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Pablo Avila

Professor of Spanish and Portuguese

UC Santa Barbara



Pablo Avila was part of the small group of professor who started the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UC Santa Barbara in the late 1950s. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University. His early research was in translations and notes of California documents from the Spanish and Mexican periods. Professor Avila’s focus of teaching and research was Mexican literature of Colonial Times and poetry of the 19th century. He was a recognized scholar on the “Pastorelas”, popular religious Medieval Spanish plays that flourished in Mexico and are performed in California (including in Santa Barbara) and the South West. He also focused on the teaching of grammar and composition.


Avila was highly esteemed by his colleagues and the students. He served in many committees and as Acting Chair of the Department. Pablo Avila was a dedicated family man. He and his wife had ten children, some of whom graduated from UCSB. Professor Avila was very liked and respected in the Santa Barbara community, where he generously participated in many public and community services. In the Department of Spanish and Portuguese our dear colleague is fondly remembered for his dedication, integrity and collegiality.


Eduardo Raposo