The University Record, October 9, 1995

FACULTY AWARDS: Santiago Colas, Faculty Recognition Award

Since joining the University of Michigan faculty in 1992, Professor Santiago Colas has established himself as a major presence in the fields of Spanish and Latin American literature and comparative literature, in the classroom and in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. One of the most important and visible young interdisciplinary scholars working in the humanities today, Professor Colas recently received the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers.

Professor Colas has compiled an impressive publication record, including his first book, Postmodernity in Latin America: The Argentine Paradigm, published in 1994 by Duke University Press. Postmodernity in Latin America is a provocative contribution to the current debates on postmodernism and is expected to have an impact on other fields as well, especially Latin American studies and cultural studies. He has 12 articles published or forthcoming and is working on two book-length manuscripts. His scholarly work is marked by clear and sophisticated argumentation and elegant writing. Professor Colas takes on knotty theoretical issues and writes about them with great lucidity, directness and intelligence.

He is among the most articulate of scholars steeped in theories of postmodernity and postcolonialism as applied to Third World literatures written in Spanish. Professor Colas’ commitment to democracy and freedom for people of the developing regions of the planet is impressive. This commitment is the motor that drives his discourse, shaping his multidisciplinary approach.

Professor Colas, a winner of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts Excellence in Education Award, is an outstanding teacher of both undergraduate and graduate students. He receives particularly high ratings in student evaluations on questions dealing with the clarity of his presentations, his enthusiasm for teaching and for his subject matter, and the respect with which he treats students and their questions. His teaching record is all the more remarkable because it has been compiled with very little repetition of courses. He also is very generous in accepting in his undergraduate courses larger numbers of students than is customary.

Outside the classroom, Professor Colas has been a highly valued mentor, making himself available to meet with students outside of class to discuss their concerns. He has taken a leading role in a literary theory reading group consisting largely of graduate students in French.

An extremely well organized and efficient individual, Professor Colas serves on the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures executive committee and its French Search Committee.

For his service, commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship, impressive publication record and dedication to students, the University proudly presents to Santiago Colas its Faculty Recognition Award.