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Dr Paul Merchant

Dr Paul Merchant

Dr Paul Merchant
MA, MPhil, PhD (Cantab)

Lecturer in Latin American Film and Visual Culture

Office G67, 15 Woodland Road
15 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TE
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 9772

Summary

My research focuses on 20th- and 21st-century Latin American film and visual culture, with a particular emphasis on the countries of the Southern Cone and, more recently, Peru and Bolivia. 

My doctoral thesis, 'New Constructions of House and Home in Contemporary Argentine and Chilean Cinema (2005-2015)', which I am currently preparing for publication as a monograph, explored the political potential of domestic space in recent filmmaking. My current research, funded by the British Academy, investigates the tension between territorial and ecological understandings of bodies of water in Chile, Peru and Bolivia, working across a variety of media, from film and digital video to poetry.

I am interested in how cinema relates to other visual media, in the shifting critical frameworks of Latin American studies, and in the intersections between postcolonial theory and the environmental humanities. I am a co-editor (with Lucy Bollington) of the forthcoming volume The Limits of the Human in Latin American Culture (University Press of Florida), which analyses how discourses of humanism and posthumanism have operated in - and have been shaped by - a wide range of literary and visual cultures in the region. 

Research supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective research students in any area of Latin American cultural studies, particularly those interested in pursuing research in the following areas:

  • Latin American film (especially from Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru)
  • ecological approaches to cinema and visual media
  • urban and domestic spaces
  • postcolonial and decolonial theory

 

Biography

I joined the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies in 2017, after completing a PhD at the University of Cambridge. My doctoral research formed the basis of my first monograph, Remaking Home: Domestic Spaces in Argentine and Chilean Film, 2005-2015 (currently under review). I also completed Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Cambridge, writing my MPhil dissertation on the fragmentary imagery of the body in the works of Roberto Bolaño. 

My current research investigates cultural responses to the Pacific Ocean in modern Chile, Peru and Bolivia. This is an intermedial project that draws on recent advances in the fields of environmental humanities, film studies and Latin American cultural studies. I am a co-editor (with Lucy Bollington) of Latin American Culture and the Limits of the Human (University of Florida Press, 2020), which analyses how discourses of humanism and posthumanism have operated in - and have been shaped by - a wide range of literary and visual cultures in the region. 

Teaching

I convene undergraduate units on responses to the Pacific Ocean in modern Chile (Year 4) and an introduction to Latin American cinema (Year 2). I also contribute to teaching on the Year 1 units 'The Making of the Hispanic World' and 'Critical Concepts in the Study of the Hispanic World', as well as the MA in Comparative Literatures and Cultures in the School of Modern Languages. 

 

Research supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective research students in any area of Latin American cultural studies, particularly those interested in pursuing research in the following areas:

  • Latin American film (especially from Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru)
  • ecological approaches to cinema and visual media
  • urban and domestic spaces
  • postcolonial and decolonial theory

 

 

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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