Janice A. Jaffe

Visiting Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures

Teaching this semester

HISP 2204. Intermediate Spanish II, A

Three class hours per week and one weekly conversation session with assistant. Grammar fundamentals are reviewed. Class conversation and written assignments are based on readings in modern literature.

HISP 2410/LAS 2410. Introduction to Hispanic Studies: Essay and Narrative, A

A chronological introduction to the cultural production of the Spanish-speaking world from pre-Columbian times to the present, with particular emphasis on the analysis of essay and narrative. Examines major literary works and movements in their historical and cultural context.

After earning tenure at Bowdoin in 1995, introducing community engagement courses into the Romance Languages curriculum, and, as chair of the department overseeing a curriculum review to emphasize cultural studies and creating a tenure-track position in Italian Studies, Professor Jaffe took a hiatus to pursue her passion for language access in immigrant and refugee communities.  She became a National Board certified medical interpreter, court interpreter, and interpreter trainer in Maine teaching interpreting skills and ethics to hundreds of New Mainers from Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, etc. 

During her tenure as Associate Director of Bowdoin’s McKeen Center for the Common Good she mentored faculty on public engagement, oversaw student community engagement fellowships, and organized the college’s first public health symposium.

Back in the classroom since 2015, Professor Jaffe’s scholarly work focuses on translation and interpreting theory and practice. Her translations have appeared recently in The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History, Latino Voices in New England, and Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas, and she has published on translation politics and practice in the Latin American Literary Review. She is currently translating Spanish writer Rosa Montero’s La ridícula idea de no volver a verte. 

Deeply committed to issues of language access and reducing disparities for new Americans, Professor Jaffe conducts research on best practices in working with interpreters together with a multidisciplinary team of colleagues from Harvard’s certificate program in Refugee Trauma and Recovery. She is a member of the Maine Judicial Branch LEP Advisory Committee, and board member and director of interpreting for Partners for Rural Health in the Dominican Republic.


  • Graduate Certificate: Global Mental Health: Refugee Trauma and Recovery, Harvard University
  • PhD. Comparative Literature, Minor in Spanish, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • M.A. Spanish, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Madrid Junior Year Abroad, Middlebury College
  • B.A. Spanish, with Honors, University of the South; Sewanee, TN


  • Translation theory and practice
  • Migration, displacement and exile in contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature
  • Medical and legal interpreting theory and practice

Publications and Translations


The Ridiculous Idea of Never Seeing You Again. Translation of Rosa Montero, La ridícula idea de no volver a verte. Barcelona: Seix Barral, 2013. In progress, and currently in discussion with publisher.

“Nostalgia for Space: Utopia and the Double-edged Sword of the Machine in Latin American Art,” Translation of Miguel Ángel Fernández Delgado, “Saudade del espacio, la utopía y el doble filo de la máquina en el arte latinoamericano,” Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas. Ed. Sarah Montross. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2015. 48-60.

“Argentines on the Moon,” Translation of Rodrigo Alonso, “Los argentinos en la Luna,” Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas. Ed. Sarah Montross.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 2015. 76-88.

 “To the Beat of the Walrus”: Uruguayan Communists and Youth Culture in the Global Sixties,” Translation of Vania Markarian “Al ritmo de La Morsa: Los comunistas uruguayos y la cultura juvenil de los años sesenta.” The Americas: A Quarterly Journal of Inter-American Cultural History 70:3 (2014): 363-392.

“The Apuntaciones of Modesto de la Torre: Mexican Nationalism as Seen by a Spanish Soldier, 1821-1822,” Translation of Claudia Guarisco “Las Apuntaciones de Modesto de la Torre o el nacionalismo mexicano visto por un militar español, 1821-1822.” The Americas: A Quarterly Journal of Inter-American Cultural History 69:4 (2013): 509-528.

“Mexico for the Mexicans: The Politics of the Immigration, National Sovereignty and the Promotion of Mestizaje.” Translation of Pablo Yankelevich “México para los mexicanos: Políticas de inmigración, soberanía nacional y fomento del mestizaje.” The Americas: A Quarterly Journal of Inter-American Cultural History 68:3 (2012): 405-436.

Latino Voices in New England. Eds. David Carey and Robert Atkinson. Albany: SUNY, 2009. (Translator of oral histories)

Articles in peer-reviewed books:

“Novel Recipes and Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate.” Scenes of the Apple. Eds. Tamar Heller and Patricia Moran.  Binghamton: SUNY Press, 2003. pp.199-213.

“Pablo Neruda, Interpreter of Our Century.” Translation of Giuseppe Bellini, “Pablo Neruda: Intérprete de nuestro siglo.” Neruda’s Legacy and the U.S. Culture Industry at the End of the Twentieth Century.  Ed. Teresa Longo. Hispanic Issues Volume 25. New York: Routledge, 2002. pp. 3-12.

 “Speak Through My Words: The Poetics and Politics of Translating Neruda.” Neruda’s Legacy and the U.S. Culture Industry. Ed. Teresa Longo. Hispanic Issues Vol. 25. New York: Routledge, 2002. pp. 13-22.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals:

“Translation and Prostitution: Rosario Ferré’s Maldito amor and Sweet Diamond Dust.” Latin American Literary Review 23 (1996): 66-82.

Like Water for Chocolate.” Masterpieces of Latino Literature. Ed. Frank N. Magill. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. pp. 280-283.

“Spanish American Women Writers' Novel Recipes,” Women's Studies 22 (1993): 217-30.

 “Apocalypse Then and Now: Las Casas' Brevísima relación and Cortázar's "Apocalipsis de Solentiname,” Chasqui 23 (1994): 18-28.

“Sor Juana, Artemisia Gentileschi & Lucretia: Worthy Women Portray Worthy Women,” Romance Quarterly 40.3 (1993): 141-55.