Dr Deborah Martin

Dr Deborah Martin

Associate Professor


Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2012

Research summary

I am Associate Professor of Latin American cultural studies, and my research focuses on Latin American cultural production with a particular emphasis on cinema. I draw on a broad range of methodologies, including film theory, gender and sexuality studies, and childhood studies. I have a particular interest in theories of embodiment and touch in cinema. 

My most recent book The Child in Contemporary Latin American Cinema was published in 2019.  In 2016 I published The Cinema of Lucrecia Martel, a detailed study of the films of the Argentine director, and in 2017, together with Deborah Shaw (Portsmouth University), I published a co-edited volume of essays, Latin American Women Filmmakers: Production, Politics, Poetics

I am currently researching the relationship between activism and film / visual arts in Latin America, with a particular focus on feminist and environmentalist politics. Case studies thus far include the groundbreaking anti-rape performances of Chilean theatre collective LasTesis (2019-20), and the Mexican eco-film Resurrección (Eugenio Polgovsky, 2016). 

You can watch me discuss the child in Latin American film, for the Fly! Higher Film Festival, August 2020: here (Interviewer: Lorena Pino)

Teaching summary

I contribute a lecture on film to the first year core course SPAN0015, as well as delivering a second year module (SPAN0025: Introduction to Latin American Cinema), and a final year module (SPAN0051: Childhood in Latin American Cinema). From 2019-20 I will be teaching a new MA Film Studies module (CMII0134: The Child in Film). I also contribute to the Gender, Society and Representation MA core course.


University of Cambridge
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2008
University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, Master of Philosophy | 2004
University of Edinburgh
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 2002


I joined Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at UCL in September 2012, having previously lectured at the University of Bath (2008-2012), and having held an AHRC Early Career Fellowship (2011-12) for my work on the figure of the child in Latin American Cinema. My PhD, which was on Colombian women's cultural production -- painting, literature and film -- was awarded by the University of Cambridge in 2008, and before that I studied for my Undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh (2002). During my time at Edinburgh studying Modern Languages and later during my PhD research, I spent several extended periods of time in Medellín, Colombia.