Burns, John

John Burns Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Spanish
Phone: 815-226-4099


Languages, Literatures, and Cultures


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A., University of Maine


Dr. Burns loves to share his research on Latin American culture, literature and history with his students. Some semesters he is even fortunate enough to travel with his students to the regions he teaches about in his classes.

Dr. Burns has studied in Chile and Spain and has spent considerable time in Mexico. He completed his graduate work in Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009 when he defended his doctoral thesis entitled “Imagining the Poet: Strategies of Contemporary Spanish-Language Poets in the Era of Globalization”. A revised chapter of that thesis was published as “The Emergence of the Mediated Poet: Leopoldo María Panero in Roberto Bolaño’s 2666” in Contemporary Developments in Emergent Literature and the New Europe. Domínguez, César, ed. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela Press: Santiago de Compostela, 2011.

He regularly participates in academic conferences where he presents his research on contemporary poetry, cinema and new media. Additionally, he has participated in presentations for the University of Wisconsin’s Center for the Humanities on the subject of Nobel Prize winners in the Spanish-speaking world and the cinematic use of Don Quijote in the American film Ghost Dog. He often writes reviews of Latin American scholarly texts for the journal Feminist Studies.

Dr. Burns also translates literature in and out of English, Spanish and Galician. He is currently finishing an extensive of anthology of Beat poetry, cotranslated into Spanish with notable Mexican poet Rubén Medina which will be published by Editorial Aldus in Mexico City. You can read an interview with him about his experience translating Galician and Latin American literature at this link:


Contemporary Hispanic Poets: Cultural Production in the Global, Digital Age (Cambria Press, 2015)

The English translation of Chilean poet Raúl Hernández’s work Aesthetic of the Rain (DíazGrey, 2015)

“The Emergence of the Mediated Poet: Leopoldo María Panero in Roberto Bolaño’s 2666” in the Spanish journal 1616: Anuario de literatura comparada (2013).

In collaboration with Rubén Medina, he co-translated and co-edited an anthology of Beat poetry titled Una tribu de salvajes improvisando a las puertas del infierno (Aldus, 2012).

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