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Welcome to Professor Gisela Heffes from Rice University, USA

Gisela Heffes 2

4 May 2023

Professor Heffes is a Bristol Benjamin Meaker Distinguished Visiting Professor and will be in Bristol from the 1st May to 30th June.

Professor Heffes is a writer and a Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at Rice University. During her stay she will be working on her research project 'Toxic Matters and Matters of Toxicity in Latin America' which explores the intersections of toxicity and space, time, politics and affect in Latin America through an analysis of literary fiction, poetry, visual art, and other media. It pays close attention to the flow of material contamination and pollution through organic and inorganic bodies, vernacular landscapes, and artworks with a particular focus on the unequal distribution of toxins as they travel through the enmeshed territories of material and discursive worlds, natural and cultural practices, biological, textual, and visual spheres. Some questions to be addressed are: How are the imaginaries of sickness, environmental activism and/or decay informed by the continual increase of toxicity in both urban and rural areas? What are the toxic dimensions and legacy of colonialism, and how does pollution contaminate and differ from one culture to another? How do Latin American writers and artists imagine life and how do they contribute to new understandings and conceptualizations of being biological, both human and non-human alike?

Her host is Dr Paul Merchant in the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies.

More details are available on Professor Heffes' web profile page here. 

Further information

Please email if you have an enquiry about the Bristol Benjamin Meaker Distinguished Visiting Professorships.