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 Marcela T. Garcés (PhD, University of Minnesota, 2010) is a Professor of Spanish at Siena College in Loudonville, New York. Her main areas of research are contemporary Spanish culture, gastronomy, film studies pedagogy, and youth culture. She has authored articles on la Movida madrileña, contemporary Spanish film and fashion, museum studies, and Basque gastronomy. She is the scriptwriter for the gastronomic documentary The Txoko Experience. The Secret Culinary Space of the Basques. (2017). She is the co-editor of the volume Fashioning Spain: From Mantillas to Rosalía along with Francisco Fernández de Alba (2021, Bloomsbury). 

Degree Program University
Ph.D. Hispanic and Lusophone Literatures and Linguistics University of Minnesota
M.A. Hispanic Literature University of Minnesota
B.A. Social Relations and Spanish Michigan State University

My Siena Experience

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe in creating a comfortable, welcoming environment in which students engage with learning Spanish at many levels. I work with process writing to help students refine their skills through multiple guided writing exercises and drafts. Whenever possible, I incorporate visual items into my classes: films and photographs are used to explain cultural points, as well as aural materials like songs, newscasts, podcasts and pronunciation exercises. I focus on experiential learning through service learning projects that connect the local community to what we learn in class. I encourage students to attend events on campus and sometimes organize class excursions to museums or plays that relate to the Spanish-speaking world.

What I Love About Siena

I enjoy working with students in small classes where I get to know them. I form close mentoring relationships with my students by helping them do independent research and working with them on post-graduation plans. I also like working with faculty in other disciplines and serving on college-wide committees to make positive changes on campus for faculty and students.

My Favorite Courses to Teach

I enjoy teaching film courses, courses about Contemporary Peninsular Spain, and Medical Spanish. I also teach Film from the Spanish-Speaking world, which is a Core Franciscan Social Justice course.
Most recently, I took students on an interactive culinary journey for Spanish 305: "Culture through Cuisine: Exploring the Basque Region in Spain."  You can read about the class and our trip here.

My Professional Experience

Year Title Organization
2021 - Now Co-Owner La Centralita Culinary Studio

Current Research

My research and teaching interests include contemporary Peninsular Spanish cultural studies, film, and museum studies, and Basque Gastronomy. I am the scriptwriter for the gastronomic documentary The Txoko Experience. The Secret Culinary Space of the Basques (2017). View the trailer and listen to my piece on The Academic Minute to learn more! 

Most recently, I co-edited the volume Fashioning Spain: From Mantillas to Rosalía along with Francisco Fernández de Alba (2021, Bloomsbury). 

Articles & Book Reviews

  • Teaching Basque Gastronomy: From On Location to Online in Pandemic Times.
    Journal of Gastronomy and Tourism., vol. 4
  • (Book Review): Televising Restoration Spain. History and Fiction in Twenty-First Century Costume Dramas, David R. George, Jr. And Wan Sonya Tang (2018)
    Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinemas, vol. 17
  • Reading Between the Seams in 'El tiempo entre costuras.'
    Revista de Estudios Hispanicos, vol. 54
  • "Algo muy de aquí": Los txokos y la identidad culinaria de los vascos."
    La Nueva Literatura Hispánica
  • "The Shortcomings of Simulacra: Fragments of the Past in Pedro Almodóvar's Broken Embraces."
    Oceánide, Revista de la Sociedad Española de Cultura Popular Sociedad SELICUP
  • All About Almodóvar. (Book Review).
    International Journal of Iberian Studies
  • Balenciaga: Spanish Master, Queen Sofía Spanish Institute (Exibition Review)
    Museum and Society

Awards & Distinctions

  • Nominated for the Jerome Walton Excellence Award in Teaching
    Category: Teaching
    Siena College, 2018
  • "Designing a Study Travel Course: SPAN 305: "Culture through Cuisine: Exploring the Basque Region in Spain."
    Category: Teaching-Research
    Committee on Teaching and Faculty Development, 2017
  • Grant for Online Course Development. 

    Category: Teaching
    Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2016
  • Adviser of the Year
    Category: Teaching
    Teaching Award given by Siena College Student Senate, 2016
  • "Visual Culture of the Spanish-Speaking World."
    Category: Teaching
    Diversity Action Committee, 2015
  • Medical Spanish: Broadening the Curriculum.
    Category: Teaching
    COTFD, 2014
  • “Addressing Diversity in Contemporary Spanish Film.”
    Category: Teaching
    Diversity Action Committee, 2013
  •   “(Re)membering the Madrid Movida: The Contemporary Corpus.”
    Category: Research
    COTFD, 2012
  •   Information Literacy for Advanced Spanish Students: Towards an Understanding of the Latino and Hispanic Community in the Capital Region.
    Category: Teaching
    Standish Library, 2011
  •   Academic Service Learning in Spanish.
    Category: Teaching
    Academic Community Engagement, Siena College, 2011
  •   “The Madrid Movida: Museums and Memory.”
    Category: Research
    COTFD, 2011

Books & Book Chapters

  • Fashioning Spain. From Mantillas to Rosalía.

