Professor Varderi was born in Venezuela and came to the United States in 1985 to pursue an M.A. in Latin American literature at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. In 1995 he received a Ph.D. in Spanish at New York University. Professor Varderi has been teaching Spanish language, culture, literature and film full-time at BMCC since 1994. In his teaching he always seeks to engage students in the knowledge not only of the language but also of the culture of the Spanish-speaking world, stressing the great diversity of the Spanish community in the New York City area by bringing writers, artists and activists to the classroom.
His scholarly work focuses on the writings and films of contemporary Spanish-speaking women, and of minorities underrepresented in the canon. This is also the center of his fiction work. Professor Varderi has published twenty-two books and more than two hundred articles in Spain, Latin America and the United States. Among his books, “Severo Sarduy y Pedro Almodóvar: del barroco al kitsch en la narrativa y el cine postmodernos,” “Anatomía de una seducción: reescrituras de lo femenino,” and “Bridging Continents: Cinematic and Literary Representations of Spanish and Latin American Themes,” co-edited with Professor Nora Glickman (Queens College and Graduate Center.)
His latest book of criticism “De lo sublime a lo grotesco: kitsch y cultura popular en el mundo hispánico” is a study on literature, film, and art. It was published by editorial Devenir in Madrid in 2015. In 2016 his translation of the poetry book by Catalan writer Marta Pessarrodona “El amor a Barcelona,” was published in Caracas by bid. & co. His latest book of essays “La pasión de ver: imágenes de la literatura y las artes” was published in 2018 by the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico, and his latest novel, “De aquí y de allá,” was published in Madrid by Pliegos in 2020. In 2021, his study “Cámara, acción, reacción: cine e intolerancia en Iberoamérica” was published in Berlin by Peter Lang.
Professor Varderi is the co-editor of “Enclave,” a CUNY e-publication sponsored by the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences, and the co-organizer of the “Enclave” literary series at the Graduate Center.
Popular Culture, Latino/Latin American Studies: Immigration, Cultural Identity, Socio-economic Status, European Literature and Film, Creative Writing, Arts in Education
- B.A. Universidad Central de Venezuela, Economics,1984.
- M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Spanish,1988.
- Ph.D. New York University, Spanish,1995.
- This course is for students who have had no previous background in Spanish. Grammar is taught inductively and simple texts are read. Speaking, reading, and writing are emphasized students who have taken SPN 103 will not receive credit for this course.
Prerequisite: Departmental Placement
- In this continuation of Spanish I, grammar, composition and oral comprehension are developed and supplemented by readings or Spanish texts. Students who have taken SPN 107 will not receive credit for this course.
Prerequisite: SPN 105 or Departmental Placement
- 3 CRS.4 HRS.1 LAB HRS.SPN 107 (Elementary Spanish for Speakers of Spanish I)
- This is an elementary Spanish course for students who can speak Spanish but have no formal training in the language. Students who have taken SPN 101 and/or SPN 102 will not receive credit for this course.
Prerequisite: Knowledge of spoken Spanish and Departmental Placement
- 3 CRS.4 HRS.1 LAB HRS.SPN 108 (Elementary Spanish for Speakers of Spanish II)
- This is the second course in a series of four basic language courses for heritage learners. This group of students can speak Spanish but need to continue formal training in the language. The course aims at reinforcing and expanding on students' familiarity with Hispanic culture, which serves as a context for the development of linguistic skills, such as reading comprehension, lexical expansion, spelling, writing, and grammatical accuracy, among other things. Students who have taken SPN 105 and/or SPN 106 will not receive credit for this course.
Prerequisite: SPN 107 or departmental approval
- Study in this course includes a review of grammar and reading plus discussion of selected works by modern authors. Self-expression through oral and written reports is emphasized.
Prerequisite: SPN 106 or SPN 121 or departmental approval
- This intensive writing course emphasizes comprehension, writing, and analysis of contemporary and classical texts.
Prerequisite: SPN 200 or departmental approval
- 3 CRS.3 HRS.NULL LAB HRS.SPN 370 (Literature and Civilization of Latin America)
- The evolution of Spanish-American civilization is studied through literature to enhance understanding of present-day problems and potentialities. Emphasis falls on the relevance of the topography of the regions, the Spanish conquest and colonization, conflicts among cultures and religions of the indigenous peoples: Hispanic settlers, Africans, and recent immigrants; oral and written transmissions of traditions; the struggle for independence; movements for political, social, and economic reforms; the cultural obstacles, the emergence of linguistic distinctiveness and the quest for self-realization are studied. Readings are in Spanish, discussions are in English or Spanish.
