Sylvia Fernández Quintanilla

Assistant Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures

Sylvia Fernandez


Sylvia Fernández Quintanilla (she, her, ella) is a transfronteriza originally from El Paso-Cd. Juárez border region. Her research, teaching and community work leverages theory of the flesh, interdisciplinary studies and digital technologies to analyze, design and develop scholarly and creative digital and public work through ethical and inclusive practices. She is an Assistant Professor in Public and Digital Humanities in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.

Formerly, Fernández was an Assistant Professor in the Digital Technology and Culture Program at Washington State University and the Public and Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Hall Center for the Humanities, Institute of Digital Research in the Humanities (IDRH) and The Commons at the University of Kansas. She earned a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies (Literature) and served as Teaching Assistant in the Spanish as a Second Language and Spanish as a Heritage Language programs and Research Assistant with Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Program.

Fernández collaborates with faculty, students, library professionals, artists and community members leveraging digital technologies and tools with humanities research, pedagogy and knowledge production. She is among the creators and principal coordinators of warmly received public and digital transnational, interdisciplinary and multilingual projects that bring about social justice change in the digital and analog record through consciousness-raising. She has collaborated in various projects including Mellon and NEH grant awarded projects and has been the recipient of collaborative grant awards from the Ethical Practices of Transborder Arts Funds- Rubin Center at the University of Texas in El Paso, Archives Unleashed- Archive it and the University of Waterloo, and the Responsible Computing Challenge-Mozilla and other organizations.

Her bilingual scholarship (English and Spanish) has appeared in Hispania, Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea, Estudios de Género y Sexualidades, Reviews in Digital Humanities, Debates in Digital Humanities, Digital Humanities Quarterly, among other journals and volumes. She was the invited editor for the first bilingual special issue of “Borderlands Digital Humanities” in the online journal Reviews in DH, and currently she is co-editing a dossier with Aztlán a Journal of Chicano Studies and a special issue with Wiley a Journal of Sexuality, Gender and Policy. Fernández has presented and facilitated workshops in digital tools, practices and projects of Digital Humanities and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Border, US Latinx and Latin American Literature, Women’s Studies, Spanish Language, Digital Storytelling, Multilingual Archives and Global Digital Humanities. She has mentored and worked together with undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty in the United States and Mexico to support their academic and professional paths.

Sylvia is an advocate actively for women rights, loves and respects nature, enjoys knowing new places and cultures around the world, and likes doing scuba diving whenever it is possible.

Research Interests

  • Digital Humanities
  • Public Humanities
  • Transborder Studies
  • Latinx-Borderlands Literature
  • Archives, Cultures and Languages
  • Transnational and Intersectional Feminisms
  • Women of Color Social Movements


  • Ph.D. in Literature, University of Houston (2019)
  • Graduate Certificates in Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies, Spanish as a Heritage Language and Digital Humanities M.A. in Spanish (Literature and Linguistics), New Mexico State University (2015)
  • B.A. in Spanish and Government, New Mexico State University (2013)
  • Minor in U.S.-Mexico Border Issues and Gender and Sexualities Studies

Honors and Awards

  • 2022 Emerging Open Scholarship Honorable Mention by the Canadian Social Knowledge Institute for the Huellas Incomodas Project.


