UoA 55: Spanish and Latin American Studies

During the period of assessment this department has increased its Latin-American commitment and research activities. Currently, four of its seven full-time members of staff are Latin Americanists, a higher number than in all but a handful of UK Hispanic departments. Hence, although the department maintains a vigorous interest in research on Spain from 1500 to the present, it sees its distinctiveness in its extensive Latin-American research interests, especially in the twentieth century and the contemporary period. 

All members of the department are active researchers and during 2001-07 have published, or had accepted for publication, thirteen single-authored monographs, six edited, and five co-edited books; thirty-four chapters in books, and forty-seven journal articles. In the same period they gave fifty-five conference papers: thirty-nine in the UK, four in Spain, three in Ireland, three in the USA, and one each in Canada, China, France, Peru, Russia, and Sweden.

In 2001-07 eight students (seven of them wholly supervised by members of the department) were awarded the PhD.

Consonant with UCL strategy, our research and teaching interests are closely linked. In the medium term, we anticipate a modest expansion in posts in both the Spanish and Latin-American (including Brazilian) research and teaching areas.

At the beginning of the assessment period the department’s immediate strategic priority was to protect, promote, and develop 16thC and 17thC studies. When our Golden-Age lecturer went to Oxford in 2001 we made a successful case to have his post continued and we decided that his replacement should, if possible, extend our Golden-Age coverage to history of the period, including early colonial history. This was achieved with the appointment in 2002 of Alexander Samson, a young scholar who was establishing himself as both a literary critic and historian of the Golden-Age period.

In 2005, we made the case for a lecturer who could develop the important area of Women’s Writing in Latin America  and also complement Stephen Hart’s activities in Latin-American cinema. With the appointment (January 2006) of Claire Lindsay, already an established young scholar, we achieved the additional coverage we sought of Women’s Writing and Latin-American cinema. Furthermore, the appointment of Lindsay gave us the opportunity to link her travel-writing interests with those of Jason Wilson (Latin America) and David Henn (Spain).  Indeed, during the assessment period the department developed a highly productive network of common or parallel research interests: Borges (Humberto Núñez and Wilson); cultural history and cultural studies (Hart and Samson); travel writing, as above; Latin-American poetry (Hart, Wilson); Spanish and Latin-American fiction (Hart, Henn, Lindsay, Núñez, Samson, Wilson); Spanish and Latin American film (Jo Evans, Hart, Lindsay). The department has also engaged in research collaboration with UCL’s Department of History, with sister departments active in the SOAS-UCL AHRB Centre ‘Genre Ideologies and Narrative Transformation’ and, further afield, with colleagues at other UK or overseas universities.  During 2001-07, the department’s research has been fostered in the following areas:

Spanish literature of 1500-1700, especially theatre and devotional literature, and also Spanish historiography and Anglo-Spanish cultural history; Spanish fiction and travel literature of 1880 to the present; Spanish film, particularly of the period 1970s to the present.

Latin American fiction, poetry, and essays of 1870 to the present, with particular focus on the work of Borges and César Vallejo, and on the genres of Surrealism and Magical Realism; travel writing and Latin America; contemporary Latin-American women writers; Latin-American cinema.


Download full text of the RA5a statement for Spanish & Latin American Studies (pdf 76Kb)

Staff names below link to submitted publications:

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