Sarah Owens

Director of the First Year Experience

Sarah Owens photo


Sarah Owens is Professor of Spanish and Director of the First Year Experience. As director of this vibrant program she recruits talented faculty to teach First Year Seminars and Learning Communities. In addition to the development and scheduling of these courses, she helps to develop faculty professional development programs to facilitate campus conversations about teaching and learning in the first year and beyond. She is passionate about study abroad and facilitates optional one-credit spring break trips for freshmen.

Dr. Owens enjoys teaching courses on literature, gender, travel, and culture of Latin America and Spain. She has taught several courses in the Masters of Education program, the Honors program, and has often taught Introduction to Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Dr. Owens has led College of Charleston study abroad programs to Spain, Chile, and Cuba.

Dr. Owens received her B.A. degree in English and Spanish from the University of New Hampshire, her M.A. in Hispanic Literature from New York University in Madrid, and her Ph.D. in Colonial Latin American Literature from the University of Arizona. She specializes in the writings of colonial and early modern Spanish nuns. Her research has taken her to the archives of Mexico, Spain, Chile, Peru, and the Vatican. In 2009, she published an award-winning edition of a Spanish nun’s travel account called Journey of Five Capuchin Nuns (CRRS & ITER, 2009). Her coedited volume, Women of the Iberian Atlantic (Louisiana State University Press, 2012) won the award for best Collaborative Project from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. Her newest book, Nuns Navigating the Spanish Empire (University of New Mexico Press, 2017) was supported by a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a sabbatical from the College of Charleston.