A feminist Latina studying literary modernism and photography, Laura Hartmann-Villalta was born in the Dominican Republic to American diplomat parents.
Her mother is Costa Rican and her father is from Chicago. She is bilingual and bicultural. Laura attended St. Louis University, Madrid Campus, where she majored in Spanish literature and became fascinated with the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939.
Her current book manuscript is a literary history of the Spanish Civil War focused on forgotten female writers and photographers of the war. She earned her PhD in English literature at Northeastern University in 2016. Her scholarly interests include life writing, espionage, visual culture (particularly photography), war studies, poetry, and transnational modernism.