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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián, PhD New York University

Personal web page

Associate Professor / Director of Postgraduate Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43413
Room number: ER235, Elvet Riverside II

Contact Dr Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián (email at

Associate Professor of Hispanic and Visual Culture Studies

Before I joined the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC) at Durham in 2011, I worked as Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies in the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University. I lecture on the literatures and visual cultures of the insular and post-colonial Atlantic, focusing on Caribbean and Latin American cinemas and visualities, Surrealism and the avant-garde, and Caribbean texts and diasporas. My research interests include visual, gender / queer and race theories of the Hispanic and Francophone Caribbean, with a specific focus on islands and archipelagos, post-creolizing processes, and Global South ecologies and environmental politics. I am particularly interested in discourses of Atlantic space, encompassing connections across the Global South that involve the Afro-Caribbean, the Americas and the Canary Islands.

I am currently completing a book manuscript on Surrealism and avant-garde movements in the Caribbean and the Canary Islands. My other ongoing projects include a critical examination of visual, territorial and economic constructions of insularity in the contemporary Atlantic; and a study of the visual representation of islands more broadly, with a particular emphasis on photography and film.

Research Projects

Since October 2016 I am a CI (Co-Investigator) for the AHRC Open World Research Initiative (OWRI), a four-year multi-institutional and interdisciplinary programme of research, Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community. The project's Transnational Strand, Rethinking Language Communities for an Open World: Between and Beyond Nations, Institutions and Networks, investigates political, social and cultural interactions across communities sharing a single language, but dispersed across multiple states and cultures. I have developed an individual OWRI subproject: Atlantic Insularities: Languages of Exorbitance in Spanish-Speaking Island Cultures. More details can be found here.

Since March 2019 I am a CI for the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Living Deltas Hub, a five-year international research project that focuses on three river deltas: the Mekong (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam), Red River (Vietnam) and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (Bangladesh and India).

Since February 2021 I participate in the research activities and contribute to the research strategy of the Durham IHRR (Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience) as a memeber of the Hazards and Risk Media Committee and of the Institute's Managing Board.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Teaching and Supervision

I convene two undergraduate final-year modules: Latin American Environmental Politics: Cinema and Visual Culture and Kino-Texts: Atlantic Avant-Gardes and Visual Cultures. I also co-convene a second-year module: Race and Gender in Latin American Cinema. In the new BA in Visual Arts and Film, I contribute to Introduction to Visual Culture Studies. In the MA in Visual Culture I convene Transnational Cinema and co-convene Visual Modernities.

I am happy to review and support applications from potential MA, PhD and Postdoctoral candidates, and available to supervise postgraduate work on Caribbean and Latin American literature, cinema and visual culture, and on other broad inter-disciplinary areas (please see my list of research interests below).

Curatorial Work

September 2021. Curator, Excess Island, solo photography exhibition by Benedetta Panisson at Office Project Room, Milan, in collaboration with PHROOM.

June-September 2019. Curated a series of screenings (June 27th and July 3rd, 11th, 17th and 25th) and related activities (July 25th and September 21st) for the film programme Gonzalo González: desplazamientos, aperturas, miradas desde el cine, at TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes contemporary arts centre, Canary Islands, in coordination with the exhibition Estar aquí es todo: Gonzalo González.

September-October 2017. Curated a series of screenings and conversations on Cuban cinema and politics in Caribbean and Global South context, as a part of the 'What's Left? A Century in Revolution' programme at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne.

March 2017. Curated Cines del Caribe: visiones de la ruina, lo sumergido y lo emergente, a Special Programme of contemporary Caribbean and island films for FICCI 57 (Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias). Served as a member of the Jury for the Official Short Film Competition at FICCI 57.

Editorial Work and Networks

Associate Editor of the journal Cultural Dynamics: Insurgent Scholarship on Culture, Politics and Power, where since December 2016 I edit a new section on 'Worlds Panoramic: Visualities from the Global South'. 

Consultant Editor, The Open Arts Journal, The Open University.

Advisory Board member, Karib: Nordic Journal for Caribbean Studies, Stockholm University Press.

Member of the Race, Space, Place international collective.

Co-convenor, MLAC-based Transnational Cinema research group.

Member of CVAC and the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art.

International Conferences, Symposia and Workshops Organized

Borders, Regimes, Disposability: A Symposium on Migration and State Violence. Co-organized with Claudia Milian (Duke University) and John Morán González (The University of Texas at Austin), Durham University Institute of Advanced Study, 10-12 July 2019

Latin American cinema and environmental politics: Colombia & Cuba. International workshop, Saint Chad’s College, Durham University, 15-17 November 2018

Más allá de la ruina, lo sumergido y lo emergente: visiones del espacio y sus fugas en el cine latinoamericano reciente. International workshop co-organized with Pedro Adrián Zuluaga, Cinemateca Distrital de Bogotá and Teatro Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, 17-20 September 2018

Decentred / Dissenting Connections: Envisioning Caribbean Film and Visual Cultures. International conference co-organized with Dunja Fehemovic (Newcastle University), Newcastle University and Tyneside Cinema, 29-30 May 2018

Borders, Regimes, Disposability: A Symposium on Migration and State Violence. Co-organized with Claudia Milian, St Chad’s College and Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, 14-16 June 2017

Risking the Future: Vulnerability, Resistance, Hope international conference. Co-organized with Marc Botha (English Studies), St John’s College, Durham University, 12-13 July 2016

Islands, Images, Imaginaries international symposium. Co-organized with Michaeline A. Crichlow (African and African American Studies) and Sean Metzger (English), Duke University, 1-2 April 2011

Romancing the Humanities lecture series and ‘The Future of English’ conference. Co-organized with Roberto Dainotto, Esther Gabara, and Marc Schachter, Duke University Department of Romance Studies, September 2003-May 2004

Research Interests

  • Avant-Garde, Surrealism and Modernist Studies
  • Caribbean and Atlantic Studies
  • Cinema and Visual Culture
  • Gender and Queer Studies
  • Global South Studies
  • Islands, Littoral Zones and River Deltas
  • Latin American Studies
  • Postcolonial Theory and Postcolonial Studies

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • (Forthcoming). On Tropical Grounds: Avant-Garde Imaginations in the Hispanic Caribbean and the Canary Islands. Graduate School of Arts and Science.

Edited book

  • Hernández Adrián, F.-J. & Gómez, Antonio (2022). The Film Archipelago: Islands in Latin American Cinema. Bloomsbury.

Edited Journal

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Translated Chapter in Book

Show all publications


Selected Grants

  • 2019: Co-Investigator, UKRI GCRF, Living Deltas Hub
  • 2018: Higher Education Funding Council for England GCRF, research and network project: Latin American Cinema and Environmental Politics: Colombia & Cuba
  • 2016: Co-Investigator, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). Group project: Rethinking Language Communities for an Open World: Between and Beyond Nations, Institutions and Networks. Individual project: Atlantic Insularities: Languages of Exorbitance in Spanish-Speaking Island Cultures
  • 2013: University of California at Irvine Humanities Research Institute Fellowship for Residence on collaborative editorial project: Islands, Images, Imaginaries
  • 2008: Duke University Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Grant
  • 2008: Duke University Curriculum Development Grant and selection to participate in Critical Genealogies: Transnational Sexualities seminar
  • 2004: Duke University Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Grant
  • 2003: Duke University Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Grant
  • 2001: NYU Dean's Dissertation Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Science
  • 2000: Tinker Foundation Field Research Grant for research in Cuba, NYU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies