Assistant Professor, Spanish & Portuguese
Erik Larson grew up in Minnesota. He graduated from BYU with a B.A. in Spanish Translation in 2006. He subsequently completed his PhD in Latin American Literature, with a designated emphasis in Critical Theory, in 2012 at the University of California, Davis.
Dr. Larson regularly teaches introductory courses to literature in Spanish (SPAN 339), as well as Spanish American literature (SPAN 451) and Spanish American civilization and culture (SPAN 355). He also teaches seminars on the Argentine novela negra, Latin American detective fiction, the short story, the novel, and literary theory.
Dr. Larson’s research focuses on contemporary narrative from Latin America, specifically detective fiction. His work counterposes currents in critical theory and philosophy with metaphysical detective fiction from the Southern Cone and film noir. His articles have examined, for example, issues of materialism, trauma, and history in detective novels by Ricardo Piglia, Juan José Saer, Juan Martini, Rubem Fonseca and Roberto Ampuero. Dr. Larson is currently working on a book project that examines detective fiction from various parts of Latin America–Mexico, Perú, Argentina, Cuba, etc. The book aims to explore how noir fiction approaches the very idea of Latin America itself as a narrative, and quite possibly a detective story. In addition to thinking about the idea of Latin America as a colonial imposition, and thus a kind of “literary crime,” the project attempts to read the modern state and its forms of sovereignty as a kind of noir novel that inadvertently precipitates its own contradictions. Dr. Larson is also at work on a book project with his colleague and jazz mentor, Greg Stallings, which examines issues of trauma, immanence, and spirituality in noir fiction from Spain, the Southern Cone and U.S. film noir.