Paul Bowker


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Personal profile


Following a four-year period working in the UK, which involved extensive travelling in Spain and a stint teaching English in the Canary Islands, I returned home to New Zealand where I studied Spanish and Latin American Studies at The University of Auckland. With the assistance of doctoral scholarships from the Regueiro-McKelvie Foundation and the Tertiary Education Commission of New Zealand’s Bright Future Top Achiever scheme, I completed my PhD at Auckland in 2010 where I had been teaching Spanish and tutoring in European Studies since 2004. After a fixed-term position as a lecturer in the Spanish Program at Victoria University of Wellington, I joined the Spanish and Latin American Studies Program at Monash in June 2012. 

Research interests

My research interests sit primarily within the emerging field of Transatlantic Studies, or the comparative analysis of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Peninsular and Latin American literatures and the cultural flows between Spain and its former colonies. With a focus on issues relating to travel, migration, immigration, and national and transnational identity formation, I am interested in the dynamics of power inherent in the cultural and intellectual contact between Spain and Latin America and their representations of each other. In addition, my research traces Spain's intellectual, cultural and literary responses to the demise and loss of its empire and how reactions to Spain's post-imperial status are played out in its former colonies.  

At present I am working on revisions of a book project that explores the attempts made by Spanish and Latin American writers and intellectuals to reassess their respective postimperial and postcolonial realities following Spain’s loss of its last colonies in 1898. I trace the ways in which Latin American writers endeavour to imagine from Spain the regeneration of their homelands, and Spanish writers seek answers to their nation’s post-1898 malaise via transnational encounters in Spain’s former colonies. The book considers Spain’s renewed interest in Latin America at a time when the growing threat of United States influence in the region began drawing Latin American intellectuals towards the former imperial centre from where they re-evaluate the cultural significance of Spain for imagining national renewal at home.

Supervision interests

I am willing to supervise projects in the general areas of Spanish and Latin American literature and culture of the nineteeth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. I am particularly interested in issues concerning the impacts of travel, migration, immigration and transnational encounters on subjectivity and for the formation of personal, national and transnational identities within the Spanish-speaking world.    

Supervised Theses

Campion, Patrick. A Chorus of Laughing People: Bakhtin’s Subversive Voices in Tirant lo Blanch. Thesis submitted for the Degree of Master of Arts, Monash University (co-supervisor), 2016.

Ramsbottom, Katie, “An Indigenous Struggle: A Literary Comparison of José María Arguedas and Witi Ihimaera.” Honours Dissertation, Victoria University of Wellington, 2011.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Research area keywords

  • Centenary Generation in Argentina
  • Literary Generation of 1898
  • Hispanism
  • Latin American literature
  • Postcolonial literatures
  • Spanish literature
  • Transatlantic Studies
  • Transnational Identities
  • Travel literature