Ciudad Juárez Urban Art and Poetry

A Digital Liberal Arts Project at Ohio Wesleyan University

A spatial representation of artistic and poetic responses to violence, feminicide, and other cutural and social elements in the US/Mexico border region since the 1990s.

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Five Colleges of Ohio. [Digital Collections from Projects to Pedagogy and Scholarship, 2013.


There are many people who helped to create this digital pedagogy project, including an art essay writing service and other online platforms…

Project Team:

Dr. Juan Armando Rojas Joo, Project Director

Born in Ciudad Juárez, México. Associate Professor of Spanish, specializes in Latin American literature and its cultures, and currently serves as Chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Ohio Wesleyan University. Rojas is a literary critic and poet; his professional areas of interest are Mexican Poetry, US/Mexico Border Studies, and Academic Leadership. Rojas’ latest poetry bookSantuarios desierto mar / Sanctuaries Desert Sea was recently published by Artepoetica in New York.

Dr. Jennifer Rathbun, Academic Advisor and Translator

Born in Pennsylvania. She is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American literature, and currently serves as Chair of the Department of Foreign Language at Ashland University. The Bitter Oleander Press published her translation of the poetry collectionAfterglow/Tras el rayo by world-renowned Mexican author Alberto Blanco, she also co-edited and translated the anthologySangre mía / Blood of Mine, a poetic denouncement against femenicide. In addition, her poetry, translations and articles on contemporary Latin American Literature appear in numerous international reviews and journals.

David Soliday, Instructional Technologist

As Ohio Wesleyan University’s Instructional Technologist, David blogs at He has worked in technical support and training for nearly twenty years, and cut his teeth on Omeka and Neatline by helping with the similar Mapping the Martyrs project. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University, and two Masters degrees from The Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He hosts a weekly internet radio show, and produces an annual festival for peace in Delaware, Ohio.

Makenna Huff, Post-Graduate Assistant

A recent graduate of the Ohio Wesleyan Class of 2015, where she majored in Mathematics and Religion, Makenna served as an Omeka and Neatline software consultant for the Ciudad Juarez project. Once a student assistant herself for the Mapping the Martyrs website, she has enjoyed expanding her knowledge of and experience in digital humanities research through the Ciudad Juarez project, especially in regards to spatial context. Makenna was born in northeast Ohio and now lives and works in Westerville, OH.

Miranda Dean, Student Research Assistant

I was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and I’m an English and Spanish double major. The Digital Humanities project focuses on the poetry of Ciudad Juarez; it is interesting to research this project after learning about broader Mexican political and literary history in class. While simply reading poetry about Juarez would be a great experience in and of itself, having the ability to contextualize adds another layer to what we’re doing.

Jocelyne Muñoz, Student Research Assistant

I’m a junior from Nogales, Arizona, double-majoring in Microbiology and Spanish. The SPAN 360-Digital Humanities project experience has provided me with the practice to synthesize information, translating between English and Spanish, and working with distinct digital programs as I serves as a Research Assistant. More significantly, I have enjoyed how the class combined DH research with Ciudad Juarez’ urban art and literature which reflect the heartfelt issues the US/Mexico border endures.


Sophia Apostolou

I live in Great Falls, Virginia, and I’m an International Business and Spanish double major. I have had an enlightening experience working with the digital map, where I learned a great deal about Mexican culture and how it has come to be. Working on the digital map has allowed me to understand the importance of learning about culture across US borders. The DH project correlates to Mexican Literature because of the emphasis on the importance of cross-cultural appreciation.

Milagros Green

I’m student from Asuncion, Paraguay, and a double major in English and International Relations. Through digital mapping I have found the significance behind each geographical location and was particularly inspired by local news articles depicting Ciudad Juarez’ community. I could connect that spirit with each text, be it a poem or a short story. The social movement behind the poetry allowed for class discussion that linked the literature with social commentary. Violence was translated from news articles in my research to artistic expression in the studied literature. Mexico’s border with United States influences a unique interaction that other Latin American countries do not share. Researching the city showed me a definite presence of US relations, whether in the form of tourism or international trade.

Dérian Palmerín

I’m from Acámbaro Guanajuato, México, and I plan to double major in Spanish and International Studies. The digital map will be online for the public, and that alone makes me very excited. This Digital Humanities project focuses on the US/Mexico border and how its constantly shaped through current and historical events. Since we are studying Spanish in the US, this project helps us relate to the subject.

María Salazar Rodríguez

I’m from Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela, and I’m a Pre-Medical Studies/Pre-Professional Zoology student with a minor in Chemistry. This course has been an enriching experience because I had never had any previous contact whatsoever with literary pieces on US/Mexico border issues. This DH project allowed me to read more Mexican literary works published in the XXI century, which in sum was an expansion on what we learned in this course about Mexican literature.

Emma Sampson

I live in Kent, Ohio, and I’m a Spanish and Politics & Government double major. In researching for the Digital Map, I had the opportunity to learn, from a more personal point of view, narratives of life on the border. Through the poetry we read, I was able to gain a concept of the struggles that many Mexicans face, especially women in a city where feminicide is such an issue. Through this project and what we have learned in class, we have been able to understand on a deeper level the origins of Mexican culture. Understanding the cultural context of Mexican literature makes the works much more significant, thus this project offered an additional level of depth which we were able to study.

Andrés Servín

I was born in Mexico City, and now I live in San Francisco, California. I will be majoring in Business Administration, and minoring in Spanish. Working on a digital map with Rojas helped me learn about the US/Mexico border. Reading Mexican poets and artists creations, and how social problems are reflected in their poetry and literature has been very engaging. Even if I had background knowledge on the current issues, it has been a positive experience to research and apply information that I was assigned in class.

Mary Smith

I live in Delafield, Wisconsin and I’m majoring in Health and Human Kinetics-exercise science and minoring in Spanish at OWU. I really enjoyed my experience working with the digital map because I was able to learn more about the culture and locations of Ciudad Juaréz. The project correlated with the course because the literature that we read in class was represented strongly in the poems and locations that I was researching.

Morgan Williams

I live in Wilmington, Delaware, and I’m an International Studies major, with a minor in Spanish. My experience working with the digital map on US/Mexico border issues was very enlightening because as this project correlates the different poems that denounce the current issues such as gender, identity and feminicide in Ciudad Juarez.