Research in Spanish and Latin American studies
The research of the Spanish and Latin American Studies strand of the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies is essentially multi-disciplinary. It covers not only the cultural production of the Iberian Peninsula but also Latin American and Caribbean nations and their sociocultural realities, with research areas that encompass literary analysis as well as cultural studies approaches. Spanish and Latin American Studies at Reading is also founding links with colleagues in other departments and subject areas at the University, including the Henley Business School via LACRUS (Latin American and Caribbean Rural and Urban Studies Group).
Staff research interests
The main areas of staff research activity are given below. These are also the main areas in which we provide postgraduate research supervision:
Publishing and literary culture
- Latin American literature and theory in English translation, Dr Cherilyn Elston
- The socialisation of literature in twentieth- and twenty-first century Cuba, Dr Parvathi Kumaraswami
- Nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first-century Spanish literary and publishing cultures, Dr Marta Simó Comas
Modern and contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature
- Colombian and Latin American women's writing and testimonial literature; Colombian theatre; Latin American poetry, Dr Cherilyn Elston
- Cuban and Latin American women's writing and testimonial literature, Dr Parvathi Kumaraswami
- Literature and politics in the Southern Cone; history and fiction in Latin America, Dr Catriona McAllister (Latin American Southern Cone)
- Spanish realism in nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Dr Marta Simó Comas
- Twentieth and twenty-first century Colombian intellectual history; historiography of the armed conflict; Colombian and Latin American feminist history and theory, Dr Cherilyn Elston
- Post-colonial discourses in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Cuba, Dr Parvathi Kumaraswami
- History of ideas in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Argentina, Dr Catriona McAllister
- History of ideas in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Spain and Catalunya, Dr Marta Simó Comas
- Historical memory discourses and narratives of the Colombian armed conflict, Dr Cherilyn Elston
- Post-colonial nation-building and cultural production in Cuba, Dr Parvathi Kumaraswami
- Nation-building and identity discourses in the Latin American museum, Dr Catriona McAllister
Spanish and Latin American intellectual history
Culture, identity and nation-building in Latin America
Self-writing from Latin America
Staff research activities and collaborations
Dr Cherilyn Elston is currently working on a project exploring the cultural politics of memory, human rights and transitional justice in the context of recent peace processes in Colombia. She has active links with research institutions and NGOs in Colombia and works closely with Colombian migrant groups in the UK. She is involved in the University of Reading's Latin America and the Caribbean research group.
Dr Par Kumaraswami is Principal Investigator for the Leverhulme Trust Research Project Co-I Professor Antoni Kapcia, University of Nottingham), ‘Beyond Havana, beyond the nation? Peripheral identities and literary culture in Cuba’ (2014-2017): https://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/awards-made/awards-focus/beyond-havana-beyond-nation-peripheral-identities-and-literary-culture-cuba.
She is a founding member of the Cuba Research Forum, now based at the University of Nottingham. She works closely with Cuban research and policy institutions, such as the Instituto Cubano del Libro and the Instituto Cubano de Investigación Cultural Juan Marinello and is regularly invited to guest lecture in the UK and Cuba. She is a member of the University of Reading’s Migration, Identity and Conflict research cluster.
Dr Marta Simó-Comas is a member of the international network ‘Prácticas culturales y esfera pública: editoras españolas y latinoamericanas contemporáneas / Cultural Practice and Public Sphere: Contemporary Spanish and Latin American Female Publishers’, funded by Spain’s Ministry of Education and Culture.
She is a contributor to the EDI-RED database of Ibero-American Editors and Publishers, Centuries XIX-XXI Portal: http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/portales/editores_editoriales_iberoamericanos_en/ and has established active research links with the University of Alcalá (Spain). She is a member of the University of Reading’s Migration, Identity and Conflict research cluster.
Dr Catriona McAllister is currently contributing to the preparation of an edited volume on the Falklands/Malvinas conflict in collaboration with scholars from Europe and Latin America. She has on-going research links with the University of Salamanca and is a member of the University of Reading’s Migration, Identity and Conflict research cluster.
Past and present research projects
New technologies and cultural identity in Cuba: A study of the evolution and impact of video gaming culture in Granma Province (ongoing)
- Miranda Lickert (Leverhulme)
- Supervisors: Dr Par Kumaraswami and Prof Toni Kapcia (Nottingham)
Dolls from Mayan Mexico and Guatemala: A case study on the use of objects in the construction, expression and negotiation of identities (ongoing)
- Emma Jackson
- Supervisors: Dr Par Kumaraswami and Dr Catriona McAllister
The Representation of Basque Women in Francoist Media (ongoing)
- Begoña Garrido (Anniversary PhD Scholarship)
- Supervisors: Dr Par Kumaraswami and Dr Marta Simo-Comas
Recent and on-going PhDs in Spanish and Latin American Studies span a broad range of periods and topics, and we welcome enquiries and proposals relating both to discrete specialisms and to interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary work.