Dr. Gloria da Cunha served Morehouse College for twenty-six years from 1993-2019. She was a dedicated educator, accomplished scholar, prolific writer, caring mentor and a compassionate colleague.
Born in Uruguay, Dr. da Cunha earned her Ph.D. in Romance Languages from the University of Georgia in 1992 and soon thereafter began her teaching career at Morehouse College. In 2006 she became a tenured Full Professor. She served as Chair of the Department of Modern Language and taught all levels of Spanish. Dr. da Cunha directed dozens of graduating seniors with honors in Spanish and contributed significantly to their intellectual growth. For her outstanding teaching and mentoring she was awarded the Vulcan Teaching Excellence award in 2009. She retired in May of 2019. Her devotion to the well-being of students at Morehouse College was remarkable. Some students described her as “a wonderful professor and a great source of support to all of her students”.
Author of twelve books, Dr. da Cunha was a well-respected scholar in her academic field. She was a sharp observer of the political and economic changes in the world as well as a perceptive scholar of literary and popular cultural productions. Two of her twelve books were finalists for prestigious literary prizes and are widely used in graduate programs in the United States, Spain and Latin America. Her latest book La novela-álbum (2016), a detailed account of the Latin American narrative trends of the twenty-first century, displays Dr. da Cunha’s in-depth knowledge of contemporary literature in Latin America. She also produced more than forty articles that appeared in professional journals. As a scholar, she never stopped investigating, thinking and writing.
In addition, Dr. da Cunha was deeply committed to her academic field as journal editor, reviews editor, chair, congress organizer, and treasurer of professional committees. She was engaged in leading national and international professional organizations and served on the Scientific Board of the Association of Hispanic Philosophy (Madrid, Spain) and of the renowned Center for Latin American Studies Mario Benedetti (Alicante, Spain). She received numerous research grants and awards.
More importantly, Dr. Gloria da Cunha was a writer who fought relentlessly for gender equality and social justice. She focused on women writers in Latin America including her home country Uruguay. She examined representations of women in historical narratives of Latin America and explained the historical causes and reasons for social injustice and inequality.
Dr. da Cunha was a caring mentor to young scholars and a compassionate colleague. She was gentle with a keen sense of irony. Students and colleagues always found her dry humor amusing and cheering. We all are grateful for her service and many contributions she made to Morehouse College over the years. She will be sorely missed. She was laid to rest on March 24, 2021 in Montevideo, Uruguay, surrounded by her dear family and friends.