Dr Emma Staniland

Dr Emma StanilandTeaching Fellow in Spanish

BA (Hons) French and Spanish (Leicester); MA (Leicester); PhD (Leicester), FHEA

Contact Details

  • Email: els15@le.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2689
  • Office: 1214
  • Subject: Spanish

Research Summary

Dr Staniland completed her PhD thesis in 2010 and published her monograph, entitled Gender & the Self in Latin American Literature, in November 2015, as part of the Routledge series 'Transnational Perspectives on American Literature'. Her book explores six texts from across Spanish America in which the coming-of-age story ('Bildungsroman') offers a framework for the critique of gendered selfhood as experienced in the region’s socio-cultural contexts. Looking at a range of novels from the late twentieth century, it examines a triad of thematic concerns in terms of their role in elucidating a literary journey towards agency: that is, towards the articulation of a socially and personally viable female gendered identity, mindful of both the hegemonic discourses that constrain it, and the possibility of their deconstruction and reconfiguration. Myth, exile and the female body are taken as the three central themes for understanding the personal, social and political aims of the Post-Boom women writers whose work is explored in this volume: Isabel Allende (Chile), Laura Esquivel (Mexico), Ángeles Mastretta (Mexico), Sylvia Molloy (Argentina), Cristina Peri Rossi (Uruguay) and Zoé Valdés (Cuba). Their adoption, and adaptation, of an originally eighteenth-century, male-dominated and European literary genre is seen here to reshape the global canon as much as it works to reshape our understanding of gendered identities as socially constructed, culturally contingent, and open-ended.

Dr Staniland's other research interests include Latina literature, with a particular focus on US Latina writers with roots in the Hispanic Caribbean. She is currently working on an Eccles Centre-sponsored project on the Puerto Rican author Esmeralda Santiago.

Teaching and Administration


  • Spanish Language Beginners (module coordinator)
  • Spanish Language Advanced (module coordinator)
  • Introduction to Spanish Literature & Film (module leader)
  • Latin American Society & Culture: South America (module leader)
  • Latino/a Caribbean Literature from the United States (module leader)
  • South American Narratives of Dictatorship & Exile (module leader)
  • Modern & Postmodern World Literature (module coordinator)
  • Gender in the Spanish American Development Novel: Selfhood & Social Agency (module leader)


  • Lead Admissions Tutor for Modern Languages
  • Global Studies Tutor

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