This coming spring, Ramón Soto-Crespo will be teaching a Grand Challenge Experience course for the Health & Wellness pathway. GLOBAL NARRATIVES OF HIV/AIDS, which meets the gen ed criteria for Literature and the Arts works through the study of literary texts and documentary films. Students in this course will explore how the preservation of life and the maintenance of health become topics of literary interest. This is especially the case in “hot zones” areas of the world, such as Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin/o America, where HIV/AIDS has become complicated with problems of economic development and public policy concerns. Students will connect their learning on the literature and history of HIV/AIDS to an archive of materials assembled in conjunction with the University Library as well as through collaboration with a local community organization, the Greater Community AIDS Project of East Central Illinois.
Soto-Crespo specializes in global anglophone and hispanic literature and culture. A new transplant to the University of Illinois, Soto-Crespo is the recipient of an Award for Excellence in Teaching and Advising and a Campus Diversity Teaching Initiative Award. His first book, Mainland Passage: The Cultural Anomaly of Puerto Rico (2010) received honorable mention for a prize from the Modern Language Association.