Sandra Clevenger, Professor
Director, Advanced Semester in Spain, Spring 2013
Office: Hiemenga 406
MA (Spanish) Michigan State University 1974
PhD (Spanish) New York University 1987
After starting out at Calvin, I received a scholarship to finish my bachelor and master of arts in Spanish at Michigan State University. I started teaching at Calvin in 1975 in a very small Spanish Department. After teaching several years at Calvin I took time off to complete my PhD. at New York University. I did my course work in Spain and before finishing my degree, I met and spent some time with Carmen Martin Gaite in New York. It was she who suggested that I write on the theme of childhood in her works so that was what motivated me to write about childhood and adolescence in her fictional narratives.
Picaresque Novel; contemporary Peninsular Literature; Spanish Civil War; Carmen Martin Gaite; Spanish Peninsular History
"Changes in Gender Roles in El cuarto de atrás”. Masculinities, Femininities and More – An Interdisciplinary Conference on Gender in the Humanities, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of West Georgia (23rd Annual Conference): November 6-8, 2008, Carrollton, Georgia.
"Erasmus, Martin Luther and the devil in El cuarto de atrás”. Annual NACFLA (NORTH AMERICAN CHRISTIAN FOREIGN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION) Conference, Point Loma Nazarene University, March 26-28, 2009.
Quilting (I have been quilting for close to 20 years. I have been a member of the West Michigan Quilter’s Guild and the Thornapple Country Quilter’s quilt bee and have actually won prizes for some of my quilts. I have twice taught the Spanish Interim on quilting).
I started at Calvin as a music major. I started to play the violin when I was very young but during my elementary school years changed to piano and flute. When I lived in Spain, Paco de Lucia was my neighbor so I tried a bit of guitar which I don’t play well but I have a beautiful hand crafted guitar which Paco’s dad helped me to purchase when I lived there. I like almost any kind of music.
I enjoy any type of crafting and have enjoyed sewing, knitting and crocheting.
I have acted in community theatre and am part of the drama team at my church.
I love spending time and spoiling my 4 yr old black pug Gretchen. We go out walking every day no matter how bad the weather is.
Spanish-speaking countries visited
I lived in Spain for 5 years, though not all at once. I lived in Madrid under Franco for a year and a half near the Plaza de España. I lived with a family and taught English at a language academy. My neighbors were Paco de Lucia’s family and I would often go to bed to the sound of him practicing as there was the typical Spanish patio that connected all of the apartments. I later returned to Madrid and lived for a year near the Atocha train station when the new parliamentary government was being formed and another year when I was preparing for my doctoral exams. I also lived in Granada for two years and traveled all over Andalucia. I have led interims to Spain twice and to Mexico twice. I have also visited Puerto Rico during a family vacation.