Dr Denisse Lazo-González
- Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
- Year Abroad Coordinator for Spanish
Building locationMiller building
Areas of interest
- The politics of fiction
My research focuses on the interdisciplinary study of the relationship between fiction and politics, with especial attention to representations of the political status of women in the Latin American context. My approach acknowledges a dynamic dialogue between fiction, ideology, and a certain social imaginary, and it incorporates historical, political, and cultural perspectives. I am interested in an analysis of fiction that recognises its socio-historical connections but is also centred on a close reading of form (narrative and film).
Before moving to the academia, I worked for nearly 10 years at the Gender Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal). There, I collaborated with various research projects that explored the status of women in Latin American societies; hence my interest in interdisciplinary views and contributions from the humanities and social disciplines to approach fiction’s form and context. My research is currently centred on two fronts:
I’m writing a monograph that examines the more recent narrative fiction of the Chilean writer Diamela Eltit (1949-), which offers a socio-political reading of the literary strategies that her work employs to dialogue with the Chilean post-transition context. Considering symbolically the start of the new millennium as a decisive time when the dictatorship’s politico-cultural neoliberal project is validated by the Chilean democratic forces, Eltit’s literature published around this period does not only carry the historical and political legacy of the dictatorship, but re-builds it upon the grounds of a social imaginary permeated by a neoliberal cultural project imposed by the dictatorship and reaffirmed by the Chilean democracy.
I am working on the project ‘Women, Film and Sororidad: A Reading of the Socio-Political Relationship between Women in Latin America’, which examines the politics of film through a study of representations of the ethical, political, and practical relationship between women in Latin American fiction film. The project has an interdisciplinary approach that combines perspectives from political philosophy, gender studies, and Latin American cultural and film studies.
Teaching and Learning Initiatives
Additionally, I'm interested in the way in which psycho-affective factors impact on language learning, and I'm currently working on a T&L project with my colleague Ángela Mira Conejero entitled 'The IWLP Hispanic Club'. This is a 3-year research/scholarship project funded by the University of Reading that explores the impact of short Study Abroad (SA) programmes on the learning of Spanish as a foreign language by students whose primary discipline is not Spanish. The project is focused not only on the SA experience itself, but also on the significance of the relevant preparatory and follow-up stages, all framed by a decolonizing and intercultural approach examined through qualitative and ethnographic methods.
I co-teach the following language and content modules:
- SP2/3L4: ‘Advanced Spanish Language II’
- SP1I1: ‘Icons of Spain and Latin America’
- SP1SLAC: ‘Introduction to Spanish and Latin American Culture’
Also, I teach and convene:
- SP1L1: ‘Beginners Spanish Language’