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Dr. Brianne Orr-Álvarez

Assistant Professor of Teaching

French, Hispanic & Italian Studies

Faculty of Arts

Research Themes: 

Language, Sustainability and Transnationalism

M.A., Michigan State University
Ph.D., Michigan State University

Brianne began teaching in the Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies at the University of British Columbia in 2010.

She teaches all levels of the undergraduate Spanish language curriculum and coordinates Beginner’s Spanish I & II (Spanish 101 & 102), so she often gets the chance to work directly with students during their first year at UBC and to see them through the Spanish major and minor programs.  Apart from her role in language instruction and coordination, Brianne teaches literature and culture classes in Spanish and in English that grapple with different aspects of the Hispanic context, with a particular focus on politics, gender, and resistance in Latin America.  For instance, Spanish 280, a course she will teach in January of 2020, looks at how revolution as concept and practice is first imagined through first-hand accounts of major leaders and icons of revolution – Che Guevara (Argentina, Cuba), Subcomandante Marcos (Mexico), and others – and then disseminated, exported to other movements, and transformed through literature, art, music, and film.  A history of courses she has taught is available here.

Beyond the classroom, Brianne chairs the TA Training and Mentorship Committee and directs the FHIS Learning Centre, a peer-peer teaching and learning service that offers students enrolled in FHIS courses the opportunity to work closely with skilled undergraduate or graduate volunteer tutors on core aspects of additional language fluency and proficiency that are outlined by international guidelines for linguistic and cultural knowledge assessment and achievement (ACTFL and CEFR) and emphasized as learning outcomes in FHIS courses.

In addition to her presence in FHIS, Brianne is involved in programs centered on the First Year Experience at UBC.  From 2017-2019, she taught in the “Authority and Resistance” Stream in the Arts One Program, a theme-based interdisciplinary writing-intensive program for first year students.  She is also one of the 2019 Jump Start Faculty Fellows and her learning community will center on the overarching theme “Language and Power.”


UBC Killam Teaching Prize (2017-2018)

Recognized as one of the “Top Instructors in the Arts” (2013-2016)