Professor Receives Fulbright Scholarship
Eduardo Espina, professor of Hispanic studies, is honored with a 2022-2023 Fulbright Senior Scholarship.
By Rachel Knight ‘18
Eduardo Espina is a world-renowned writer of Spanish literature who knows the importance of persistence. Espina’s persistence recently paid off when he was announced as a 2022-2023 Fulbright Senior Scholarship recipient.
In addition to writing original masterpieces like the recently published Libro Albedrío, a book of essays aptly referred to as “the best writing in Spanish north of the River Plate and south of the Rio Grande,” Espina teaches Hispanic studies classes at Texas A&M University. He will employ both his writing and teaching skills in using his Fulbright scholarship.
Espina’s Fulbright scholarship will empower him to spend a semester in Paraguay thinking, reading, and writing his next breakthrough work of literature.
“I plan to write a book on the changing notions regarding innovation, originality, novelty, and anticanonical writing in the context of 21st-century Hispanic American poetry,” Espina shared. “In addition to writing this book, I will be giving a seminar on ‘new writing of the Americas’, for undergraduate and graduate students of state and private universities in Asuncion. It will be at the Centro Cultural de España (CCE/Cervantes Institute), dependent on the Spanish government.”
Espina’s inspiration to apply for the scholarship came in the form of a suggestion from the Fulbright Commission.
“A few years ago, the Fulbright Commission invited me to apply in the main category and suggested I do research and teach in Paraguay, a country in which I have never been,” Espina said. “Two years ago, after thinking it over, I applied. However, after passing all the academic filters and the committee telling me that my project was very good, they informed me that I had not been selected. However, I did not see this rejection as the end, but instead an invitation to apply again. So I did the same tedious and tiring process again, but this time I won. Persistence is key.”
The Fulbright scholarship is already inspiring Espina to think positively about the future and to continue his quest to fill both his own mind and his students’ minds with imagination and creativity. He said it’s important for faculty members to receive support through fellowships, because the generosity highlights the fact that creation and research matter in a global context.
“All the great American universities give great importance to literary and artistic creation, which is why they are the best in the world,” Espina explained. “That is the next goal to which our university should aspire. In my case, all the scholarships I have won have been by being a poet, essayist, and scholar. I think it’s not a bad combination. The writer’s condition matters more and more in a world in which it is impossible to conceive reality without the presence of the imagination. As a poet, I regularly receive invitations from all over the world, from China, from Russia, from Europe, and from Latin America. Due to the vacuum of certainties in a constantly changing world, this is a great time for the arts and for the use of the imagination. Winning this Fulbright scholarship highlights that.”
The interview for this story was conducted while Espina was teaching abroad in Chile, in the “Aggies in the Andes” program, which he founded and has directed since 2015. During his trip, he announced to his 26 students that he’s never going to retire from Academia, which means he will continue to inspire hope for the future, persistence in writing and active imaginations for generations of Aggies yet to come. In the more immediate future, he said he looks forward to sharing a little about Texas A&M in Paraguay.
“I think that my time in Paraguay, almost four months in total, will be a great opportunity to promote the image of Texas A&M as a leading research institution,” Espina said.