Two Humanities Faculty Named Board of Trustees Distinguished Professors

A combined image of Regina Barreca and Miguel Gomes teaching in front of classrooms
Regina Barreca of the Department of English and Miguel Gomes of the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages received the University’s highest faculty honor in May.

Two CLAS professors in the humanities have been named UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professors. The award is the highest honor that the University bestows on faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and service. The professors were recognized for their accomplishments at the 2018 CLAS undergraduate commencement ceremonies.

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English Regina Barreca is an award-winning humorist, writer, and teacher, and one of the world’s leading experts on why humor is one of life’s greatest survival strategies. She is the author of nine books, and the editor of 17; and several of her works have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, German, and Japanese. Her most recent book, “If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?” Questions and Thoughts for Loud, Smart Women in Turbulent Times was an Elle’s Lettres Readers’ Prize selection in 2016.

An internationally syndicated columnist by the Tribune Co., Barreca has been a regular contributor to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Conversation,” and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Independent of London, Cosmopolitan, and The Harvard Business Review. Her many television appearances have included 20/20, The Today Show, and The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she has discussed politics, popular culture, education, and literature.

Her awards include the UConn-AAUP career award for Excellence in Research and Creativity, the University of Connecticut’s Reed Fellowship and Engagement Fellowship, and the Institute for Teaching and Learning’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She is a member of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame and the Mark Twain House Board of Trustees. Barreca was inducted into the Friars Club in New York City in 2012 and remains the only female full-time academic to be admitted into the club.

Barreca is a highly admired, accomplished teacher, who regularly teaches Creative Writing and British Literature. She supervises undergraduate and graduate theses and works with students on developing and publishing their own creative writing.

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages Miguel Gomes is an expert in modern poetry and essay who also works in comparative contemporary fiction and cultural theory. His research has focused on the existence of a continuous tradition of literary theory and criticism in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America, from their independence to the present, as well as on key historical moments when local currents of thought collided with international perspectives on modernization.

Gomes has authored four book-length monographs, two collections of related critical essays, and over 100 articles; he has also edited 16 anthologies and journal issues. Among his numerous distinctions for his scholarly work are the Medal of Honor Alejo Zuloaga, the Medal of Honor José Félix Ribas, and the Fundarte Award for Essay and Criticism. He is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences and the North American chapter of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language.

In his role as a public intellectual, he is also a regular contributor to journals of the Hispanic world, such as Letras Libres (Spain and Mexico), El Malpensante (Colombia), and Papel Literario de El Nacional (Venezuela).

Gomes has written eight collections of short stories and novellas, as well as a novel. His fiction has received the Caracas Municipal Prize and the Venezuelan short story award El Nacional. At UConn, he mentors many doctoral students and, as chair of the Spanish studies section, has overseen the renovation of its graduate and undergraduate programs.

Also honored as a 2018 Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor is SNET Professor of Communications and Information Technologies Peter Luh.

View a full list of UConn’s Board of Trustees Distinguished Professors at the Office of the Provost’s website.