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Our multidisciplinary research covers the cultural production of the Iberian Peninsula and of the Latin American and Caribbean nations. We explore sociocultural realities of diverse communities through their varied and multimedia artistic production.

Spanish and Latin American studies at Reading also facilitates interdisciplinary research on Latin America and the Caribbean across the University, and is a founding member of the Reading Latin American and Caribbean network (R-LAC). 

Staff research interests

We explore the interconnection between languages, experiences, and artistic expression in a variety of cultural contexts in Spain and Latin America. In these areas we also provide postgraduate research supervision.

Dr Cherilyn Elston 

  • Literary translation
  • Colombian and Latin American women's writing 
  • Testimonial literature
  • Colombian theatre
  • Latin American poetry
  • Colombian intellectual history 
  • Historiography and narratives of the Colombian armed conflict
  • Colombian and Latin American feminist history and theory


Dr Marta Simó Comas

  • Spanish literary and publishing cultures
  • Spanish realist fiction
  • The fantastic and the uncanny in contemporary Spanish fiction
  • History of ideas in Modern Spain and Catalunya


Dr Catriona McAllister

  • Literature and politics in the Southern Cone
  • History and fiction in Latin America
  • History of ideas in contemporary Argentina
  • Nation-building and identity discourses in the Latin American museum


Dr Camila González Ortiz

  • Contemporary drama in the Southern Cone
  • Theatre translation
  • Performance philosophy
  • Contemporary Chilean intellectual history
  • History of Latin American theatre
  • Political theatre and performance in contemporary Chile
  • Social movements and citizenship in Latin America


Dr Denisse Lazo-González

  • The politics of fiction
  • Chilean literature
  • Latin American film
  • Narrative and film form
  • Feminist political theory
  • Latin American gender studies


Staff research activities and collaborations

Dr Cherilyn Elston

Dr Cherilyn Elston’s research and teaching interests traverse contemporary Colombian literature and culture, memory studies and the Colombian conflict, and feminism and women’s writing in Latin America.

Her monograph Women’s Writing in Colombia – An Alternative History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) was awarded the 2018 Montserrat Ordóñez Prize. She 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. Alongside her academic research she is also a literary translator.

She is a member of the steering committee of the University of Reading's Latin America and the Caribbean research network.

Dr Marta Simó Comas

Dr Marta Simó-Comas pursues two lines of enquiry. The first examines the connection between realism and the fantastic in contemporary Spanish fiction. The second explores the role of women in the post-Franco’s book market in Spain and Catalunya.

She 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 and has established active research links with the University of Alcalá (Spain).

Dr Catriona McAllister

Dr Catriona McAllister’s research interests lie in the uses of history for nation building and the ways in which different forms of culture engage with and challenge these discourses. She is working with a museum in Argentina, the Museo Histórico Nacional, exploring recent changes and their relationship to the broader cultural landscape, and the representation of history in cultural production for children.

She has published an open access monograph titled Literary Reimaginings of Argentina's Independence: History, Fiction, Politics with Liverpool University Press (2022).

She is a member of the steering committee of the University of Reading's Latin America and the Caribbean research network.

Dr Camila Gonzalez Ortiz

Dr Camila González Ortiz is a member of the Out of the Wings Collective, which specialises in the translation and promotion of drama from the Hispanic and Portuguese-speaking world. She has active research links with the Núcleo Milenio Artes, Performatividad y Activismo at the Universidad Católica de Chile and other high-profile cultural centres in Chile.

Currently she is working on a research project exploring theatre and performance practices informed by the 2019 Social Revolt in Chile. Dr Gonzalez Ortiz has also worked as an assistant director to Al Smith's Rare Earth Mettle which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in autumn 2021.

Dr Denisse Lazo-González

Dr Denisse Lazo-González’s research interests lie at the interdisciplinary study of the politics of fiction -narrative and film- in the Latin American context, paying especial attention to the political status of women.

She is currently working on a monograph about the prominent Chilean author Diamela Eltit (1949-) and on research that examines cinematic representations of sororidad as expression of the ethical, political, and practical relationship between women in different Latin American societies.



Recent and current doctoral research projects


Rethinking Conceptualism: Avant-Garde, Activism and Politics in Latin American Art (1960s-1980s) (ongoing)


Were all Basque women ‘La Pasionaria’? Negotiating gendered spaces in working-class Basque women’s testimonies of Bizkaia, under Franco (1937-1949) (ongoing)


Globalization in the Lukumi Orisha Diaspora (ongoing)

  • Jeff González
  • Supervisors: Professor Par Kumaraswami (Nottingham) and Dr Catriona McAllister


New technologies and cultural identity in Cuba: A study of the evolution and impact of video gaming culture in Granma Province (2019)

  • Miranda Lickert (Leverhulme)
  • Supervisors: Professor Par Kumaraswami and Professor 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 (2021)

  • Emma Jackson
  • Supervisors: Professor Par Kumaraswami and Dr Catriona McAllister


Recent and ongoing 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.


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