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Juan Sebastián Ospina León

 Assistant Professor of Spanish

206B2 McMahon Hall
The Catholic University of America
Washington, DC 20064
Phone: 202-319-5240
Dr. Ospina León is an Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at CUA. His work focuses on the relationships between politics and aesthetics in early 20th century mass media culture in Latin America. His research interests also include film and media history and theory, the global circulation of moving images, and melodrama. He received his BA in Literature from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia and a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures with a Designated Emphasis in Film Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Ospina León is currently working on a book manuscript that examines how melodrama in early 20th century Argentina and Colombia shaped sites of intelligibility to record multiple processes of modernization while recasting different senses of community. With an archival perspective, the study traces how diverse social actors appropriated melodrama for individual and group agendas, as they entered the modern political pact, the pact of representation.


Dr. Ospina León is also an editor for Vivomatografías: revista de estudios sobre precine y cine silente en Latinoamérica, the first peer-reviewed journal dedicated to Latin American silent cinema and silent cinema culture published out of Buenos Aires.


Before coming to CUA, Dr. Ospina León taught as an adjunct instructor at the University of Pittsburgh and as a graduate student instructor at UC Berkeley.



“Films on Paper: Early Colombian Cinema Periodicals, 1916-1920.” Navistki, Rielle and Nicolas Poppe. Eds. Cosmopolitan Visions: Transnational Horizons of Latin American Film Culture, 1896-1960. Bloomington: Indiana University Press (Forthcoming).

“Discursos, prácticas, historiografía: continuidad y tableau en el cine silente colombiano” Imagofagia: Revista de la Asociación Argentina de Estudios de Cine y Audiovisual. 8 (2013): n. pag. Web.

“Moving Stills: Portraiture and Superficial Ties in Two Visconti Films”. Fotocinema: Revista Científica de Cine y Fotografía. 7 (2013): 23-40. Web.

 “Garras de Oro. Herida abierta en un continente: entrevista a Ramiro Arbeláez.” Vivomatografías: Revista de estudios sobre precine y cine silente en Latinoamérica. 1.1 Dec 2015: 203-217. Web.


Recent Conference Presentations

Porteño Cinedrama: Urban Locales and Sociocultural Boundaries in Argentine Silent Cinema, 1916-1929.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Atlanta, Georgia. April 2016.
“Modernity, Film Aesthetics, and Pedagogy of Filmgoing in Early Colombian Film Periodicals, 1914-1920.” Latin American Studies Association (LASA) San Juan, Puerto Rico. May, 2015.