Jessica Boll, Carroll University faculty

Dr. Jessica Boll

Associate Professor of Spanish Get Contact Info




Dr. Boll’s personal and professional experiences have afforded her the opportunity to live, work and do research in a number of countries and continents. In addition to studying abroad in Spain as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, she spent an academic year teaching English in China and later studied Turkish language and culture at two different universities in Istanbul as part of her doctoral studies. Dr. Boll continues to travel frequently for both work and pleasure, having presented at conferences in Hungary, Cyprus, Germany, Spain and Turkey in recent years. She has also developed programs and/or traveled with Carroll students to Spain, Peru, Costa Rica and Cuba.


  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D. in Golden Age Spanish Literature; minor concentration: Cultural Geography, 2010
  • Purdue University, M.A. in Spanish Literature, 2004
  • University of Delaware, Honors B.A. in Foreign Languages & Literatures, Concentration in Spanish Studies and Honors B.A. in Biological Sciences, 2001​

Foreign Study

  • Boğaziçi University in Instanbul, Turkey, Summer 2008 
  • Fatih University in Istanbul, Turkey, Summer 2006
  • University of Granada in Granada, Spain, Fall 2000
  • University of Granada in Granada, Spain, Summer 1999

Areas of Specialization

Early modern Spanish literature, early modern Spanish-Ottoman relations, contemporary Christian-Muslim relations in Spain, cultural geography

Scholarly and Professional Achievements


“Irony made manifest: cultural contention and Córdoba’s Mosque-Cathedral” Journal of Cultural Geography (available online 1/17; print version forthcoming: 10/17)  

“Imagining Istanbul: Sentiment and Subversion in La gran sultana” eHumanista: Journal of Iberian Studies (Volume: Cervantes 2 (2013), pp. 130-145), Fall 2013

“A Tale of a City: Travelling Images of Urban Space in Early Modern Spain and the Ottoman Empire”     Travelling Concepts & the Metaphor of Travelling in Literary and Cultural Studies, Spring 2012  

“Violating the Harem: Manipulation of Spatial Meaning in Cervantes’ La gran sultana” The International Journal of the Humanities (Volume 9, Issue 5, pp. 137-148), Fall 2011

“The Experience of Enemy Space: Istanbul through the Eyes of the Spanish Other” The International Journal of the Humanities (Volume 6, Issue 6, pp. 53-58), Fall 2008                                  

“East, West and Everything In-Between” High End Magazine, featured travel article, Fall 2008

Conferences Presentations

Don Quijote and the Mediterranean, “From Enchanted Inn to Besieged Castle: Quixotic Influence in Pamuk’s The White Castle”, Univ. of Texas-Austin, Fall 2015

Attending to Early Modern Women, “Commanding Concubines: Historic and Literary Women of Imperial Influence,” Milwaukee, WI, June 2015      

CIEPO-21: 21st Symposium of the Comite International des Etudes Pre-ottomanes et Ottomanes, “Istanbul in Iberia: Impressions and Implications in Early Modern Spain,” Budapest, Hungary, October 2014      

Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting, “Istanbul as Embodiment of Geographic Good,” New Orleans, LA, October 2013      

Eastern Resonances I: Ottoman Empire and Persia – 16th-18th c., “Istanbul Re-accentuated: Ottoman Impressions in Early Modern Europe,” Montpellier, France, May 2013      

Shared Spaces and their Dissolution: Practices of Coexistence in Cyprus & Elsewhere, “Altered Alterity: The Shared Spaces of Early Modern Istanbul and the Hagia Sophia,” Nicosia, Cyprus, October 2011      

9th International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, “Violating the Harem: Manipulation of Spatial Meaning in Cervantes’ La gran sultana,” Granada, Spain, June 2011      

Hermes Consortium for Literary & Cultural Studies, “A Tale of Two Cities: The Image of Urban Space in Early Modern Spain and the Ottoman Empire,” Univ. of Giessen, Germany, June 2010        

Middle Eastern History & Theory Conference, “Narrating the City: Istanbul as Embodiment of Geographic Good in Viaje de Turquía,” Univ. of Chicago, May 2010      

17th Colloquium on Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Lit. & Linguistics, “Life in Other Space: Istanbul in the Spanish Literary Imagination” Univ. of Texas-Austin, Fall 2008                

6th International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, “The Experience of Enemy Space: Istanbul through the Eyes of the Spanish Other,” and Chair of multiple conference panels, Istanbul, Turkey, July 2008

Invited Presentations

Invited Speaker, “Texts and the City: Impressions of Istanbul in Early Modern Spain,” Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, March 2012

Service to Carroll University and Profession

Institutional Service

  • Associate Director of the Honors Center, Carroll Univ., July 2015-present
  • Director of the SALUD Program, Carroll Univ., March 2015-present
  • Admissions Committee, Carroll Univ., Sept. 2014-present

Professional Service

  • Member: MLA (Modern Language Association), Jan. 2009-present
  • Member: Cervantes Society of America, Jan. 2016-Dec. 2016
  • Member: MESA (Middle East Studies Association), Feb. 2013-Dec. 2013
  • Issue Editor: Hispanet Journal, Fall 2012
  • Associate Editor: The International Journal of the Humanities-Volume 6, Issue 6 & Volume 9, Issue 5, Summer 2008, Summer 2011

Community Outreach

  • Member: Waukesha Hispanic Collaborative Network, Waukesha, WI, Fall 2013-present
  • Member: WHCN Family Empowerment Action Team, Waukesha, WI, Fall 2013-present
  • Founding member/organizer: CAVE Talk mentoring program, Horning Middle School, Waukesha, WI, March 2012-Aug. 2012

Honors and Awards

Grant Involvement

  • HRSA Primary Training and Enhancement Grant, Carroll Univ., June 2016-present
  • UISFL (Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language) Grant, Carroll Univ., July 2010-June 2012
  • FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Grant, for Intermediate Turkish study at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey, UW-Madison, Summer 2008

What is your teaching style?

Sharing anecdotes and relating my personal language adventures has proven to be an effective way to create a comfortable learning environment and a means to convince students that they can become fluent in a language with practice and determination. Having learned Spanish in the classroom and having spent time in recent years studying Turkish and Chinese, I can relate well to the anxieties that accompany mastering a new language. By explicitly encouraging students to make mistakes, doing introductory activities at the beginning of the semester to acquaint students with one another, and building trust through small group work, learning is facilitated and students can have more fun with the language.

Why do you do what you do?

My interest in Spanish developed immediately upon my initial exposure to the language in high school and intensified with the courses that I took and the study abroad programs that I participated in at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The time that I have spent living, teaching and researching abroad in the years since has served to solidify my love of languages and cultures, and I very much enjoy the ability to share these passions with my students.

How do you make learning engaging?

I incorporate a variety of activities to support and make comfortable all types of language-learners. I also continually inform students of (and encourage them to explore!) the diverse opportunities available at/around Carroll to use Spanish outside of the classroom. If students are able to bridge what they are learning in the classroom with applications in the “real” world, learning is enhanced and students emerge with much greater language skills and cultural awareness alike.

What should students know about you?

I love to travel, explore new cultures and learn new languages, and it’s my pleasure to help college students do the same!
pano of main campus