Irene S Jacobsen
Associate Professor of Spanish
Office: 1361 - Coleman Hall
Irene Jacobsen's Vita
Office Hours Fall 2014:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Other Office Hours by Appointment
Prof. Irene Jacobsen was born in Córdoba, Argentina to parents who loved to read. Her first exposure to a foreign language occurred in kindergarten (Spanish in the morning, German in the afternoon). At age 7 ½ she moved to Montréal, Canada, where her Dad worked as a U.N. translator, thus bringing forth her second exposure to a foreign language, French. After graduation from secondary school, following the wise advice of her parents, she switched to the English school system and earned a B.A. in Sociology from McGill University (1989). Eventually she followed in her mother's footsteps and decided to study Spanish literature, which led to a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (2002). In 2007 her linguistic odyssey came full circle when she married a native from Germany, an event that reignited her interest in German.
Every semester, Prof. Jacobsen teaches Elementary Spanish (FLS 1101) and Problems in Spanish Grammar (FLS 3000), as well as a third content course, on a rotating basis: Writing Through Literature (FLS 3010, a basic composition course) the Spring of odd-numbered years; Survey of Early Spanish Literature (FLS 4510, medieval and early modern literature of Spain) the Spring of even-numbered years; Women in the Hispanic World (FLE 3025, in English, cross-listed with Women's Studies) the Fall of even-numbered years; and Cultural Perspectives on the Tango (FLS 4650) the Fall of odd-numbered years.
Prof. Jacobsen's research interests coincide with the literature and culture courses she teaches. For many years, inspired by the topic of her doctoral dissertation, her conference papers and articles focused on the issues faced by women writers, such as censorship of their work and the textual strategies they developed to avert clashes with (male) authorities. The past two years have seen a shift in the focus of her research toward the intersection of the picaresque novel (arguably Spain's most important original contribution to world literature, aside from the Quijote) with Tango lyrics (a subgenre of Argentine poetry). She is devoting her full attention to this new area of inquiry now.