Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Lina Martínez Hernández, PhD, has grown as a scholar striving to follow a core principle: how academic work can serve communities beyond Academia. Throughout her learning path, she has experimented with how her research can relate to creative ways to give back to different communities. Her emphasis on issues like queer aesthetics and practices; epistemologies and modes of survival from racialized subjectivities in the Caribbean and Latin America; and, in sum, a continuous engagement and defiance with the centrality of identity when speaking from and about oppressed communities, continue to inform the bridges she creates between research and pedagogy. Her book project, "La negativa al nombre. Literatura y negatividad en el Caribe hispano", attempts to show the ways in which queer aesthetics in the Hispanic Caribbean are grounded on a genealogical praxis of refusal: to refuse as a path to create and liberate.
Taking from the different experiences and responsibilities she has encountered while affiliated to various educational institutions – Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, the University of Pennsylvania and Haverford College in PA –, Martínez Hernández seeks to always move beyond the confines of the university and designs ways to offer this opportunity to her students. The centrality of Community-Based-Learning (CBL) to her development as an intellectual, but also as a member of different communities in Philadelphia, is evident in the work she has developed since graduating from her PhD – to transform the Spanish language classroom into both a forum and a bridge to think about languages in connection to specific and always-changing communities. Her interest as a faculty member in the Global Studies and Modern Languages department at Drexel University is to encourage and motivate students to take advantage of learning how to walk, learn and create with communities beyond their campus.