Dr Sheldon Penn

Associate Professor in Latin American Studies

School/Department: Arts, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2666



I am Associate Professor in Latin American Studies specialising in twentieth-century Mexican and Latin American literature and cultural thought. I also work on Mexican film and the cinema of Luis Buñuel. I have published in all of these areas in leading peer-reviewed journals and have a monograph on Carlos Fuentes's landmark novel Terra nostra.

I am a recent holder of the Leverhulme Fellowship ‘Mexican Time and Identity: Bergson and Bergsonism in Literature and Film’ and am completing a monograph of that same title for Liverpool University Press.

I began my teaching career at the University of Birmingham where I studied for my PhD. I now teach specialist modules on Latin American 'Boom' literature and the cinema of Luis Buñuel contemporary Mexican film and culture and identity on the U.S./Mexican Border. Recent administration includes Section Coordinator for Spanish, Co-Director of Modern Languages and Co-Director of Education for the School of Arts. I have also held the roles of Examinations Officer and Year Abroad Coordinator in the School. 


I have published in leading peer-reviewed journals in my field and have a monograph on Carlos Fuentes's landmark novel Terra Nostra (Mellen 2003). I am now completing the monograph ‘Mexican Time and Identity: Bergson and Bergsonism in Literature and Film’ for Liverpool University Press and was recipient of a Leverhulme Fellowship Award of £42395 for that project in 2018. I also have a forthcoming chapter on the Mexican film director Carlos Reygadas with Edinburgh U.P. After completing the L.U.P. monograph my next project is to work on contemporary Mexican fiction with the aim of building a UK research network for scholars and invited writers. Alongside academic publications this project will involve outreach work to raise the profile of Mexican culture and writing in the UK and particularly among young students of languages and cultures.



Mexican Time and Identity: Bergson and Bergsonism in Literature and Film (L.U.P)
'Naturalism and Spirit in the Films of Carlos Reygadas: Towards a Mobile Consciousness', in The Films of Carlos Reygadas (ReFocus, Edinburgh U.P.)


Carlos Fuentesâ Terra nostra and the Kabbalah: The Recreation of the Hispanic World (Lewiston, N.Y; Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 2003), 300pp

Selected Articles and Chapters

The gaze and the Virgin: Marian dimensions of Luis Buñuel's Viridiana', Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies, 2/2 (2018), pp. 215-240
'VisiÃn de Anáhuac (1519) as Virtual Image: Alfonso Reyes's Bergsonian Aesthetic of Creative Evolution', Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, 21/2 (2015), pp. 127 - 146
'On a Road to Nowhere: Parodic Movement as Time-Image in La Voie lactÃe and Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie', in Rob Stone and Julián Daniel GutiÃrrez Albilla (eds), A Companion to Luis BuÃuel, (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), pp.457 -478
'The Time-Image in Carlos Reygadas' Stellet Licht: A Cinema of Immanence', Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 90/7 (2013), pp. 1159 - 1181
Oneiric Landscapes of Creation: Visions of Life and Death in Josà Gorostizaâs Muerte sin fin, Romance Studies, 29/4 (2011), pp. 255-68
Matter, Memory and Pre-Hispanic Myth: The Poetry of Bernardo Ortiz de Montellano, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 88/6, (September 2011), pp. 665-76
'Lacanian Textuality in Carlos Fuentes Aura and Henry James The Turn of the Screw', Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 83/4, (July 2006), pp. 385-400
'From L'Âge d'or to El día de la Bestia: Between the Ideal and the Unspeakable', Tesserae: Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, 11/1, (April 2005), pp. 25-37


I would welcome enquiries from students interested in doctoral research in any of the following areas: Twentieth-century and contemporary Mexican literature Mexican and Latin American film The cinema of Luis Buñuel The cultural theory of Mexican and Latin American modernity. Theology and the esoteric in Mexican and Latin American literature The application of philosophy and critical theory in Mexican and Latin American literature and film Surrealism in Mexico and Latin America.


Current and Recent Teaching SP1022: Introduction to Spanish and Latin American Studies SP1031: Latin American Literature and Film SP2022: The Mexico-U.S. Border: History and Culture SP2035: Contemporary Mexican Cinema SP3010/3011: Translation from Spanish to English SP3134: Boom Literature: Language and Creation SP3145: The Cinema of Luis Buñuel HA7203: Textual Analysis (MA) HA7206: National Film and Film Cultures ML1006: Language and Society.

Press and media

Mexican and Latin American culture and thought Mexican and Latin American Literature Mexican and Latin American cinema Continental philosophy Latin American philosophy Esotericism and mysticism in Mexico and Latin America.


University Distinguished Teaching Fellow, 2021


Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

BA Hispanic Studies University of Nottingham

MA Critical Theory University of Nottingham

PhD Hispanic Studies University of Birmingham

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