  • "Fashioning Transitions and Designing Identities in El Calentito." in Gender in Hispanic Literature and Visual Arts
    Lexington Books
  • "Re: La Removida. The Metamorphosis of Memory and la Movida in Recent Documentary Films." in Back to the Future: Toward a Cultural Archive of La Movida.
    Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
  • Teaching La Movida Through Film and Text in Cine Lit VII: Essays on Hispanic film and Fiction.
    Cine Lit Publications


  • "A Taste of Culinary History in the Basque Country."
    The World History Association Conference, "Distance, Mobility and Migration.", Bilbao, Spain
  • "Gastronomic Tourism in Troubled Times: A U.S.-Spain Perspective."
    International Gastronomy Webinar., Pariwisata, Indonesia
  • "Muchas telas que cortar: Estudios de moda, cultura material y cambio social."
    ALCES, Madrid, Spain
  • Virtual Book Presentation, Fashioning Spain. Featured in "Ex-Libris, nuevas publicaciones sobre cultura hispana."
    Instituto Cervantes, Manchester, England
  • "Me llamo Marcela: A Graphic Novel Reflection on a Heritage Speaker's Experience."
    NEMLA (Northeastern Modern Language Association), Boston, Massachusetts
  • "Women of a Certain Age: Female Spaces in 'Thi Mai: Rumbo a Vietnam.'"
    Cine-Lit, Portland, Oregon
  • Documentary Film Creation: Bridging Public Scholarship and Pedagogical Inspirations through The Txoko Experience (2017).
    LALISA (Latin American, Latino/a, & Iberian Studies Association of the Pacific Northwest), Portland, Oregon
  • "Reading Between the Seams: Fashion and Female Empowerment in El tiempo entre costuras."
    Representaciones del vestido y la moda en las literaturas hispánicas, New York, New York
  • "The Txoko Experience. The Secret Culinary Space of the Basques." Documentary Film Presentation and Q&A.
    San Sebastian Gastronomika, San Sebastian, Spain
  • "Tailoring on TV: Recreating La Movida Styles in Cuéntame."
    Aquí y ahora. TV and Film Production in Contemporary Spain, International Conference,, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • "Labyrinths of Fashion: Memorializing Almodóvar's Legacy."
    El cine y la televisión en la España de la Post-Transición (1979-1992)," El Grupo de Investigación TECMERIN, Madrid, Spain
  • Anatomía de un instante: Dissecting Fact and Fiction.
    Cine-Lit, Portland, Oregon
  • Hillary Clinton: The Human Side of a Leader.
    ACOP, International Political Science conference, Bilbao, Spain
  • Sound Memories in 'El Calentito': Recreating La Movida.
    Displacing the Voice: Popular Music in Spanish Cinema 1923-2013, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, New York
  • The Removida. The Metamorphosis of Memory and la Movida in Recent Documentary Films."
    Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, Kentucky
  • "Reflections on Pilgrimage in Spain: Aesthetic and Narrative Realism in The Way."
    October, 2013
    Symposium on Pilgrimage Studies:, Williamsburg, Virginia
  • "Es cuestión de vida y muerte: La Movida in Recent Documentary Films."
    NEMLA (Northeastern Modern Language Association), Boston, Massachusetts
  • "La Movida releída: El duelo y la melancolía en los recuerdos literarios."
    XIV Congreso Internacional De Literatura Española Contemporánea., Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • El legado de La Movida madrileña: del underground a la cultura popular.
    V Congreso Internacional de S.E.L.I.C.U.P.: Visiones interdisciplinares sobre la cultura popular,", Toledo, Spain
  • Exploring a Palimpsest: Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas".
    Visual Manifestations of Cultural Intersections, Loudonville, New York
  • • "Unearthing and Burying Memory in Spain: Reflections on a Funeral, 72 Years Later."
    Violence, Memory, and Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Tampa, Florida
  • "Broken Embraces: The Memory of a Breakdown."
    Memory and World Cinema Conference., San Antonio, Texas
  • "Teaching La Movida Through Film and Text."
    Cine-Lit VII: An International Conference on Hispanic Film & Fiction., Portland, Oregon