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Home > Research > Researchers > Amit Thakkar
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Amit Thakkar supervises 1 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Amit Thakkar

Senior Lecturer

Bowland North

Lancaster University

Bailrigg

Lancaster LA1 4YN

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 5 92857

Location: B59, Bowland North

Research overview

I research Spanish and Latin American film and literature. My principal current interest is 'cine de choque', a term I have developed for the analysis of films by Spanish-speaking film directors in which car crashes feature. I have written two articles and I’m now preparing a monograph on this subject. I have co-edited a special issue and published articles on the relationship between masculinities and violence in Latin American film and literature. I have published two articles, a book chapter and a book on the fiction of the Mexican author Juan Rulfo.

PhD supervision

Spanish and Latin American Literature and Film (masculinities, violence, irony,postcolonial theory, revolution).

Current Teaching

  • SPAN100/101 History and Culture of Spain and Spanish America
  • SPAN233 Power and Resistance in Spain and Spanish America
  • SPAN 240 Latin America on Film (1968-2003)
  • DELC364 Latin America and Spain on Film: Masculinities and Violence
  • DELC212 Cinema and Society in Europe and Latin America: Formal and Thematic Perspectives
  • SPAN 301: Final-Year Translation Spanish to English

Research Interests

I research Spanish and Latin American film and literature.

My current interest is 'cine de choque', a term I have used for films by Spanish-speaking film directors in which car crashes feature. The first step is an article on the Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar's 'Abre los ojos', which I have just completed.

I also research the relationship between masculinities and violence in Latin American film. I have a published article on Tomás Gutiérrez Alea's 'Memorias del subdesarrollo' and I am now working on Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'Amores perros'.

I have also published two articles on the fiction of the Mexican author Juan Rulfo, one on the figure of the teacher in the short story 'Luvina' and the other on the priest in the novel 'Pedro Páramo'. I have just completed a book on irony, revolution and postcolonialism in Rulfo's work (currently under review).

I am also working on an article on the application of irony in the Spanish novelist Miguel Delibes' Cinco Horas con Mario.

Current Research

1) MAVLAC (Masculinities and Violence in Latin American Cultures)

I am currently collaborating with Dr Chris Harris of Liverpool University on a cross-institutional project on masculinities and violencein Latin American cultures.

The first stage of the project was a conference in Liverpool's 2008 conference for the Society for Latin American Studies. After a call for papers this year, we published a special edition of the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies in September 2010 (see above for publication details).

There was a symposium in Lancaster on December 10th of the same year and a conference is planned in 2014. The symposium was funded by the Joint Initiative for the Study of Latin America and the Carribean (www.jislac.org.uk).

As a result of that symposium, Dr Harris and myself edited a second special issue with another leading Hispanic Studies journal. It is currently under review.

A MAVLAC website is under construction (http://mavlac.wordpress.com)  and further publications are planned.

2) Car Crashes and the Choque Aesthetic in Spanish and Spanish American Film

I am exploring films in which crashes feature as a pivotal plot device. I am principally interested in films from the mid-1990s to the present as this is a period when such films have become especially prevalent. I have already written two articles: one on Alejandro González Iñárritu's Amores perros (2002), due to be published in 2013 by the Quarterly Review of Film and Video (University of Nebraska) and another on Alejandro Amenábar's Abre los ojos (1997), published in 2011 in New Cinemas (Intellect).

I am particularly interested in the spaces between Freud's dreamwork, Metz's 'filmic state' and Luckhurst's 'aesthetic of trauma'. Within these spaces I argue that there exists a certain aesthetic associated with cine de choque, a category I have created specifically to denote particular characteristics of Spanish-language films in which crashes feature. Having published work on Amores perros and Abre los ojos, I am now turning my attention to a book proposal in which I compare Hispanic takes on the crash motif with Hollywood takes (for example, Changing Lanes (2002), Crash (1996)and Crash (2004)).

3) Juan Rulfo: Literature and Photography

in 2012 I published 'The Fiction of Juan Rulfo: Irony, Revolution and Postcolonialism' with Tamesis (Boydell and Brewer): http://www.tamesisbooks.com/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=13868.

For a decade now, I have been working on the fiction of Juan Rulfo, particularly in the context of irony, revolution and postcolonialism. My work has produced an original concept of irony based on Bakhtin's cetripetal and centrifugal forces. The targets of centripetal irony are encountered 'within' a text. These instances of centripetal irony usually concern a character, a situation or piece of dialogue within the story space. The targets of centrifugal irony are usually located in the social, political and historical contexts of the text (eg. land reform, education policy, caciquismo, the Church etc.). The two types of irony are not mutually exclusive. It may be more helpful to think of them in terms of a continuum. Indeed, they work together in that the apprehension of centripetal irony trains the reader to understand, and indeed seek, centrifugal ironies, particularly those which concern revolutionary rhetoric and the legacy of colony, in the case of Juan Rulfo. This theory is explored in my two articles on Rulfo, as above, and the aforementioned book. I am now working on extending this project to consider poetic evocation in Rulfo's photography. The first step is a talk at the SLAS conference in Manchester in March 2013, followed by an invited talk in Palma (Universitat de les Illes Balears) in May 2013.

I have also produced the first analysis of Rulfo's fiction in light of his thoughts on indigenous peoples, as expressed in several interviews during his period at the Instituto Nacional Indigenista (1962-1986) in 'One Rainy Market Day: Integration and Indigenous Peoples in the Fiction and Thought of Juan Rulfo'. I argue here that, rather than Rulfo's own (unelaborated) concept of inframundo, Guillermo Bonfil Batalla's concepts of México profundo and México imaginario are of most relevance to the one passage in which indigenous characters appear in Rulfo's work. I also discuss Rulfo's notion of 'integración', especially in connection withthe Spanish root word 'íntegro', producing the original argument that Rulfo's'integración' is even further from assimilation than the modern notion of the word usually suggests. It has much more to do with 'wholeness' and therefore integration within one's own community than it has to do with integration within any host community. This book chapter was reviewed by Dr Ciaran Cosgrove, Head of Hispanic Studies at Trinity College Dublin: 'The way in which Rulfo represents indigenous society as a ‘world-in-itself’, co-existing alongside that of the mestizo majority is fascinatingly explored by Thakkar. The market place is the ‘locus’ of fragment 48 of Pedro Páramo, and Thakkar insightfully explores the representation of the market ‘as a site not of interaction but rather one of disconnection’ (200). The essay contains exquisite moments of analysis, for example, of the way rain is textualized in this fragment.’ (Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Volume LXXXVIII, Number 4, 2011, 628).

I have recently written a short piece on Rulfo's life and works: http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=11993(login required)

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