Interdisciplinary Studies Department

Ernesto Silva

Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Spanish

Contact Information

Office: Kennesaw Campus
Social Sciences Building (SO 402), Room 2013
Phone: 470-578-3208


Dr. Ernesto Pierre Silva joined the faculty of the Department of Foreign Languages (DFL) as Assistant Professor of Spanish in the fall of 2005. He teaches all levels of Spanish, including upper-division and graduate courses that carefully analyze Spanish and Latin American culture through literature and film. He is currently jointly-appointed with the Interdisciplinary Studies Department (ISD) and also teaches for the American Studies (AMST/MAST) program.

He is a native of Peru, moved to the United States in the 1980s, and is now an American citizen. With an undergraduate degree in English and Comparative Literature, he switched to Spanish Literature for his MA and PhD, receiving both degrees from the University of California at Irvine. Dr. Silva has taught at UC-Irvine, Chapman University, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. By training and experience, his area of research focuses on contemporary Spanish/Latin American film, literature, philosophy, critical theory, theater, cultural studies, translation, and immigration. His most recent research concentrates on the plight of immigrants—to Europe and the USA—as portrayed in film, literature, and media outlets. He believes that literature and films are cultural productions meant to provoke lively discussions about the relationship between fiction and reality. Additionally, he does comparative analyses of literary and filmic texts.

Presently, Dr. Silva is promoting cultural awareness of global events through a series of book reading, film screenings, presentations, and other cultural events on and off campus. Additionally, he is also focusing on helping Latin@ students enroll at KSU and complete their university education. To achieve this goal he has created the LUCES (Latinos United in Commitment to Educational Success) initiative dedicated to tutor students and take them to Latin America to reconnect with their roots as well as build long-lasting, sustainable connections between the two cultures. His experience in directing study abroad programs has helped him also in networking with colleagues and organizations globally.

He has co-written a book of interviews titled Cine e ideología en América Latina: el caso de Venezuela and coedited a Special Issue of the Journal of Global Initiatives: Peruvian Trajectories of Sociocultural Transformation. Dr. Silva’s work has been recognized by having received the Pillar of Achievement Award at Golden West College; the University of California President’s Fellowship; the Third Prize in the International Literary Contest José Martí for his paper on the works of Mario Vargas Llosa; the Bronze Award for Excellence (awarded by New Realities, Louisville, Kentucky) for translating an educational manuscript for the University of California at Irvine; the Graduate Opportunity Fellowship, awarded by the University of California at Irvine; the National Hispanic Scholarship Award; the Pre-Graduate Mentorship Fellowship, awarded by the University of California at Irvine; the UC-Irvine Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship; the Donald and Dorothy Strauss Endowed Scholarship, awarded to a Community College Transfer Student; the First Thomas Heaney Scholarship, awarded by the English Department for the best essay written in English; and the Volunteer Diploma, awarded by the Tutorial Center at Golden West College, for excellence in service as Master Tutor in History and Philosophy.

Comments about KSU:
One of the advantages I appreciate most from teaching at Kennesaw State University is the opportunity to work in a variety of interdisciplinary projects, as well as take leadership roles on issues pertaining to the future not only of the departments I work in but beyond. I am the former Chair of the Presidential Commission on Racial & Ethnic Dialogue (CORED), have taken students to Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. I am also the faculty advisor to the Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF).

Advice to students:
Try to establish a working relationship with your professors. Take advantage of this time in your life to learn as much as you can about yourself and the world around you. Enroll in one or more study abroad programs before you graduate. The experience will change your life and it will open doors for you. Your professors love what they do, so approach them with your inquiries and projects. In the process, you will learn how to think critically for yourself and how you can make a difference in the world we live in. Don’t be shy; your ideas count!

What I do beyond teaching:
I love to read and watch films, as well as comment on cultural and current events. I walk/run and enjoy riding my bike at Kennesaw Mountain and other places nearby.

Favorite sayings:
In the end we will remember more the silence of our friends than the insults of our enemies.
—M. L. King, Jr.

All the darkness of the world cannot extinguish the light of a small candle.
—Reza Deghati Guiliano

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
—Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)

Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.
—Gail Godwin

Abundance of knowledge does not teach men to be wise.

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.
—Mother Teresa

Tell me, I will forget; show me, I may remember; involve me, and I will understand.

To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
—Mark Twain

El verdadero amor no es el que perdona nuestros defectos, sino el que no los conoce.
—J. Benavente

Es tan corto el amor y es tan largo el olvido.
—Pablo Neruda

El amor nace de un flechazo; la amistad del intercambio frecuente y prolongado.
—Octavio Paz

Anger is contagious.
—Sandra Cisneros

Quienes dicen que el arte no debe propagar doctrinas suelen referirse a doctrinas contrarias a las suyas.
—Jorge Luis Borges

Teaching is its own reward!