Margery Resnick

Associate Professor

Margery Resnick completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University and came to MIT as Head of Foreign Languages and Literatures after serving as assistant professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Spanish at Yale University. Her research includes work on Hispanic literature, international writing by women and the history of women at MIT. Prof. Resnick has published articles and reviews in Spanish, Mexican and North American journals. She has always enjoyed building university curricula. She initiated MIT’s program in Spanish literature and culture, established the program in English as a Second Language, and made it possible for MIT students to study Chinese. She was a member of the founding group of Women’s Studies and chair from 1998-2001. More recently, she began programs for MIT students in Spain including an intensive IAP language program and a semester-long program at the Politécnica and Complutense universities in Madrid. Several grants, including the d’Arbeloff, have allowed her to generate new subjects and new ways of teaching at the Institute. Prof. Resnick has been involved in student life beyond the classroom. She was a Housemaster and has served on and chaired a wide-range of faculty committees including the President’s Advisory Committee on Women Students’ Interests, the Burchard Scholars, the Committee on Discipline and the Committee on Academic Performance. Her work on gender and graduate education at MIT led to her recent completion of a large-scale study on women in academic medicine for Harvard Medical School. She has been awarded the Baker award for teaching, the Omega award for faculty service, the Panhellenic teaching award, and is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow. Prof. Resnick is an honorary MIT alumni and an honorary member of the Association of MIT Alumnae.

Prof. Resnick is actively involved in Spain where she is President of the International Institute—a Massachusetts Charitable Foundation established in Madrid by American educators and suffragists in the 19th Century. The International Institute provides broad educational programs for thousands of American and Spanish college students each year and collaborates with the American Embassy, the Fulbright Commission, and Spanish universities. For the past twenty years she has run an annual international symposium that brings distinguished Americans and Spaniards together in Madrid to discuss topics including politics, literature, cinema, art and technology. Prof. Resnick has taught courses for executives in the U.S. and in Spain and on the Spanish Civil war seen from abroad at the Carlos III University in Madrid.

Prof. Resnick combines her enthusiasm for Spain with her enthusiasm for teaching by introducing students to the absolutely best tapas bars in Madrid.


Subjects taught the current academic year:

21L.020[J] Globalization: The Good, the Bad and the In-Between (Fall 2024)

Subjects taught in recent years:

21L.020[J] Globalization: The Good, the Bad and the In-Between (Spring 2023)

21L.590 The Spanish Incubator (IAP 2024)

21L.590 The Spanish Incubator (IAP 2023)

21L.640[J] The New Spain: 1977-Present (Spring 2024)

Research Interests
My fields of interest include Hispanic literature and culture, international women’s writing, the cultural constructs of globalization, the history of women at MIT and other institutions, and innovative pedagogical theory. My research reflects these fields. I have studied the Spanish poetry of the Generation of 1927, including archival research in Spain and in Mexico as I traced the poesy of Spanish writers who moved from the abstract surrealist modes of the 1920s, to engagé poetry of the 1930s, and, finally, into exile to Mexico and the U.S. at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939. Through work in Mexico and the U.S. I have studied how these poets and scholars shaped the study of Spanish literature, establishing new literary journals, teaching at major universities, and influencing New World writers, thus moving Hispanic Studies into the mainstream. My interest in international women’s writing is a thread that links my work. It includes the study of Spanish women writers of fiction and poetry whose voices emerged in post-Franco Spain, as well as contemporary writing by women in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. My attention to the cultural constructs of globalization led to the development of a course that examines the global history of the built environment, gender, music, and language.

An abiding interest of mine has been the way in which gender—specifically, the constraints placed on women entering predominantly male institutions–has determined women’s lives and careers. My oral history project on MIT’s women graduates makes clear the determination and resilience of the early female graduates of the Institute, who often met barriers to their education. The Margaret MacVicar/AMITA Women’s Oral History Project has produced records of women’s experiences as they navigated the often-hostile reaction to their presence at MIT. That record, now including more than 100 oral histories, digitized and preserved by the MIT archives, is available to researchers worldwide who study the history of women in science and engineering and/or the history of MIT as an institution. At MIT, I conducted a study, over several years, of women Ph.D. candidates to understand why women, at a much higher rate than men, left academic careers. That research led to a study at Harvard Medical School of women in academic medicine to identify the barriers to women’s promotion within that system.

