How to meet strangers over the internet and get academic profit from it

A review of the podcast «Otras voces del Caribe» (2021-23)

Workshop: LET’S HEAR ABOUT IT: Podcasts, Literary Studies, and the Public Humanities
Comparative Literary Studies Program, Northwestern University
May 9-10, 2023

On the ancestral territory of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations.


The idea for «Otras voces del Caribe» («Other Caribbean Voices») was born on May 2021 after reading an email circulating among Spanish-speaking scholars -academics and graduate students- about the New Books Network platform looking to branch out its podcast production to the second more used language in the United States: Spanish.

At the time, I was (many people were) mad and sick of COVID-19 restrictions. More than a year after the pandemic hit, I had completed my qualifying exams and started the dissertation groundwork. A side project would allow me to regain my foot in the simulacrum of sanity and productivity the academy demands of its members. I decided to harvest my twenty years of work in literary and academic circles: ask friends and acquaintances about their books and add a fancy line to my CV for the looming job-hunting process.

Per the data provided by the platform’s coordinators, until April 26th NBNEs had roughly more than twenty-three thousand downloads. Three thousand of them were «Otras voces del Caribe» episodes. I am proud of being in the top 5% of more productive hosts in NBNEs and helping spread the good news about a singular space in the Americas: the Caribbean Sea and its people.

Full text:


LET’S HEAR ABOUT IT: Podcasts, Literary Studies, and the Public Humanities

Session 2: Students Podcasters Presenting their Projects:

Yasmin S. Portales-Machado, from Northwestern University: «Otras voces del Caribe»

Consuelo Diaz de Valdés, from Loyola University Chicago: “Te leíste el texto?”

Imani Warren, from Loyola University Chicago: “Ice Cream Social”

Andrés Mendieta from Northwestern University: “Fuera de margen”

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