Ole Summer


Faculty in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (LALC) are passionate educators and mentors who are dedicated to helping students increase their language proficiency and expand their knowledge of and appreciation for world cultures and literatures. Recognized for their expertise and excellence in teaching, LALC faculty strive to provide personalized attention to each student, to foster meaningful relationships with students for guidance and support, and to inspire students to pursue life-long learning.

Whether a foreign language is your only major or one of your majors, a LALC faculty member will work closely with you to help you decide on classes, to keep you on track and on task in fulfilling the General Education (SOPHIA) requirements, and to assist you with your study abroad, graduate school, and career choices and aspirations.

LALC Alumni might also enjoy visiting our webpage dedicated to our Faculty Emeriti.


P. Cabrera

Dr. Pilar Cabrera
Associate Professor, Spanish & Department Chair
office: 313 Humanities Center
tel: 605.274.5524

Dr. Cabrera earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches all levels of Spanish language as well as Spanish-American literature and culture. Her research focuses on representations of gender, sexuality, and race in Cuban and Cuban-American literature. She frequently takes students to Cuba for a study-abroad experience during the month of January. Her articles have been published in journals and literary magazines like Revista Iberoamericana and La Siempreviva. She has contributed chapters to three collections of criticism. Her latest one is a study of the influence of a forgotten Cuban photographer, Julio Berestein, on a fundamental figure of Cuban letters, Virgilio Piñera, in La futuridad del naufragio. Orígenes, estelas y derivas (Almenara, 2019). Dr. Cabrera has collaborated as an editor with Cubanabooks press, which publishes books by Cuban women in bilingual editions. She is the 2019 recipient of the Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award for teaching excellence. She was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico.

S. Fish

Dr. Scott Fish
Professor, French
office: 315 Humanities Center
tel: 605.274.4915

Dr. Fish received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and teaches all levels of French language and the literatures of cultures of the French-speaking world. He is the author of a student edition of Charles Perrault's Histoires ou contes du temps passé: contes de ma mère l'Oie (Molière & Co., a division of European Masterpieces, 2017). He serves as National President of Pi Delta Phi, and has received several awards for teaching including the Outstanding Faculty Recognition Award in 2002, the 2006 Teacher of the Year Award from the South Dakota World Languages Association, and the 2017 Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award for teaching excellence. Dr. Fish received his B.A. in Art and French from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, and his M.A. in French from the University of Minnesota.

J. Patterson

Dr. Joseph Patteson
Assistant Professor, Spanish
office: 311 Humanities Center
tel: 605.274.5472

Dr. Patteson holds a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and has been teaching Spanish language and Latin American literatures and cultures since 2010. His area of expertise is contemporary Latin America, with a focus on the intersections of intoxication and culture. His book, Drugs, Violence and Latin America: Global Psychotropy and Culture, undertakes an interdisciplinary, psychotropic analysis of texts that deal with the violence of drug trafficking and interdiction, especially in Mexico, illuminating how such work may reflect and intervene in global networks of intoxication. Tracing economic, ethical, and psychological linkages between drug violence and consumerism, these texts challenge our addictions of thought and feeling about ourselves and our relationships to drugs and narco-violence. In 2019, Patteson was awarded the Jane and Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship, and he has received grants to undertake research in Mexico City and Guadalajara.

M. Rueter

Dr. Michael Rueter
Associate Professor, Spanish
office: 311 Humanities Center
tel: 605.274.5472

Dr. Rueter received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he taught all levels of Spanish language and composition as well as introductory literature courses. He specializes in medieval Spanish literature and the writings of the Moriscos, the crypto-Muslim population living in Spain during the 16th and early 17th century. Some of his research interests involve relations and exchange amongst the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities of medieval Iberia, as well as the themes of convivencia and reconquista. Dr. Rueter also spent time living in Spain, where he studied abroad and taught English at the University of Murcia.