Menlo School Faculty & Staff

Joel Colom-Mena


ext. 2252

Departments and Positions

Upper School Spanish


Loyola University, Undergrad and Graduate degrees with a focus on the culture and literature of the Middle Ages in Spain


I joined Menlo in 2019 after teaching Spanish for over 10 years at Northwestern University where I taught Spanish, Literature of the Human Rights in Latin America, advanced writing and History of Contemporary Spain. My research emphasizes the secularization of religious figures-hermits-and religious practices in peninsular life. I also devote ample time researching the influence of monastic rules in Spain’s culture and politics.

My other areas of research involve the role of ‘gender’ in Spain’s Golden Age theatre and the ‘Teatro de Calderón’. While in grad school, I spent two months in Sana’a, Yemen, learning Arabic and Islamic cultures; I believe that both have had a great impact in Spain’s cultural and intellectual diversity. I am interested in studying and ‘renaming’ one of the most decisive moments in Spain’s history: La Reconquista. I have also invested ample time researching second language acquisition and project-based learning. 

I am an avid traveler and very much enjoys submerging himself in other cultures.