Professor Rafael Castillo, born in Bilbao, Spain, started his music training at the age of three and got his first degree in music at sixteen. He showed early interest in acting and appeared for the first time onstage in a zarzuela at the age of twelve, playing the part of a Maori savage doing the haka. After graduation from high school he received a degree in classical languages at the Universidad Complutense and subsequently got a Fullbright scholarship to continue his studies in the USA. Professor Castillo received an M.A. in Literature from Indiana State University and later a Ph.D. in Linguistics and Literature from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, with a thesis on Francisco de Icaza, Mexican poet, ambassador and literary critic. Upon his return to Spain he received degrees in English and Hispanic Philology from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.
Rafael Castillo has taught in a number of American universities, in the U.S.A. or in their programs in Spain. They include: University of Illinois, University of California at Berkeley, Ohio State University, Middlebury College, Harvard University, Boston University and New York University. He has also taught at Spanish universities such as the Universidad Complutense, Universidad Carlos III, and Universidad Europea. Professor Castillo's courses have covered a wide range of interests, centered on the unity of philology, that is, on the linguistic mediation in poetry, literature, society, and philosophy.