Advisory Group

Professors & Fellows

The activities of the Centre are coordinated by the Director. In consultation with the Steering Committee, she is responsible for developing strategic initiatives and priorities. The Advisory Board include members of staff from other subject areas at Birkbeck as well as internationally renowned scholars, artists and curators, who advise the Director, Steering Committee and members of the Centre on strategic priorities.

Steering Committee

Dr Mari Paz Balibrea (CILAVS Director from January 2016) is Reader in Modern Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies. Her broad intellectual preoccupation is with the constitution and development of Spain as a modern nation, and with the meaning of modernity as referring to the country, which she investigates through the role that culture plays in them. While originally trained in literature, her research is highly interdisciplinary. Her publications include, in addition to literature,  the study of philosophy, film, advertising, sports and urban spaces and have focused on questions of exile, political transition, citizenship and neoliberalism.

Dr Alejandro Colás is a Reader in International Relations and directs the MSc in International Security and Global Governance in the Politics Department at Birkbeck. He is author of International Civil Society: Social Movements and World Politics and Empire, both published by Polity Press. Alex writes on questions of internationalism, imperialism, food politics, piracy and the sea.

Dr Carmen Fracchia (CILAVS director, 2010-2011) is Reader in Early Modern Spanish Visual Studies. Her major research areas are the visual representation of  ‘minorities’; race, religion, and the interface between art and the history of science. She is currently working on a research project centred on the visual representation of slave subjectivity in Imperial Spain.

Dr Jasmine Gideon is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies. Her research focuses on two key areas – gender and social policy in Latin America and health and well being among Latin Americans in the UK, with a particular focus on the Chilean exile community. She is the author of Gender, Globalization and Health in a Latin American Context (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and the co-editor of Migration, Health and Inequality (Zed Press, 2013).

Prof Catherine Grant is Professor of Digital Media and Screen Studies. She has published widely on theories and practices of authorship, adaptation and intertextuality, and edited important collections of work on world cinemaLatin American cinemadigital film and media studies, and the audiovisual essay (see here and here). A relatively early and prolific adopter of the online short video form, she is known for her work on the audiovisual essay in film and moving image studies, especially in found-footage, first-person and essay-film forms. She has produced well over 100 videos to date, dozens of which have been published in online journals alongside her written reflections on these forms and their emergent role in film and media studies, especially in relation to theories of film spectatorship, material thinking, and psychoanalytic object relations. Her videos have screened at film festivals, film museums and screen studies conferences around the world.

Dr Oscar Guardiola-Rivera is a Reader in Law. His interests are in the theory and history of human rights & popular constitutionalism in comparative perspective; Post-human rights;The relationship between writing, history, and politics; Latin American history and literature; Phenomenology: Hegelian, Sartrean & Fanonian perspectives; Slavery, anti-slavery, liberties & commons; Cognitive science & philosophy; Law & social theory and anthropology; Economics and post-development.

Prof John Kraniauskas is Professor of Latin American Studies. Particularly interested in relations between state and cultural forms, he is currently working on transcultural and subaltern studies; crime form and the state in Mexico; and Eva Perón and the populist state.

Prof Luciana Martins (CILAVS Director, 2007-2010, 2011-14, Co-Director 2015-2016) is Professor of Latin American Visual Cultures. She has published on the visual culture of tropicality, geographical thought, photography and documentary film, world cities and modernity, and digital art history. She has worked collaboratively with key institutions in the heritage sector, including the British Museum, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Recently, she has successfully completed a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for her project on ‘Drawing together: the visual archive of expeditionary fieldwork’ (2016-2018).

Dr Margarita Palacios is a Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies. Her research currently focused on the understanding of the intersections between  state violence, sexuality, nationalism  and subjectivity in the context of post-conflict societies and also in the context of stable democracies. More recently I have moved towards questions about aesthetics and the political,  and forms of representing violence without reproducing it.

Dr Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra is a Lecturer in Contemporary Art. Her research focuses on contemporary Latin American Art and Intellectual History, with a particular emphasis on the politics of aesthetics and on the study of varying notions of life, presence, interactivity, and agency in artistic practice, including live, performance, ecological, cybernetic, multispecies, and posthuman art. Her forthcoming publications include Touched Bodies: The Performative Turn in Latin American Art (Rutgers University Press, 2019), and the essay collection Marcos Kurtycz: Corporeality Unbound (Fauna-Jumex, 2018).

Dr Silvia Posocco is a Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies. She is interested inTransnational Gender and Sexuality Studies and Theories; Social Anthropology, Social Theory and Cultural Analysis; Violence, Conflict and Genocide; Secrecy; Sociality; Subjectivity; Anthropology of the State and the Law; Transnational Adoption Circuits, Documents and Archives; Ethnography; Petén, Guatemala; Tabasco, Quintana Roo, Mexico; London.

Dr Patricia Sequeira Bras is Lecturer in Portuguese Studies.The relationship between politics and cinema that motivated her doctoral work continues to shape her new research projects. Her current interests include representations of crises in cinema and video; explorations on film viewership and political and ethical engagements; communicative and affect capitalism. These interrogations are informed by work from an array of disciplinary fields within the humanities: film theory, philosophy, political theory and recent research in neuroscience.

Dr Luís Trindade is a Reader in Modern Portuguese Studies. His research focuses particularly on the relation between literature and the culture industries in the context of authoritarian politics and fascist ideology. He has also undertaken research on the 1974-75 revolutionary period in Portugal.

Image credit: Luciana Martins