Johnathan Vaknin
Spanish, Social Studies

B.A. in Comparative Literature
University of Pennsylvania

M.A. in Comparative Literature
UC Berkeley

A native of New Jersey, Johnathan moved to the Bay Area in 2010 after completing his B.A. in comparative literature and Hispanic studies at the University of Pennsylvania. During his junior year in college, he spent a semester studying abroad in Spain, where he took classes at the University of Seville and explored his love of Andalusian food, music, history, and architecture. Presently, he is in the final stages of a Ph.D. program in comparative literature at Cal, where, since 2012, he’s taught college-level Spanish and reading and composition courses (topics include science fiction, law and literature, illness and the arts, zombie fiction, and celebrities and the cultures of fame). He’s thrilled to be joining Maybeck and working with a diverse group of eager and talented high school students.

Johnathan’s academic and intellectual interests include Caribbean and Latin American literature (with an emphasis on Cuba, Argentina, Colombia, and Puerto Rico), medical humanities (a discipline that focuses, broadly, on cultural representations of illness and health), and comparative modernisms. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, sightseeing, cooking, playing pool with friends, and traveling—through a combination of research trips and leisurely getaways, he’s been fortunate enough to visit Buenos Aires, Lima, San Juan, Madrid, Tangier, and Tel Aviv.