Isabel Jaén Portillo is a professor of literature and film, an academic writer, and a poet/storyteller residing in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Jaén holds PhDs from Purdue University (2006) and the Complutense University of Madrid (2016) and teaches at Portland State University.

She is co-director of Cine-Lit, the continuing, cooperative organization between Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and Oregon State University that, in conjunction with the Portland International Film Festival, organizes an international symposium on Hispanic film and fiction every 4 years and co-president of LALISA (Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies Association), an interinstitutional organization which aims to foster productive professional relationships and exchanges among universities and communities in the Northwestern Region of the United States of America and Canada.

She is also a former executive member of the MLA (Modern Language Association) Division for Cognitive Approaches to Literature (2008-2012, chair in 2011) and a former member of the Purdue Cognitive Literary Studies Steering Committee (2008-2010). She co-founded and co-directed (2005-2015) the Literary Theory, Cognition, and the Brain Working Group at the Whitney Humanities Center in Yale University,

As a researcher and academic writer, she focuses on early modern literature and psychology, cognitive literary studies, contemporary literature and film, historical memory, women studies, migration, and transatlantic studies. Her books include Cervantes and the Early Modern Mind (Routledge, 2021), Self, Other, and Context in Early Modern Spain (Juan de la Cuesta, 2017), Cognitive Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literature (Oxford University Press, 2016), Cognitive Literary Studies (University of Texas Press, 2012), and Épocas y Avances (Yale University Press, 2006).

As a poet and storyteller, she began her career in the 90s in Madrid (Spain) where she actively participated in the city’s main poetry gatherings, collaborated with visual artists, and was part of several storytelling and theater groups. She was a student of Spanish poet Carlos Bousoño and has published her work in Spain and the US.

Her writing languages are English and Spanish.