Dartmouth College in 1969.

General Motors full tuition scholarship for Dartmouth College, 1965 to 1969.

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RESEARCH INTERESTS: Contemporary Latin American prose narrative
Contemporary Latin American women writers
Latino Literature
Literature and Science
History of Ideas


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