A native of Peru, Professor Ortega is an accomplished scholar, poet, playwright, and novelist, with 15 books as well as several critical editions to his credit. After six years of teaching at the University of Texas at Austin, and two years as professor and chairperson at Brandeis University, Professor Ortega joined Brown's Department of Hispanic Studies in 1989. He has also been a visiting professor at numerous universities both in the United States and abroad, including recent terms as Simon Bolivar Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge (1995-96) and Catedra de Estudios Avanzados at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (Summer 1995).
Professor Ortega's commitment to literature goes beyond his own writing and teaching to include his involvement in several international publishing houses - he was Director of the Serie Futura of the Biblioteca Ayacucho (Caracas), Coordinator of the Editorial Council, Archives Collection (Paris), and Co-editor of the series Archives (University of Pittsburgh)- and on the advisory committees of a number of academic journals. Currently, he is director of the series New Humanities at the Iberoamericana academic series (Madrid), and the editor of the Carlos Fuente's Works (Mexico).
His teaching and research interests include twentieth-century Spanish American literature and culture, and literary theory. He is credited as the founder and leading scholar of Transatlantic Studies, that started at Brown' Hispanic Studies department 20 years ago. He organized with colleagues and students seven large international conferences on Transatlantic readings at Brown, and six annual Transatlantic workshops at Universities in Spain, and an bi-annual series on transatlantic readings of Cuban, Chilean, Peruvian, Mexican and Argentinean literatures in cooperation with local Universities.
Professor Ortega's recent publications include (i) literary criticism: Transatlantic Translations (London, 2014), Retrato de Carlos Fuentes (1995), Arte de innovar (1994), El discurso de la abundancia (1992), Una poetica del cambio (1992), Reapropriaciones: Cultura y literatura en Puerto Rico (1991), as well as fiction, editions and anthologies. His work has being translated into English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Quechua, Arabic and Persian. He has been distinguished with doctoral honorary degrees by universities at Perú and Nicaragua, and has been decorated for his work by the governments of Peru and Mexico; (ii) fiction: La mesa del padre (1995), Ayacucho, Good Bye (1994), Canto de hablar materno (1992); (iii) editions: The Picador Book of Latin American Short Stories, edited with Carlos Fuentes (1998), La Cervantiada (1995), Venezuela: fin de siglo (1994), and Rayuela de Julio Cortazar (1993).