Meet Dr. Kanost!

Dr. Laura Kanost is Professor of Spanish American Literature and Translation Studies at Kansas State.


TEACHING: Every year, Dr. Kanost teaches courses in Spanish<>English translation and community interpreting. She created her own textbooks for Community Translation and Interpreting and Introduction to Hispanic Readings and Media (Span 550). Many of her courses feature service-learning experiences, and she took K-State students to Costa Rica for a service-learning program for several years. Her translation and interpretation students have translated materials for the Fall 2019 art exhibition and public lectures featuring Edwin Rodriguez, founder of Colombian peace and reconciliation nonprofit Mil Colores Para Mi Pueblo. Dr. Kanost worked with Dr. Garavito to secure a grant to bring Rodriguez to campus – you can read about the project on the blog and participate October 7-15, 2020 by attending lectures or stopping by the art exhibition in Chapman Gallery (Willard Hall).  A unique course Dr. Kanost offers is Spanish American Poetry and Song Lyrics, which is a 700-level seminar. Below is a photograph from an activity in that class where students infused campus spaces with poetry.

Kanost_poetry class outside

RESEARCH: Much of Dr. Kanost’s research focuses on literary representations of the body. She became interested in this because it’s a way to look at social change. The way we imagine bodies in literature and art can tell a lot about how our society understands disability, gender and sexuality, ethnicity, and other aspects of identity. When she teaches works depicting illness or disability, Dr. Kanost thinks it’s fascinating to see how everyone approaches them by way of their own experiences—students preparing for health or human services professions, students who have experienced a disability personally or in their family, etc. Her most recent article appeared in Disability Studies Quarterly in 2018: “Mobility and the Modern Intellectual: Translated Images from Early 20th-Century Literary Works in Spanish by Carmen Lyra and Luisa Luisi” (full article here).

Kanost-Luisa Luisi
Uruguayan writer (poet) Luisa Luisi (1883-1940).

BOOKS (Translation): Dr. Kanost has published several books, including an open-access textbook for Translation and Interpreting classes that she co-authored with her colleague Julie Sellers (Benedictine College, KS). Intermediarios: Introduction to Spanish<>English Community and Legal Translation and Interpreting is available via New Prairie Press (2018) here. She also translated an early 20th-century Peruvian novelLa rosa muerta by Aurora Cáceres (1914) — to English as A Dead Rose in 2018. Her translation included a critical introduction to the novel, and the book was long-listed for the 2019 Best Translated Book Award. You can read about her interest in this novel and the process of translating fiction in our previous post, “A Dead Rose” in English Translation, by Dr. Kanost.

BOOKS (Literature): Dr. Kanost’s books on Spanish American literature include a co-edited anthology on Mexican Women Screenwriters, Las guionistas: A Bilingual Anthology of Mexican Women Screenwriters (translator and co-editor with María Teresa DePaoli, Bilingual Press, 2017). She has also written on diverse Latin American women writers and how they have represented madness within contexts of sociopolitical strife and gender inequality: Latin American Women and the Literature of Madness: Narratives at the Crossroads of Gender, Politics, and the Mind (co-author with Elvira Sánchez-Blake, McFarland, 2015).

In her free time, Dr. Kanost has translated over 2,000 Spanish and Portuguese loan descriptions for Kiva, a microfinance nonprofit. She enjoys learning about the cultural contexts of small businesses in Latin America and Mozambique, researching terms that aren’t in the dictionary, and improving her Portuguese skills.

Kanost_Loan translation work
A screen shot of some of Dr. Kanost’s translation work.

If you’re interested in taking courses or working on a research project with Dr. Kanost, send her an email [lakanost] or stop by her office in EH 204. She’d be more than happy to chat with you about the Spanish major, translation minor, or how fun literature and translation can be. You can also follow her on twitter @laurakanost.


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