Dr. Oscar González-Barreto began making short documentary films at 16 while growing up in Caracas, Venezuela. His early passion for the arts led him to pursue a career in humanities. Now, as an Assistant Professor of Spanish & LatinX Studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College, he is inspiring new generations of students to broaden their cultural perspectives through language, literature, and art.
“Literature and film are an integral part of my academic and human education,” he says. “I always look forward to sharing the knowledge I gained through the theoretical and critical analyses of art, history, and culture with students, colleagues, and the public.”
Dr. González-Barreto believes that students benefit greatly from foreign language immersion programs. At STAC, he offers students the opportunity to learn about other cultures in his Latinx Experience, Short Stories of Spanish America, and Global Culture: Spain courses. Even in his Film Appreciation class, he exposes students to new bits of culture they may have previously not known.
“What is most rewarding is the opportunity to help students to achieve academic success, and expand their knowledge and understanding of global cultures and political issues,” he says.
Dr. González-Barreto’s dedication to literature and film is woven throughout his career. In 1989, he graduated from Universidad Central de Venezuela with a bachelor’s degree in world literature and creative writing before completing another bachelor’s degree in mass media communications and journalism at Western State Colorado University.
In 2019, his original play, Casa Grande / Big House, was staged at the Bregamos Community Theater in New Haven, Connecticut, and he is set to return to the stage with three new plays. He is co-author of the book, Voces y cine en América Latina: El Caso de Venezuela. Lima: FEC., 2011.
After earning his Ph.D. in Spanish at the University of California, Irvine, in 2007, Dr. González-Barreto became a Senior Lector of Spanish at Yale University. He later joined Columbia University as an Associate Research Scholar in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures. His resume also includes teaching Spanish at Iona College and Queens College.
Outside of academia, Dr. González-Barreto hosts Bridgeport, Connecticut’s WPKN 89.5 radio’s Jazz-It-UP! world music show. He also curates the Annual Film Program for iD Studio Theater, a network of theater and arts professionals who work within Latinx immigrant communities to promote the performing arts as a means to build community.