Catia Corriveau-Dignard

PhD student

I am a PhD student in Spanish and specializing in contemporary Cuban literature and culture.

My academic background includes prior studies in Economics with specialization in History of Economic Thought. After teaching in this field for more than fifteen years, I decided to expand my horizons and follow my heart. I earned a BA Honours in Hispanic Studies from Bishop's University (2015), where I focused on the questions of representation and otherness in contemporary Cuban literature, followed by my MA in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures from the University of Toronto (2017).

I chose U of T because the Spanish and Portuguese Department offered a program that both permitted me to explore other areas in Hispanic Studies and offered me the expertise to pursue my research interest. I also chose U of T for its reputation, the multicultural city setting and the competitive funding package and other opportunities to help me finance my studies and future doctoral research.
What I have found most remarkable about my U of T graduate school experience has been the high level of academic learning and variety of expertise of faculty. Because of this variety of expertise, I have been able to widen my outlook of the Hispanic Studies field greatly. I've been amazed by the many libraries where you can study and find research material. But most of all, because of my field of study, I was and am very fond of the Robarts Library because of its extensive collection. I am grateful to my professors for their level of expertise and helpfulness. They have been supportive with assistance to writing grant proposals, finding journals for future publications, and motivating me to attend conferences. I am also grateful to my colleagues, for their friendliness and the fact that they are from everywhere. This led to many varied and interesting cultural exchanges, which is a plus in the field of Hispanic literatures and cultures.

During my MA at U of T I attended conferences in Buenos Aires, Argentina and locally at Ryerson University; since beginning my PhD I have also given a talk in Santiago de Cuba. I appreciated these experiences for the opportunities for sharing knowledge, developing a network of contacts, and acquiring experience that will be very useful in academia and elsewhere.

Studying in Toronto means also that I can I enjoy the rich cultural life. The many museums and TIFF Bell Lightbox are my favorite venues when I need a change of scenery.

After I graduate, I would like to combine teaching with research, writing, giving talks, and travelling in order to do so. I never want to stop learning and exchanging ideas, experiences, with people in different cultural settings, because it adds richness to life.

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