  • 2023, "Digital Mapping Pedagogies at the Intersection of Transborder Feminist Literary Studies" Digital Pedagogy Institute, online presentation.
  • 2023, "Mapping Humanities: New and Past Representation of Human Mobility and Migration Flows" Association for Computers and Humanities Conference, online roundtable facilitated with Bryan Winston.
  • 2023, "United Fronteras: A Transborder Digital and Public Repository" Florida Digital Humanities Consortium FLDH, online webinar, invited speakers with Laura Gonzales.
  • 2023, "Decolonial Frameworks in Afro-Latinx, Black-Chicanx, Latine, and Border Feminist Digital Archives" Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory Conference, Pratt University, online panel with Sylvia Mendoza and Eduard Arriaga.
  • 2023, "Introduction to Open Educational Resources: Creating, adapting, and sharing materials for SHL courses" Texas Coalition for Heritage Spanish (TeCHS) Summer Workshop, facilitated with Stephanie Brock Gonzalez.
  • 2023, "Crossing Borders to Study and Address Gender-based Violence" Latin American Studies Association Conference, Vancouver, Canada, panel with Erin E. Beck, Lynn M. Stephen, Kimberly S. Theidon, Cynthia Bejarano, and Karen Musalo. 2023, Digital Mapping Workshop, Public and Digital Humanities Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.
  • 2023, "Present Challenges and New Endeavors of SHL at an R1 HSI in Texas" Spanish as a Heritage Language 10th National Symposium, Harvard University, panel with Glenn Martínez and Stephanie Brock Gonzales. 2023, "Concientizando Comunidades: Alternative Archives of Leadership and Activism in Texas" National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Tejas Foco
  • 2023, University of Texas Rio Grande, Brownsville, Texas, panel with Liliana Saldaña and Sylvia Mendoza.
  • 2023, "Retracing the U.S.-Mexico Borer through Feminist Mapping Pedagogies" National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Tejas Foco 2023, University of Texas Rio Grande, Brownsville, Texas, panel with Carolina Hinojosa and Imelda Mendoza.
  • 2023, COLFA Research Conference and Showcase, University of Texas at San Antonio, Guest Speakers with Jessica Nowlin, Jason Yaeger, and Jessica Eise.
  • 2023, “Oral Histories of El Paso del Norte Anti-Femincides Movements” Digital Humanities Seminar, Hall Center for the Humanities, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA, Invited Speaker.
  • 2023, "Global North and South Collaborative Efforts Towards an Anti-Colonial Digital Humanities" Global Digital Humanities Symposium, online presentation with Brian Rosenblum.
  • 2023, "Mapping Feminicidios Online", work in process, Digital History Working Group, online presentation.
  • 2023, "Representations and Impacts in Borderlands Digital Humanities" Third Association of Borderlands Studies World Conference, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Eilat, Israel, panel with Maira Álvarez and Carolina Alonso.
  • 2022, “The Urarina Digital Heritage Project: A case study in transnational collaboration and Indigenous digital archives,” V Congreso Internacional de la Asociación Argentina de Humanidades Digitales: Miradas desde el sur, Universidad de Comahue, Río Negro, Argentina, panel with Brian Rosenblum, Bartholomew Dean and Emmanuel Fabiano.
  • 2022, “Toward a Critical Data Pedagogy: American Studies Perspectives in the Digital Humanities Classroom,” American Studies Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, panel with Melanie Walsh, Amardeep Singh, Anna Preus, Katherine Walden and Miriam Posner.
  • 2022, “Huellas Incómodas: Documentación y preservación digital de intervenciones urbanasde movimientos feministas en México y Ecuador,” Seminario Internacional de la Red Iberoamericana de Investigadores sobre Globalización y Territorio (RII), Toluca, México, Panel with Rosario Rogel and Lorena Vivanco.

Grants, Patents and Clinical Trials

  • 2023-2024 The Responsible Computing Challenge-United States with Mozilla and Mellon Foundation, Project "Responsible Datasets in Context: Collaboratively Designing for
  • Ethical Humanities Data Education," with Melanie Walsh, Anna Preus, Miriam Posner, and Amardeep Singh ($148,298)
  • 2022-2023 Archives Unleashed Cohort 2022-2023 with University of Waterloo and Mellon
  • Foundation, Research Project “Latin American Women’s Rights Movements: Tracing
  • Online Presence through Language, Time and Space” with Rosario Rogel, Alan Colin, Abraham García, Verónica Benítez, Dani Contreras and Hejin Shin ($9111)
  • 2022-2023 College of Liberal and Fine Arts Collaborative Digital Humanities Fellowship, University of Texas at San Antonio Digital Initiatives, Research Project “Concientizando
  • Comunidades: Alternative Archives of Leadership and Activism in Texas” with Liliana Saldaña, Sylvia Mendoza, and Miriam Herrera Valdez ($7500)
  • 2020-2021 Ethical Practices of Transborder Art Fund by the Rubin Center at the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas, Digital Project “GeoTestimonios Transfronterizxs” with Gris Muñoz ($3000)


Digital and Public Humanities Scholarship
2020-Present Fuerza Feminista: Archiving Movements Against Feminicide and Gender Violence, with Cynthia Bejarano

2020-Present GeoTestimonios Transfronterizxs, with Gris Muñoz

2021-2023 “Public and Digital Humanities Institute,” PIs: Brian Rosenblum and Dave Tell, National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, serving as organizer and facilitator. (

2020 “Urarina Digital Cultural Heritage Project,” with Bartholomew Dean, Emanuele Fabiano
and Brian Rosenblum. (

2020-2023 Huellas Incómodas / Uncomfortable Footprints (
-Phase 1 (Toluca, Ecuador): with Verónica Benítez-Pérez, Alan Colín-Arce,
Abraham Monroy-García, Rosario Rogel-Salazar, Irvin Santiago-Bautista, and
Brian Rosenblum
-Phase 2 (Cuenca, Ecuador): with Fernanda Pacheco, Natalia Pacurucu, Ana Cecilia
Salazar, Sofia Vásconez Tapia, Lorena Vivanco Cruz, Rosario Rogel-Salazar, and
Brian Rosenblum

2021-2022 Stories for All: A Digital Storytelling Project for the Twenty-First Century, with PI:
Richard Godbeer and rotating Co-PI, Najarian Peters. Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Grant. (

2019-2022 United Fronteras, (
-Phase 1 (US-Mexico Border) with Carolina Alonso, Maira E. Álvarez, Alex Gil, Laura
Gonzales, Ivonne Ramírez, Rubria Rocha de Luna, Verónica Romero, Annette

2018-2019 Torn Apart / Separados, with Manan Ahmed, Maira E. Álvarez, Alex Gil, Rachel Hendry, Merisa Martinez, Moacir P. de Sá Pereira, Linda Rodriguez, and Roopika Risam

