Ronald Friis

Ronald Friis

Professor of Spanish; Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

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Since 1999 Dr. Friis has taught all levels of Spanish language, literature, and culture at Furman. As a director of study away, he has led programs in Costa Rica, Chile, and Spain and often conducts research in Mexico. In addition, he has also developed and taught courses on food and cultural identity. Dr. Friis' literary research centers on Mexican and Chilean poetry of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He is the author of a book on poet José Emilio Pacheco, a Spanish conversation textbook, critical articles on Latin American poetry, and poetry translations. His latest book is White Light: The Poetry of Alberto Blanco.


  • The Furman Standard Research Grant. 2017-2020.


  • Ph.D., Penn State University
  • M.A., Penn State University
  • B.A., Dickinson College

Research Interests

  • Contemporary Mexican and Chilean poetry
  • Poetry and the visual arts
  • Poetry translation
  • Poetics
  • Food and cultural identity
  • Language pedagogy and teaching materials.


Co-authored with students:

  • with Katherine McCann (student). Review of Neruda de 1904–1936 by Jaime Concha, and Neruda's Sins by Hernán Loyola. Hispania 106:2 (June 2023) pp. 317-20.
  • with Maria Bartlett (student). Three Poems about Space ("Eternity and a Day," "Illumination," and "Cybernaut" by Alberto Blanco. EZRA: An Online Journal of Translation. Fall 2019
  • with Maria Bartlett (student). Five Poems about Film: "Silent Light," "There is a Light," "Silent Light?," "Amarcord," and "Light in the Quince Tree." Translations of poems by Alberto Blanco. Cagibi ( October 15, 2019.


  • White Light: The Poetry of Alberto Blanco. Bucknell University Press, November, 2021.
  • with Tatiana Séeligman, Doble vía: Comunicación en español. Heinle Cengage Learning, 2010
  • José Emilio Pacheco and the Poets of the Shadows. Bucknell University Press, 2001


  • On Alberto Blanco (Este País: Tendencias y Opiniones, Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea and forthcoming in Transatlántica)
  • On José Emilio Pacheco (Hispanic Poetry Review, La Torre de la Universidad de Puerto Rico and Revista de Estudios Hispánicos)
  • On Mexican poets Rosario Castellanos (Hispania, South Carolina Modern Language Review) and Homero Aridjis (Hispanic Journal)
  • On Chilean poets Pablo Neruda (Chasqui) and Tomás Harris (Latin American Literary Review)
  • On self-developed teaching materials (Hispania, MIFLC Review).

Additional Professional Activities 

  • Faculty Coordinator of Furman's On-Campus May Experience