Originally from the Dominican Republic, Lourdes Fernández Bencosme has made Madrid her home for the last nineteen years. She is very passionate about the city and Spain in general. She holds a BA in History from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo after which she moved to Chicago to pursue her graduate work. She holds a MA degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a PhD in Romance Languages & Literatures from the University of Chicago. She has taught courses at the University of Illinois, The University of Chicago, Colgate University, Universidad Autónoma de México, Syracuse University Madrid, Suffolk University Boston and is currently part of the faculty at Suffolk University Madrid Campus where she teaches a course entitled Madrid Cosmopolitan City among others. Her main interests are visual culture, popular music, urban life and their literary representations in Hispanic literature. Lourdes lives with her husband, her two daughters and two cats in the historic center of Madrid.
Héctor was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He obtained a B.A. in Architecture and Humanities and an M.S. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, New York City, and in 1996 he studied at Rome’s International Centre for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. He returned to Puerto Rico to become Executive Director of Heritage Programs at the Institute of Culture, and then worked independently on research projects for historical and archaeological sites in the Caribbean. In 2003 he moved to Madrid, where he is currently working on his PhD thesis in Colonial Latin American History. Héctor has taught undergraduate courses in the History and Theory of Historic Preservation, Spanish and Latin American History, and Spanish Culture and Civilization at universities in Puerto Rico and Spain. He has a particular passion for Spanish cities and fortifications of the Middle and Early Modern ages. Héctor speaks Spanish and English fluently, and has an intermediate level of Italian.
Chris Kostov is a lecturer in history and international relations at Schiller International University Madrid, Spain. He obtained his Ph.D. in history from the University of Ottawa, Canada in 2010. He has specialized in modern European history, ethnic nationalism and Canadian Studies. Dr. Kostov is the author of 2 books, 1 e-book and a number of academic and encyclopedia articles dealing with a wide range of topics from modern Balkan history to Canadian immigration policy and Native American cultures. His diverse interests allow Chris to see Madrid from different angles. He is especially interested in the ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity of the city as well as the history of Madrid and Spain starting from pre-Roman times.