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"Department of Spanish and Portuguese"

Hana Muzika Kahn
446 Anderson Hall

PhD, Rutgers University
Assistant Professor of Spanish

Research and Teaching Interests

Teaching: Contemporary Latin-American Spanish and Indigenous Literature, Film and Culture; Spanish for Health and Human Services; Translation.

Research: Guatemalan Maya literature with an emphasis on (self) translation and re-writing in the sociolinguistic context of indigenous language revitalization. I use a comparative approach in analyzing the cultural content, literary style, and linguistic characteristics of works by bilingual authors writing in Spanish and Mayan languages.

Research: 2010 Temple University Provost Seed Award

Collaborative research project: Language contact, maintenance and revitalization in the Guatemalan highlands: expressive aspects of the use of Kaqchikel Maya and Spanish in oral histories and narratives.  I am working with Dr. Jonathan Holmquist (also in Temple Spanish Department) and we are combining our backgrounds in sociolinguistics and comparative literature to evaluate language use in Parramos, a bilingual community in the Guatemalan highlands, where Spanish and Kaqchikel Maya are spoken. In summer 2011, we spent two months in the town of Parramos, recording oral interviews and oral narratives, and conducting a sociological survey.  Dr. Holmquist is analyzing the influence of Kaqchikel on Spanish, and I am analyzing Mayan oral tradition.

Most Recent Publications

1. “Maya Identity in the Bilingual K’iche’-Spanish Poetry of Humberto Ak’abal.” Crossing Over: Redefining the Scope of Border Studies. Eds. Antonio Medina-Rivera and Diana Orendi. Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2007)

2. “Maya Oral Tradition as the Foundation of the New Written Literary Canon: The Testimonial Novel of Gaspar Pedro González.” Latin American Indian Literatures Journal 22: 1 (2006)

3. “Humberto Ak’abal: Bilingual Maya Poet of Guatemala.” La Jornada Literaria VIII:1 (2005)


Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Anderson Hall 4th Floor 1114 West Berks Street Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090
Phone: (215) 204-8285 Fax: (215) 204-3731