Marí­a del Pilar Blanco
Fellow and Tutor in Spanish American Literature

My research has taken me from explorations of ghosts and haunting in the literature and film culture of Spanish America and the US, to the emergence of popular science writing in Spanish America.



I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and my undergraduate studies were in Literary & Cultural Studies and History at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia (USA). After receiving my PhD in Comparative Literature from New York University, I held permanent posts in Aberystwyth University and University College London before moving to Trinity College in 2012.


At the Faculty of Medieval & Modern Languages, I lecture to undergraduates on a range of topics relating to Spanish-American literature from the 19th to the 21st centuries. Since my arrival at Oxford, I’ve given lectures on modernismo, the Spanish-American short story, the avant-garde poets (1910s-1930s), women writers, and the Mexican Revolution, among other topics.

I tutor students on the Spanish first-year course, and on the second- and final-year Modern Spanish-American paper (Paper VIII), Spanish-American authors (Paper XI), and Spanish-American Optional papers (Papers XII). I also offer translation classes to my undergraduates.

At postgraduate level, I offer an option on ‘Haunting in Spanish American Literature’.



My first monograph, Ghost-Watching American Modernity: Haunting, Landscape, and the Hemispheric Imagination (Fordham University Press, 2012) explored the ways in which different landscapes in the Americas breed different stylizations of ghosts and haunting. I have co-edited, with Esther Peeren (University of Amsterdam), two collections on the topic of ghosts: Popular Ghosts: The Haunted Spaces of Everyday Culture (Continuum, 2010), which was awarded the Ray & Pat Browne Award for Best Edited Collection by the PCA/ACA in 2010; and The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory (Bloomsbury, 2013).

My current book project, entitled Modernist Laboratories, explores the growth of science writing in Spanish-American literature from the 1870s to 1910. I have been invited to give talks related to this project, including at Pittsburgh, Cambridge, Nottingham, and Bristol.

I am co-investigator in the Science in Text and Culture in Latin America research network, which is funded by the AHRC. As part of the networks activities, we will be holding four international symposia in Oxford, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Cambridge.

Selected Publications

  • ‘Martí, Edison y el fonógrafo.’ Revista Badebec (Rosario, Argentina, 2014).
  • The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Critical Theory, co-edited with Esther Peeren (Bloomsbury, 2013).
  • ‘Mexico’s La Ilustración Espí­rita: Toward a Transatlantic Understanding of a Spiritualist Archive,’ in The Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures, edited by Sally Munt and Olu Jenzen (Ashgate, 2013).
  • ‘”Palabras de la ciencia”: Pedro Castera and Scientific Writing in Mexico’s Fin de Siècle.’ Science & Education (2013).
  • Ghost-watching American Modernity: Haunting, Landscape, and the Hemispheric Imagination (Fordham University Press, 2012).
  • ‘Reading the Novum World: The Literary Geography of Science Fiction in Junot Dí­az’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao‘, Peter Hulme (ed), Surveying the American Tropics (Liverpool University Press, 2012).
  • Popular Ghosts: The Haunted Spaces of Everyday Culture, co-edited with Esther Peeren (Continuum Books, 2010).