2018 Delis Negrón Digital Archive, with Isis Campos, Victoria Moreno, and Annette Zapata

2017-Present Borderlands Archives Cartography (BAC), with Maira E. Álvarez

Edited Special Issues
2020 Fernández Sylvia (ed.), “Borderlands Digital Humanities”, special issue, Reviews in Digital Humanities, eds. Roopika Risam and Jennifer Guiliano, 1(8/9).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters
2024 Fernández Quintanilla Sylvia and Annette Zapata. “The Delis Negron Digital Archive: A Pedagogical Approach to Latinx Familial and Community Archives,” Crossing Digital Fronteras: Rehumanizing Latinx Education, edited by Isabel Martinez, Irma V. Montelongo, Nicholas D. Natividad and Angel D. Nieves, State University of New York Press, (2024 forthcoming)

2024 Fernández, Sylvia and Silvia Quintanilla. “‘Ya vámonos que va a ver mucha fila en el
Puente’A Mother ~ Daughter’s Reflection on Crossing Borders using a Transfronteriza
Consciousness Framework,” Frontera Madre(hood): Brown Mothers Challenging
Oppression and Transborder Violence at the U.S.-Mexico Border, edited by Cynthia Bejarano and Cristina Morales, University of Arizona Press, (2024 forthcoming)

2023 Fernández Quintanilla, Sylvia. “Challenging Capitalist-Oppressive Systems in Academia: New Projects with Iterative, Critical Design, and Collaborative,” Profession Modern Languages Association, “ Publishing and Scholarly Communication in the Humanities,” 74-83, (2023)

2022 Fernández Sylvia and Maira Álvarez. “Transborder Knowledge-Making: Accessing,
Reclaiming and Creating Digital Archives.” Archeologies, eds. Neha Gupta and Ramona
Nicholas, vol. 18, 510-525 (2022)

2022 Fernández Sylvia, Rubria Rocha de Luna y Annette Zapata. “United Fronteras como tercer espacio: Modelo transfronterizo a través de las humanidades digitales poscoloniales y la computación mínima”. Digital Humanities Quarterly, special issue “Minimal Computing,”
eds. Roopika Risam and Alexander Gil, vol. 19, no. 2 (2022).

2022 Álvarez, Maira E. and Sylvia Fernández. “Borderlands Archives Cartography: Bridging
Personal, Political and Geographical Borderlands.” Debates in the Digital Humanities,
special issue “Global Debates in the Digital Humanities,” edited by Domenico Fiormonte,
Sukanta Chaudhuri, and Paola Ricaurte, 214-224, University of Minnesota Press, 2022.

2021 Fernández, Sylvia y Maira E. Álvarez. “La intersección entre estudios hispánicos y
humanidades digitales: El aporte interdisciplinario de Borderlands Archives Cartography.”
Hispania, special issue “Digital Humanities in Spanish and Portuguese,” edited by Elika
Ortega, Megan Jeanette Myers and Susanna Allés-Torrent, 104, no. 4, (2021): 597-611.

2020 “Ir y venir: dinámicas transfronterizas en las crónicas de Adriana Candia”, Revista de
Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea, edición especial, “Literatura juarense”, eds. Carlos
Urani Montiel Contreras, vol. 26, no. 79 (2020): 67-76.

2019 Gasca Laura, Maira E. Álvarez and Sylvia Fernández. “The Translation Practices of
Spanish-language Newspapers Published in the US Borderlands Between 1808 and 1930,”
ATISA Journal, special Issue on “Translation and Interpreting Studies: The Journal of the
American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association 14, no. 2 (2019): 218-242.

2018 “Los testimonios de Alicia Partnoy durante su desaparición y exilio.” Revista de Estudiosde Género y Sexualidades: Agencia, Historia y Empoderamiento Femenino, 2018, pp.124-142.

Reviews and Entries
2023 Fernández, Sylvia, Kaylen Dwyer, Brian Rosenblum, and Dave Tell. “Digital Mapping,”
glossary entry, The Routledge Companion to Publicly Engaged Humanities Scholarship,
eds. Michelle May-Curry and Daniel Fisher-Livne

2023 Dwyer, Kaylen, Sylvia Fernández, Brian Rosenblum, and Dave Tell. “Public and Digital
Humanities,” glossary entry, The Routledge Companion to Publicly Engaged Humanities
Scholarship, eds. Michelle May-Curry and Daniel Fisher-Livne

2020 “Review: Ellas tienen nombre”. Reviews in Digital Humanities, eds.
Roopika Risam and Jennifer Guiliano, 1(8/9).

2017 “Polémico corrido fronterizo.” Review of “Las mujeres de Juárez,” by
Los Tigres del Norte. Cartografía Literaria de Ciudad Juárez, 22 Jan 2017.

2016 Review of Chica Lit: Popular Latina Fiction and Americanization in the Twenty First
Century, by Hedrick Tace. Chasqui Magazine, Vol. 45, No.1, May 2016.