Staff in the Department of Hispanic Studies
Go to the MLAC staff pages.
Dr Peter Baker, MA [Aberdeen]; PhD [Texas]
My research interests are broadly concerned with political thought and critical theory, informed by work in Continental philosophy (particularly with regards to the work of Jacques Derrida), as well as Marxism and psychoanalysis. My work to date has focused primarily on the political and cultural history of contemporary South America, especially with regards to the legacy of Iberian modernity and colonialism, and on how to consider the Latin American cannon from its margins. I have published on a range of topics, including postcolonialism, modernism, contemporary Spanish and Latin American political theory and Marxism. My thesis research, which I completed with Texas A&M University in 2015, focused on contemporary indigenous political writing in Bolivia, seeking to show how this writing reinscribed understandings about what it meant to be indigenous in Bolivia in ways which still have important political and cultural effects, whilst at the same time rejecting an interpretation of indigenous writing that might otherwise reify ethnic identities.
Currently, I am developing my thesis findings for publication as a monograph, and focusing on two separate but interrelated projects. The first seeks to analyse contemporary populisms in Latin America and Spain, in the liminal space where the cultural and the political intertwine. These reflections include a theoretical engagement with theories of hegemony and posthegemony. The second of these projects seeks to bring contemporary reflections in Continental philosophy on the question of life into dialogue with literary texts, drawing on the Derridean notion of the text. This work forms part of my collaboration in the Infrapolitical Deconstruction Collective, a research network of some 30 transnational scholars who seek to thematize the term “infrapolitics” through an engagement with contemporary political thought. I have also been involved in a project with Dr Nick Morgan, Simon Philpot and Philippa Page at Newcastle University which seeks to explore through film reception studies the post-conflict imaginaries of six countries, including Chile and Colombia.
In addition to my role at Durham, I have also taught at Texas A&M University (from 2010-14 as a Teaching Assistant) and at Newcastle University (from 2015-16 as a Teaching Fellow), where I have taught on Spanish language, contemporary Mexican cinema, Third cinema, the Latin American short story, Cultural Studies theory and Andean Cultural Studies. I also served as an editor of the online journal Política Común between 2010-2012, now housed with the University of Michigan.
- 2016 '(Post)hegemony and the Promise of Populism: Reflections on the Politics of Our Times', Política Común 10.
- 2015 'Can the state learn to live well? Álvaro García Linera as an intellectual of the state and interpreter of history', Culture, Theory and Critique 56, pp. 283-296
- 2015 'Mapping the Glocal and Deciphering the Asymmetry of Economies of Code in Giacomo Marramao’s The Passage West', Política Común 8.