Prerequisite: SPN 207 or SPN 210 or departmental permission
- 3 CRS.3 HRS.NULL LAB HRS.SPN 480 (Spanish and Latin American Texts into Films)
- This course will introduce students to film adaptations of Spanish and Latin American novels, short stories, diaries and theater plays in the context of the literary and film debate: how does film "translate" text? Should the film be "faithful" to the text? If so, faithful to what aspects, plot dialogue, chronology, social and psychological and socioeconomic backgrounds will be included. Special attention will be given to the study of nationality, gender and sexual differences within Spanish and Latin American societies. Students will examine the connections between text and film, as well as the fundamentals of written and visual identification with the cinematic and textual apparatus.
Prerequisite: SPN 300 or any SPN 400 level course (except SPN 476) or departmental approval
Research and Projects
Desde el banquito (From the Park Bench.)
In his seventh novel, Professor Varderi explores issues dealing with today’s relations between the United States, Venezuela and Spain, as seen by three Catalan women in their 80s, who emigrated to these countries in their youth, and who meet every day on a bench in a Barcelona park.
In their voices political, economic, and social events of the past 80 years unfold, as a reflection on what has been pervasively left on the margins of History. That is, the importance of women and minorities in the shaping of the world as we know it.
“Recordando a Isaac Chocrón.” Papel Literario. El Nacional (4 September 2022.)
“Conversación sobre Cine e intolerancia en Iberoamérica.“ Imagofagia N. 25 (2022): 238-53.
“Nora Glickman entrevista a Alejandro Varderi.” Papel literario. El Nacional (5 March 2022.)
“Luis Zapata: revelador de lo irrepresentable.” Papel literario. El Nacional (26 March 2021.)
Enclave. Revista de creación literaria en español. Graduate Center.
“Alicia Perdomo frente al espejo.” Papel literario. El Nacional (24 October 2020.)
“Cine y violencia hoy.” Cinecritic (September-October 2020.)
“Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz responde.” ViceVersa (8 September 2020.)
De aquí y de allá. Madrid: Pliegos, 2020.
“Escribo sobre gente corriente.” Elescobillon.com (August 2019.)
“País en ruinas.” Ceteris Paribus (17 February 2019.)
Admiracions. Brooklyn: Cuadernos de humo, 2019.
El mundo después. Madrid: Verbum, 2018.
“Teatro en Nueva York.” Artezblai (11 October 2018.)
“Tardes con Elizabeth Schön.” Archivo Fotografía Urbana (6 July 2018.)
“Alfredo Villanueva Collado: contra el deterioro y la aniquilación.” Letralia (May 30 2018.)
La pasión de ver: imágenes de la literatura y de las artes. México: Opción-ITAM, 2018.
“El México de Luis Zapata.” Sieteculebras N. 41 (October, 2017): 16-21.
El amor a Barcelona. Prologue and translation. Caracas: bid & co., 2016.
De lo sublime a lo grotesco: kitsch y cultura popular en el mundo hispánico. Madrid: Devenir, 2015.
“El cine según Alejandro Varderi.” Milagros Socorro (30 May 2014)
Bajo fuego. Madrid; Huerga & Fierro, 2013.
“De lugares y secretos con Lourdes Vásquez.” Crítica contemporánea. Universidad de Puerto Rico, 2013.
“Morir es un arte de Mariela Dreyfus.” Galerna N. 10 (2012): 125-27.
“Severo Sarduy: la metrópolis neobarroca.” Ciberletras N. 27 (2 April 2011.)
Los vaivenes del lenguaje: literatura en movimiento. Madrid: Libertarias, 2011.
“47 Festival de cine de Nueva York: horizontes perdidos.” Mabuse N. 85 (2010.)
“Almodóvar sobre un cuerpo.” Alba de América 25. N. 47-48 (July 2009): 345-364.
A New York State of Mind. RIL: Santiago de Chile, 2008.
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
- Faculty Development Grant, BMCC-CUNY, 2019.
- National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award in Teaching. University of Austin, 2000.
- Excellence Performance Award. BMCC-CUNY, 2000.
- PSC-CUNY Research Award 1996, 1998, 2000.
- Faculty Development Award. BMCC-CUNY, 1997.
- Pennfield Fellowhip, NYU, 1993.
- Senior Teaching Fellowship, NYU, 1992-91.
- Graduate School of Arts and Science Fellowhip, NYU, 1991-88.
- Latino Recognition Award. Academic Excellence. University of Illinois, 1988.
- Spanish Department Fellowship, University of Illinois, 1988.
- Discurso Literario Award. Rice University, 1988.
- “Letras de Oro” Award in Novel. University of Miami, 1987.
- VI Latino Recognition Award Literary. University of Illinois, 1986.
- VI Latino Recognition Award Literary. University of Illinois, 1986.