PILAS is the postgraduate affiliate of the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS). We are an organisation run by and for postgraduate students. Our committee is a vibrant cohort of postgraduates emanating from a variety of academic disciplines. PILAS is dedicated to fostering interaction among postgraduates working in the field of Latin American Studies at institutions of higher education throughout the United Kingdom, as well as those in Europe and the Americas.

PILAS aims to enhance interdisciplinarity in Latin American Studies through collaborative workshops and panels to encourage the next generation of academics in the social sciences and humanities. As a supportive community for postgraduate students engaged in the study of Latin America and the Caribbean, PILAS seeks to facilitate communication among postgraduates and to provide a forum for students to exchange experiences, seek advice, and share their research.

2018-19 PILAS Committee

Jessica Wax-Edwards

Jessica is a Mexicanist with a particular focus on Mexican visual culture. She recently completed her PhD at Royal Holloway University of London focusing on the visual legacy of Felipe Calderón’s presidency (2006-2012) seen in the rapidly escalating violence of Mexico’s drug war. Jessica currently works as a Teaching Fellow in Hispanic Studies at the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Royal Holloway.

Alex Curry

Alexander is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Latin American Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London. His research focuses on ideas and practices of citizenship in Mexico and Colombia, specifically on what the emergence and development of autodefensas (self-defence groups) reveal about concepts of citizenship, state-society relations, and alternative legal cultures in these countries.

Olgierd Iwanczewski

Olgierd works as a researcher at the Department of History and Civilization at the European University Institute in Florence. He is currently finishing his PhD dissertation on the role of intellectuals and writers of fiction in Argentina and the UK in shaping the cultural memory of the Falklands/Malvinas War of 1982.

Giulia Champion

Giulia’s PhD research at the University of Warwick focuses on Latin American, Caribbean and African postcolonial literature in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese re-writings the “Western Literary Canon” through the technique of “literary cannibalism”, as a way to “bite back” against the metaphorical cannibalism of European and North American colonial and (neo)imperial consumption and exploitation of people and lands. With a focus on race and diaspora studies, environmental studies, memory studies, and decolonial theory.

Matt Barlow

Matt is a PhD candidate at the University of York. His research interests are related to development studies in Latin America. His MA thesis explored the most recent fall in primary commodity prices in Argentina and Bolivia and the effect that this had on welfare policies associated with the neo-structural narrative. Matt’s doctoral research is exploring the role of taxation and tax regimes under the Kirchner premierships and its capacity in underpinning development.

Gabriel Funari

Gabriel obtained a Masters of Philosophy in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge in July 2018. His dissertation traced the history of the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT) in tandem with the consolidation and gradual unweaving of the democratic regime established in 1988. During his masters, Gabriel also conducted a study examining how the securitised neoliberal regime in Brazil is bolstered through the ongoing federal intervention in Rio de Janeiro. His study of the federal intervention will be the basis of his upcoming doctoral project. Gabriel obtained a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Philosophy from American University in May 2016.