Samuel Jaffee

Teaching Professor, Spanish

Contact Information

PDL B-230
Office Hours
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Ph.D., Spanish, University of California, Irvine, 2013
M.A., Spanish, Washington University in St. Louis, 2006
B.A., Spanish, Kenyon College, 2004

Samuel Jaffee holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine, with a specialization in Andean literary and cultural studies from the colonial period through the present day, for which he conducted research at the Instituto Riva-Agüero in Lima, and studied the Quechua language at Centro Tinku in Cusco, Peru.  While at UC Irvine, Jaffee trained with the inimitable Juergen Kempff, taught all levels of Spanish language, and taught in the Humanities Core program, an exciting year-long interdisciplinary course for first-year students in writing and research

At UW, Jaffee teaches design-focused Spanish writing courses, a discussion course that is a practicum in community-based learning in Seattle, an introductory course in Spanish and Latin American literature through identities, a cultural studies course in literary journalism, and inquiry-based seminars in Latin American literature and cultures (recently, Andean Women’s Literature and Identities; Andean Cultures and Communities: Identities, Artists, and Innovators; and 21st Century Latin American Narrative and Digital Storytelling).  His courses often feature the Pre-Texts protocol of creative readings and interactive finales, in which he is a trained facilitator; students study course material by posing creative and esoteric questions, often by applying methodologies from other disciplines that make the humanities relevant to majors in the arts and STEM fields. 

In 2021, Jaffee was invited to join the founding faculty team of Humanities First, a new interdepartmental UW program for first-year students. That year, he also collaborated with a team-taught humanities course, World Literature and the Nobel Prize, for which he taught journalism and fiction by the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez.  UW Spanish majors twice invited him to be the faculty liaison to the Spanish Club, an undergraduate student organization.  His work was recognized in 2022 with the UW Distinguished Teaching Award.

He presents widely on his research in Andean literary and cultural studies; leads conference sessions on pedagogy and literature; and conducts workshops for high school and college instructors on strategies for teaching classes of heritage and second-language learners, writing pedagogies, and incorporating less-commonly taught languages, such as Indigenous languages, into a Spanish curriculum.  He has been a longtime collaborator with the UW Center for Teaching and Learning, as a participant in the Evidence-Based Teaching Program (an interdepartmental faculty research seminar and practicum), a presenter at the annual Teaching and Learning Symposium, a writer for the Teaching Everywhere series, an evaluator for the Excellence in Teaching Award for graduate student instructors, and a Technology Teaching Fellow. 

As a director of programs in global education in Spain and Ecuador, Jaffee has led students to critically consider the role of colonialism in identities that endure today.  The awardee of a Global Innovation Fund grant from the UW Office of Global Affairs, he is currently engaged in planning a program in Argentina that may become a key experience in the revised UW Spanish major.  In his free time, he volunteers at Seattle World School, the city’s dedicated public high school for recent immigrants who are English language learners, thereby aiding the newest Americans to shape their own journeys.

Courses Taught


Professional Affiliations
Modern Language Association (MLA), Latin American Studies Association (LASA), American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP)

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