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Spelman College's In Memoriam Tributes

The Spelman Community Remembers Julio González-Ruiz, Ph.D. With Love, Respect and Appreciation

Julio_Gonzalez-Ruiz-400x400 From Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D. and Provost Sharon Davies, J.D.

It is with deep sorrow that we write to share news of the heartbreaking loss of Julio González-Ruiz, Ph.D., associate professor and former chair of Spelman College’s Department of World Languages and Cultures (previously World Languages and Literature), who died at his home in Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic, this past weekend.

Dr. González-Ruiz came to Spelman in 2004. In the 17 years he spent with the Spelman community, he became a beloved teacher, cherished colleague and friend to many. He made important contributions to our global studies program, creating and directing two study abroad programs for our students in collaboration with the University of Malaga, Spain, and CIEE-Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

He served as chair of the Library Advisory Council of the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library, organized Spelman’s International Film Festival, and chaired the department of World Languages and Literature from 2015-2018 with good humor and dedication. He enjoyed teaching African Diaspora in the World, as well as his popular courses in world languages.

When Dr. González-Ruiz entered any gathering, he brought with him a joyous spirit, positive energy and a warm collegiality and smile that brightened any room. He loved Spelman dearly and leaves a hole in the hearts of all who knew him.

Large Blue Quote LeftIf I were to describe Julio, the word I would choose is "generous." I arrived at Penn State in August of 2000 and as I was looking for an apartment to rent. He very generously offered his place while I could find my own. I was there probably for four or five days and he was incredibly kind. It is true that I expected to get some help from other Spaniards, or tips on how to navigate the experience, but never such kindness as Julio´s. I visited Spelman two years ago and he sadly was on sabbatical so we couldn´t meet. I´m devastated by the news. He was such a powerful scholar, devoted teacher, friend and person. His presence and impact shall never leave us.
-- Jaume Gelabert

IMG_7877-JulioJoin Us In Celebrating a Life Well Lived
Dr. Julio González-Ruiz

April 10, 2021 4:00 – 8:00 pm EST
"Bring a memory." Sharing and honoring Julio’s life.


WLC eBook Memories and Photos

We will create an eBook with memories and pictures to send to Julio’s family. Please email your eBook memories and pictures to

Community Love Notes

The Consummate Intellectual and Life-long Learner

Julio Gonzalez-Ruiz-TRRC

Dr. González-Ruiz was passionate about education, research and mentoring. He was a prolific writer and published many books and articles that celebrated his love for language, literature and history. He was loved and admired by his colleagues in the World Languages and Cultures department as well as Spelman by students and alumnae.

Co-facilitator of Global Faculty Development Seminars

Julio Gonzalez-Ruiz-2018-Research-Day2A global trendsetter, Dr. González-Ruiz, Ph.D., co-facilitated the first International Faculty Development Seminar held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

He was the only faculty member from a minority serving institution invited to co-facilitate the seminar, which was hosted by the Council for International Education and the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

Faculty from 15 minority-serving institutions across the United States participated in the seminar, where they gained expertise in planning faculty-led study abroad experiences for their students. During his tenure at Spelman, Dr. González-Ruiz has created and is director of two study abroad programs with the University of Málaga (Spain) and CIEE-Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic).

At the conference, he provided perspective on aspects of campus internationalization, such as creating faculty-led study abroad programs, pre-departure orientation, post study abroad integration, as well as assessment of global learning outcomes. Spelman outpaces the national average in the number of African-American students studying abroad.

Selected Works by Dr. González-Ruiz, Ph.D.


"Amistades Peligrosas: El discurso homoerótico en el teatro de Lope de Vega." New York: Peter Lang Publishing Group, “Series Iberica”, 2009.

González-Ruiz's book explores how early modern Spanish playwright Lope de Vega stages a subversive and revolutionary discourse that questions normative sexualities and transgressive desires in relation to social and literary authority. Additionally, he investigates the relations between race, gender and sexuality as they intersect with the projects of nation-building and imperial expansion in Early Modern Spain.


“Medina Del Mar Caribe (1965), Una novela de Eduardo Capó Bonnafous para recordar los 80 años del exilio español en República Dominicana.” GLOBAL (15:86). 14-25.

"Cinematografía y dominicanidad femenina migrante en España: Juanitas de ida y vuelta.” GLOBAL (15:84), 4-13.

Julio Gonzalez-Ruiz 2018 Research Day

Tribute Submission for Julio González-Ruiz, Ph.D.

Please share your reflections and tributes honoring Dr. Julio González-Ruiz.