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Dr. Victor Manuel Duran
Chair of the Foreign Languages Department

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Dr. Durán is Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at USC Aiken.
A native of Belize, Central America, Dr. Durán received his B.Ed. from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 1979, his M.A. in Romance Languages from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1984 and his Ph. D. from the same institution in 1988. He is the author of several books. His most recent titles are An Anthology of Belizean Literature, the first published anthology of the literature of Belize including works in all four languages of the country, and El Hombre Ahogado, a Spanish translation of Phebe Davidson's The Drowned Man.
Dr. Durán has taught at various educational institutions in Belize, Missouri and Illinois and has taught the gamut of Spanish courses, from beginning to advanced as well as literature courses, and has implemented and taught specialized courses in Spanish such as Spanish for Business and Spanish for Health Professionals. Dr. Durán’s area of specialization is Latin American Literature, with emphasis on the contemporary Latin American novel, particularly those of Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Manuel Puig and Isabel Allende. He has researched extensively the elements of Marxist Literary Theory and their representation and influence in the contemporary literature of Latin America and has published a seminal book on that topic, A Marxist Reading of Fuentes, Vargas Llosa and Puig.
Dr. Durán has been active in community activities and co-founded the Latino Outreach Association of Central Illinois [LOACI], a volunteer organization dedicated to the advancement of Latinos in Central Illinois and to the dissemination of Latino culture in Central Illinois and the surrounding areas. He served as President of this organization from 2001-2003. Dr. Durán believes that knowledge of a second language and culture is important in the educational and academic formation of any individual and advocates strongly the teaching of these second languages in any educational institution, particularly those of higher learning.

Research Interests

Dr. Víctor Manuel Durán continues his research on the Literature and Culture of his native Belize, on Latin American Literature,  Literary Theory and Criticism and on Spanish Peninsular Literature.  In June 2012, Professor Durán published a thirty-page paper titled  Los Mayas, Criollos, Garifunas y Mestizos de Belice: una muestra literaria in the prestigious journal Cuadernos de Literatura Vol. 30, which is published by the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia, South America.  The paper was well-received and has also been published in Portuguese, in addition to the original Spanish version.

Dr. Durán also published in April, 2012 a paper in English titled Naturalism in Gregory Nava’s film El Norte.  In this paper,  Dr. Durán discusses Emile Zola’s theories on naturalism, specifically the effects of heredity and environment as they shape the human psyche, and demonstrates how these two entities are applied to the seminal Latin American movie, El Norte.  The paper was first presented by Professor Durán at an academic conference sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages, West Virginia University, Morgantown,  and was published by the peer-reviewed journal Philological Papers, from the same Department of Foreign Languages, West Virginia University.   

Currently, Dr. Durán has finished all the research for his fourth book titled Emilia: A Historical Novel, which he hopes to publish in 2014.