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

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Associate Professor / Director of PG Education 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 f.j.adrian@durham.ac.uk)

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.

Curatorial Work

27 June and 3, 11, 17 and 25 July 2019. Curated a series of screenings and related activities, Gonzalo González: desplazamientos, aperturas, miradas desde el cine, at TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes contemporary arts centre, Canary Islands, Spain, 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.

Research Projects

Since October 2016 I am a CI (Co-Investigator) for the AHRC four-year Open World Research Initiative (OWRI), a 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).

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.

Teaching and Postgraduate 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 MA in Visual Culture I convene Transnational Cinema and co-convene Visual Modernities.

I am happy to review and support applications from potential MA (Research), PhD and Postdoctoral students; and available to supervise postgraduate work on a range of aspects of Caribbean and Latin American literature, cinema and visual culture.

Research Interests

  • Avant-Garde, Surrealism and Modernist Studies
  • Caribbean and Atlantic Studies
  • Cinema and Visual Culture
  • 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.

Chapter in book

Edited Journal

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