Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Joey Whitfield

Dr Joey Whitfield

Uwch-ddarlithydd mewn Astudiaethau Sbaenaidd

Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


My research and teaching is on 20th and 21st century Latin American literature and film. Most of my work is about the relationship between culture, crime and punishment. My first book is a study of Latin American prison writing which compares texts written by 'political' and 'criminal' prisoners from Cuba, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Brazil. I am now working on a second book on the cultural politics of the 'War on Drugs'.

I am also interested in translation, particularly of non-traditional literatures such as prisoner writing, testimonial texts and creative writing by anarchists. My translation of José Luis Zárate's story 'Fences' was recently published in the anthology of Latin American speculative fiction, A Larger Reality: Speculative Fiction from the Bicultural Margins / Una realidad más amplia: Historias desde la periferia bicultural ­­­– which was part of the Hugo nominated Mexicanx initiative.

I recently co-edited Unlocked a collection of writing by men imprisoned in HMP Nottingham.


I came to Cardiff in September 2017. Before moving to Wales I worked for three years at the University of Leeds, first as a Teaching Fellow in Latin American Studies and then as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. I wrote my PhD at the Centre of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge.

I have spent time living in Peru and I studied for part of my undergraduate degree at the University of Havana.

Anrhydeddau a Dyfarniadau

  • Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2015-2018)

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

  • Latin American Studies Association
  • Society of Latin American Studies
  • Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Cuba Forum
  • Inside Out Network, UK

Safleoedd academaidd blaenorol

  • 2017-present: Research Fellow, Cardiff University
  • 2015-2017: Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Leeds
  • 2014-2015: Teaching Fellow, University of Leeds

Ymrwymiadau siarad cyhoeddus

Since 2015


  • 'The Cultural Politics of the "War on Drugs" in Latin America: Prohibition and Beyond' (Invited Talk), Cardiff University
  • 'Carnivals of death: Mapa Teatro’s Los incontados’, American Comparative Literature Association, Utrecht
  • ‘The criminal is political: the politics of Brazilian drug gangs on film’, Latin American Studies Association, Lima
  • ‘Sobriety and intoxication in Borracho estaba, pero me acuerdo by Víctor Hugo Viscarra and Opio en las nubes by Rafael Chaparro Madiedo’, Society for Latin American Studies, Glasgow


  • ‘Crimes too big to solve: the war on drugs in Latin American fiction’, Captivating Criminality: Crime Fiction, Felony, Fear and Forensics, Bath Spa
  • ‘Natural highs: hallucinogens and the posthuman in El abrazo de la serpiente’, Eco- criticism in Times of Crisis: Nature, Capital and Culture in the Hispanic and Lusophone Worlds, Leeds
  • ‘What’s anarchic about anarchist writing? Some examples from Latin America’, Latin American Studies Association, New York


  • ‘Female masculinity vs the kyriarchy: cultural resistance to femicide’, Provocaciones, Trinity College, Cambridge
  • ‘“Mi ética es la estética”: Biófilo Panclasta and “anarchist” writing’, Society of Latin American Studies, Aberdeen

Pwyllgorau ac adolygu

I have reviewed articles for:

  • Bulletin of Hispanic Studies
  • Theoretical Criminology
  • Crime, Media, Culture
  • Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies
  • Modern Languages Review










I lead a research-led module called 'Crime and Punishment in Contemporary Latin America', I contribute to 'Culture, Protest and Dissent in the 1960s', transnational modules, to the MA in Global Culture as well as teaching translation into English. I have taught several Inside Out modules in HMP Cardiff and I am working for these to become fully accredited.

Most of my research uses literary and cultural studies to investigate questions around crime, justice and the state in 20th century and 21st century Latin America. My first book, Prison Writing of Latin America, is a comparative study of Latin American prison writing from Cuba, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Brazil.

My second major project is a Leverhulme funded study titled Beyond the Narcos: the cultural politics of the 'War on Drugs'. It looks at how different parts of the culture industry have represented this conflict in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.

With Lucy Bell from the University of Surrey I am currently working on the AHRC funded project, Prisoner Publishing, which promotes cartonera publishing in prisons in Mexico and the UK.

I have also published articles on the Cuban involvement in the Angolan Civil War and in the field of theoretical criminology.


I welcome research students in any area of Latin American or Hispanic Cultural Studies, particularly those interested in pursuing research in the following areas:

  • prisons
  • crime
  • the 'War on Drugs'
  • cultural criminology
  • testimonial and other forms of non-canonical literature
  • non-state based forms of justice

Goruchwyliaeth gyfredol

Javier Cortés Ortuño

Javier Cortés Ortuño

Research student


Katherine Pickering

Research student

Past projects