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University of Delaware Faculty Profiles

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  • Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz, Professor of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American and Iberian Studies

    Professor of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American and Iberian Studies
    University of Delaware
    207 Jastak-Burgess Hall
    Newark, DE 19716
    (302) 831-0439


    Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz is a Professor of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American and Iberian Studies. Her professional interests include 20th and 21st century Latin American literature, with a specialization in the short story and crime fiction. Her book on the contemporary Argentine novela negra appeared in 2019. She teaches courses on Latin American literature and culture as well as courses in Portuguese language.


    Ph.D., Spanish, University of Wisconsin-Madison


    Prof. Schmidt-Cruz’s articles have appeared in Hispanic Review, Latin American Literary Review, Letras Peninsulares, Chasqui, College Literatures, and MACLAS Latin American Essays, among other periodicals. Her books include an edited volume on the 2001 crisis in Argentina, a monograph on the short stories of Julio Cortázar, and a conversation textbook. Details can be found below.

    • Recent articles
    • Complicitous Housewives during the Argentine Dictatorship: Reconstructing a Tenebrous Past in Lo que nosotras sabíamos by María Inés Krimer." Bulletin of Spanish Studies 94:1 (2017): 127-148. Online access to this article
    • “Murder in the Country Club: Trouble in Neoliberal Paradise in Retrato de familia con muerta by Raúl Argemí.” Polifonía 3.1 (2013): 52-67.
    • “Género negro y periodismo de investigación: el caso argentino en la década de los 90.” El género negro: el fin de la frontera. Eds. Javier Sánchez Zapatero and Alex Martín Escribá. Salamanca: Andavira, 2012. 319-325.
    • The Argentine Novela Negra, Critiques the 1990s in El vuelo de la reina by Tomás Eloy Martínez and El muerto indiscreto by Rubén Correa.” Chasqui: Revista de Literatura Latinoamericana 39.2 (2010): 171-191.



    Argentina Noir: New Millennium Crime Novels in Buenos Aires

    An engaging and insightful guide to Argentine crime fiction since 2000. Argentina Noir offers a guide to Argentine crime fiction, with a focus on works published since the year 2000. It argues that the novela negra, or crime novel, has become the favored genre for many writers to address the social malaise brought about by changes linked to globalization and market-driven economic policies. Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz presents close readings and original interpretations of eleven novels, all set in or around Buenos Aires, and explores the ways these texts adapt major motifs, figures, and literary techniques in Hispanic crime fiction in order to give voice to wide-ranging social critiques. Schmidt-Cruz addresses such topics as organized crime and institutional complicity, corruption during the presidency of Carlos Menem (1989–1999), terrorist attacks on Jewish institutions in Buenos Aires and the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, and the winners and the losers of neoliberal structural changes. With a solid underpinning in sociological studies and criticism of the genre and its historical context, Argentina Noir reveals how these novels are renovating the genre to engage pressing issues confronting not only Argentina but also countries throughout Latin America and around the globe.“This is a very significant contribution to the field. It is a full and illustrative, as well as authoritative, guide to crime fiction and the novela negra in Argentina in the twenty-first century, with a particular focus on the literature’s social and political thematics.” — Philip Swanson, author of The New Novel in Latin America: Politics and Popular Culture after the Boom

    More info

    Conversation in Spanish: Points of Departure

    Designed for dynamic conversational interaction as early as the second semester of Spanish, Conversation in Spanish presents more than 50 photos or photo-collages with a series of guided questions to elicit students’ analytical and linguistic skills.

    More Info

    Mothers, Lovers, and Others: The Short Stories of Julio Cortázar

    Using feminist revisions of psychoanalytic thought and cultural studies, Mothers, Lovers, and Others examines the pervasive role of the conception of the feminine in the short stories of Argentine writer Julio Cortázar (1914–1984). Contending that his obsession with the mother is the source of Cortázar’s uneasiness with femininity, Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz traces an evolution in his relationship to female space, from a convoluted and defensive posture to a more open and tolerant stance, paralleling his increasing political commitment. Schmidt-Cruz explores the role of gender in Cortázar’s quest to reconcile his divided allegiance to Argentina and France, and his denunciation of the atrocities of the Argentine military dictatorship.

    “No one doubts that Cortázar is one of the most important Latin American authors of the twentieth century. This book is extremely important because it is part of the new readings about Cortázar that are finally tearing to shreds the veil shrouding his fiction. The topic addresses questions central to the field of feminist criticism and shows how much can be added to our perception of literature when the tools devised by feminism are judiciously and intelligently deployed. No other book on Cortázar gives a better understanding of his female characters or of his evolving attitude toward them. Written in the wake of feminist and gender studies, this book increases our realization of the crucial role played by gender in areas such as national identity and political discourse.” — René Prieto, author of Body of Writing: Figuring Desire in Spanish American Literature

    “Julio Cortázar is one of the most significant writers of the last century. A psychoanalytic approach that appraises the development of his female characters in the light of his personal experience and transformations, without incurring on facile identifications, is extremely central to Cortázar study.” — Hortensia R. Morell, Temple University

    More Info

    Crisis in Buenos Aires: Women Bearing Witness

    Argentina experienced a devastating economic and political collapse in December 2001. In this book women take up the pen and the camera to capture the new reality. Silvina Frydlewsky’s photos juxtapose the plight of Buenos Aires with its faded glory, and poets from all walks of life express their anguish and frustration. Essays discuss and illuminate the crisis from diverse perspectives, conveying what that moment meant for those who lived it. Sample lesson plans offer practical applications for teachers of Spanish, literature, Latin American Studies, and Women’s Studies.

    Ideal for scholars, teachers, students, and anyone interested in Latin America, these pages put a human face on the crisis and revisit the chaos in the words and images of Argentine women.

    More Info

    Professional Activities

    ​Profile in UD Global Magazine, 2011:

    Courses Taught

    Office Hours

    T3:30PM-4:30PM and by appointment 
    TR3:30PM-4:30PM and by appointment 

    Office Hours upon request 



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  • Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Jastak-Burgess Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • 30 East Main St.
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2591