Lecturer, Spanish and Translation Studies, University of Surrey

Latin American studies
European literature and philosophy
Cultural theory
Literary criticism
Intermediality and intersemiosis
Science and technology studies

Journal articles

Bell LAJ. (2012) 'The Death of the Storyteller and the Poetics of (Un)Containment: Juan Rulfo’s El llano en llamas'. Modern Humanities Research Association The Modern Language Review, 107 (3), pp. 815-836.
doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.107.3.0815
Full text is available at: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/761384/
Critics have often read Juan Rulfo's El Llano en llamas (1953) as a return to the oral storytelling tradition. My contention, however, is that his short stories constitute an eminently modern break from cultural, narrative tradition—or what Ángel Rama has termed transculturation. I first explore how the death of the storyteller, prophesied by Walter Benjamin (1936), is staged within Rulfo's stories; and second, how Rulfo uses fragmentation as a literary device, which in turn potentiates further transculturative processes. I argue that it is in the ruins of traditional narrative that new meanings, stories, and relations emerge.

Bell LAJ. (2011) 'Between Ethics and Aesthetics: the Residual in Samuel Beckett's Minimalism'. Edinburgh University Press The Journal of Beckett Studies, 20 (1), pp. 32-53.
doi: 10.3366/jobs.2011.0004
Full text is available at: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/761437/
This article offers a comparative analysis of 1960s minimalism in visual art (Robert Morris and Richard Tuttle) and music (Philip Glass and Steve Reich) on the one hand, and Samuel Beckett’s prose texts Têtes-mortes (1967) and ‘Sans’ (1969) on the other, allowing for a rethinking of Beckett’s later aesthetics. Taking into account a lesser-known study of Beckett by Adorno and tying this in with the more famous theories of Maurice Blanchot, Alain Badiou and Jacques Derrida, the ethical dimension of minimalism is brought to the fore in order to shed new light on an art movement which has often been deemed to be a dead-end in art history. In particular, the article seeks to explore Beckett’s ethics of the minimal residue as a response to the catastrophe of the Holocaust, and as a consequent form of resistance to incorporation, appropriation and annihilation.

Bell LAJ. (2011) 'Articulations of the Real: from Lacan to Badiou'. Edinburgh University Press Paragraph: a journal of modern critical theory, UK: 34 (1), pp. 105-120.
doi: 10.3366/para.2011.0008
Full text is available at: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/763428/
This article gives a comparative analysis of the way in which Lacanian psychoanalysis and Alain Badiou’s mathematical ontology understand the category of the real, respectively, as the foundation of individual subjectivity or the name of being-as-being. A number of shifts in focus arise from the fundamental difference in the location of the void: from the individual act to the collective event; from death drive to immortal truth; from subjective destitution and cathartic purification to transformative interventions and constitutive thought. These shifts are exemplified, elaborated and analysed through a close reading of the thinkers’ respective commentaries on Sophocles’ Antigone. Foregrounding what is philosophically at stake in these differences, the article defends Badiou against Lacanian critics (most notably Slavoj Žižek and Eleanor Kaufman) by examining the ethical and political force of his innovation.

Spanish language; Spanish-English translation; Contemporary Spain; Arts in the Spanish-Speaking World


  • –present
    Lecturer in Spanish and Translation Studies, University of Surrey