University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Alvaro A Bernal, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Foreign Language

Education & Training

  • BA Universidad Pedagogica Nacional Bogota, Colombia
  • MA Governors State University
  • MA University of Northern Iowa
  • PhD (2005) University of Iowa

Representative Publications

Professor Bernal is the author of two books: PERCEPCIONES E IMÁGENES DE BOGOTÁ: EXPRESIONES LITERARIAS URBANAS (2010, second edition 2018) and BOGOTÁ: REALIDADES, DELIRIOS Y FICCIONES (2016)

PERCEPCIONES E IMÁGENES DE BOGOTÁ: EXPRESIONES LITERARIAS URBANAS focuses specifically on Bogotá, Colombia, whose swift growth in the last decades embodies events, stories, migration trends, and new lifestyles that contribute to the development of the most recent history of the city and its process of becoming a metropolis. While this project places literature at its core, this study in fact, includes interdisciplinary research that concentrates on the transformation of the city. The text incorporates various artistic representations that serve to define the urban space and its citizens. Specifically, this research focuses on four authors – Antonio Caballero, Mario Mendoza, Alonso Sánchez Baute, and Consuelo Triviño – writers who recreate Bogotá from different perspectives. Their novels serve as examples, each uniquely defining a contemporary city in which identities and spaces are constantly changing.

BOGOTÁ: REALIDADES, DELIRIOS Y FICCIONES offers a journey through contemporary Bogotá, in which the author introduces two different and complementary views on the city. One allows the reader to observe Bogota through some of the most symbolic images of the urban landscape, the attitudes and practices of local inhabitants, the chaotic public transportation, among others. The second is the result of an interdisciplinary approach in which Bernal incorporates various artistic representations that serve to define the urban space and its citizens.

Research Interests

  • Contemporary Latin American Literature and cinema
  • Colombian Literature
  • Literary representations of Latin American cities
  • Latin American urban cultures
  • Immigration Literature
  • Crime fiction narratives
  • Don Quixote
  • Creative writing 


Academic Programs