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Dr Sarah Bowskill

Lecturer in Latin American Studies

(BA Modern European Languages, Durham; MA Latin American Cultural Studies, Manchester; PhD, Manchester)

Sarah Bowskill joined the department in September 2011 having previously worked as a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Swansea University. Sarah specialises in Mexican studies with an emphasis on literary and cultural studies.

Her recent monograph, Gender, Nation and the Formation of the Twentieth-Century Mexican Literary Canon explores the way in which the post-revolutionary Mexican literary canon was formed by cultural and political elites who sought to identify and reward those novels which would best represent the new nation. Reviewersfoundwhattheywerelookingfor in Gregorio López y Fuentes' El indio (1935), Carlos Fuentes' La región más transparente (1958) and Sergio Pitol'sEl desfile del amor (1984) butnot in Consuelo Delgado'sYo también, Adelita (1936), Dolores Castro'sLa ciudad y el viento (1962) or Ángeles Mastretta'sArráncame la vida (1985). This ground-breaking study aims to provide a fresh perspective on canon formation by uncovering the circumstances and readings which produced a male-dominated Mexican literary canon. To remedy this gender imbalance the book develops a new interpretive strategy which provides fascinating insights into the texts discussed and throws fresh light on the construction of literary canons.


Current Research Projects:

  • I am building on my previous work on canon formation and reception by examining the politics of literary prizes. I have an article forthcoming in Hispanic Review which examines the politics behind the awarding of the prestigious Premio Cervantes to Spanish American authors. I am also embarking on a study which investigates critical responses to women authors who win literary prizes and different attitudes to literary prizes which are only awarded to women authors such as the PremioSor Juana Ines de la Cruz in Mexico and the Organge Prize for Fiction in the UK.
  • I am currently working with Dr Jane Lavery (University of Southampton) on a new research project on the works of women writers and artists from the Spanish speaking world whose works straddle multiple disciplines (literature, art performance, photography, video, art installation, cyberspace). The first output from this project is an article recently published in the Bulletin of Latin American Research on the multimedia work of Guatemalan performance artist Regina Jose Galindo.



  • Gender, Nation and the Formation of the Twentieth-Century Mexican Literary Canon (Oxford: Legenda, 2011).


  • 'Politics and Literary Prizes: A Case Study of Spanish America and the Premio Cervantes’, Hispanic Review (Spring 2012)
  • ‘The Representation of the Female Body in the Multimedia Works of Regina Jose Galindo’ [co-authored with Jane Lavery, University of Southampton]Bulletin of Latin American Research, 31.1 pp.51-64
  • ‘The origins of the boom femeninomexicano’ in The Boom Femenino in Mexico: Reading Contemporary Women’s Writing, edited by Nuala Finnegan and Jane Lavery (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), pp.73-89
  • ‘Women, Violence and the Mexican Cristero Wars as represented in Los recuerdos del porvenir and La ciudad y el viento’, Modern Language Review, 104.2 (2009), pp. 438-452.
  • ‘Literature’, in The Borderlands: An Encyclopedia of Culture and Politics on the U.S-Mexico Divide, edited by Andrew Wood (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2008), pp.138-141.
  • ‘Yotambien, Adelita: A National Allegory of the Mexican Revolution and a Call for Women’s Suffrage’, in Revolucionarias: Conflict and Gender in Latin American Narratives by Women, edited by Par Kumaraswami and Niamh Thornton (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007), pp.137-164.

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Latin American Cultural Studies
  • Twentieth-Century and contemporary Latin American Literature with an emphasis on Mexico
  • Mexican Studies Gender Studies
  • Literature and Culture of the Mexico-US borderlands
  • Canon formation
  • Reception studies
  • Sociology of literature
  • Literary culture in the Hispanic World
  • Prizes and cultural festivals in the Hispanic World

I would welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students interested in pursuing research in these areas.

I currently teach on the following modules:

  • Introduction to Latin American Studies (Level 1)
  • Hispanic Studies 3 & 4 (Spanish language)
  • (Level 2) Issues and Culture of the Mexico US Border (cursillo) (Level 2)
  • Representations of the Mexican Revolution in Literature, Art and Film (Level 2)
  • Failed Romances of Latin American Literature (Level 3)
  • Canons and Culture Wars: The Battle for Latin American Literature (MA)
  • Advanced Spanish (MA)