Finally, I am deeply committed to teaching. I am interested in innovative pedagogy at every level of education and have worked as a consultant to improve elementary and high school learning. I taught in Teachers as Scholars, a program that brings high school teachers to study with university professors, and worked with the Woodrow Wilson Foundation on funding for that endeavor. I have taught faculty here and in Spain about pedagogical innovation at the college level and continue to exchange pedagogical ideas internationally through my work at the Instituto Internacional in Madrid.

Women Writers in Translation: An Annotated Bibliography, 1954-1981. New York: Garland Press. Co-edited with Isabelle de Courtivron. 1984.

Pedro Garfias, De Soledad y Otros Pesares. Madrid: Editorial Helios. 1971.

Oral History:
More than 100 Oral Histories of MIT Women deposited in the MIT archives. This collection constitutes the most complete record of MIT’s women graduates available to researchers studying the history of women in science, technology, architecture, humanities and social sciences in a technologically focused university. It also presents new, accessible and usable data on the history of women at MIT as an institution. The archives are digitized and available to the public. Histories include those of the 3 women in the Class of 1922.

Articles and Papers in Referenced Journals

1994 “Transgresiones, digresiones e invenciones: La trayectoria poetica de Pedro Garfias,” Serie literatura del exilio, Colegio de Mexico, Mexico. pp. 193-204.

1982 “At the Whirlpool’s Rim: The Voice of Pedro Garfias in the Generation of 1927,” (An Homage to Stephen Gilman), Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, núm. 25, pp. 187-95.

1978 “La inteligencia audaz: vida y poesía de Concha Méndez,” Papeles de Son Armadans, Barcelona, (February), pp. 131-46.

1977 “Los Usos de la biografía: El Caso de Pedro Garfias,” El Zaguán, México, D.F., no. 4 (Summer), pp. 59-66.

1977 “La poesía española y el desafío de la historia,” Revista de la Universidad de México, México, D.F., 31 (December-January), pp. 36-49.

Chapters in Books

1993 “Carmé Riera,” in Women Writers of Spain, Greenwood Press, 1993, pp. 404-415.


1985 Humberto Costantini, The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis and Luisa Valenzuela, Other Weapons, in The New York Times Book Review (October 6), p. 38.

1979 Yvette Miller and Charles Tatum, eds., Latin American Women Writers: Yesterday and Today, in Review 25-26 (Fall), pp. 139-41.

1976 Andrew P. Debicki, La Poesía de Jorge Guillén, in Modern Language Quarterly 37 (March), pp. 103-06.


2021 “Real Madrid,” Technology Review, May, 2021.

1989 “Endowing Unpopular Causes with Credibility and Cash: Katharine Dexter McCormick,” Technology Review, August/September 1989.

Baker award for teaching
Omega award for faculty service
MacVicar Faculty Fellow
Elected an honorary MIT alum
Elected the first honorary member of AMITA (Association of MIT Alumnae)
March 2022 “MIT’s Early Women and the Spirit of Adventure”. Carlos Tercero University, Madrid

April 2021 “Katharine Dexter McCormick: A Voice of Her Own”. MIT Honorary League, MIT

April 2020 “Nineteenth Century American Women and the Global Enterprise: The International Institute for Girls in Spain” Wellesley College invited speaker at a conference on American Women and International Education In-person cancelled because of COVID; talk delivered via zoom.

Jan. 2020 “In Her Own Words: MIT’s Women Pioneers” MIT Club of Spain, Madrid

Nov. 2019 “Cultural norms, cyber-transgressions and internet bullying: Spain and the U.S.” Madrid. Speaker; organized and moderated conference.

June 2018 “Women Documentary Film Makers: Spain and the U.S.” Instituto Internacional, Madrid. Organized and moderated conference.

Jan. 2017 “La larga historia de ‘El Mito de tenerlo todo’ Instituto de la Mujer, Madrid

Jan. 2016 “In Her Own Voice: MIT’s Earliest Women Scientists” Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Ocológicos, Madrid

Jan. 2016 “Pathways and challenges of American Colleges” International Institute, Madrid

March 2015 “Women Changing the World: Lives in Science and Technology” Round- table: Martha Gray (MIT), Isabela del Alcázar (Instituto de Empresa), María Luaces, (CNIO), Madrid, Instituto Forum

Oct. 2015 “Borders and Barriers: Challenges for Refugee Women: Spain/USA” Madrid, U.S. Embassy forum