Elise Arnold-Levene

Elise Arnold-Levene
Graduate Student Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures
  • Address
    B04 Casa Hispánica
    Department of Latin American & Iberian Cultures
    612 W116th Street
    New York NY 10027
  • Email


Elise Arnold-Levene received her Ph.D. in Latin American and Iberian Cultures from Columbia University in fall 2016 and she is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Mercy College. Her research focuses on cultural exchanges between Cuba and the Greater Caribbean, and intersections between literature, the visual arts, and material culture. Through the theoretical framework of collecting, her dissertation, “Lydia Cabrera, the Storyteller as Collector,” examines Cabrera’s various cultural projects—from writing experimental Afro-Cuban ethnographies to curating colonial art and antique exhibitions—and situates them within their broader intellectual and historical contexts. These include cultural movements in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as transatlantic considerations surrounding surrealism, negritude, and the African diaspora.

Elise has presented selections of her research including “‘Hilando los cuentos’: Latin American Ethnographic Narrative,” and “Out of the Woodwork: Antiques and Artistry in Lydia Cabrera’s Cuba.” She has taught courses in Spanish language, translation studies, and Latin American literature and culture. Since 2011 she has served as an editorial assistant for Revista Hispánica Moderna, and she was a 2015-2016 Cuban Heritage Collection Research Fellow at the University of Miami.