Dr Tara Plunkett

My research focuses on Spanish and Latin American artists’ use of the Surrealist aesthetic in works of self-fashioning. In investigating canonical figures such as Federico García Lorca and Rafael Alberti in tandem with lesser-known painters like Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington, my research traces a chronological and geographical evolution of self-fashioning on the margins of Surrealism. I am particularly interested in the motif of the hybrid body and how it relates to a shifting subjectivity.

As co-editor of Preservation, Radicalism and the Avant-Garde Canon (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) I have also been investigating the ways in which avant-garde cultural production is canonised, classified and curated. In 2014 I curated an exhibition of works by local Irish artists inspired by women of the Spanish and Latin American avant-gardes, Out of the Ordinary: Contemporary Visions of the Avant-Garde at the Naughton Gallery, Belfast.

My teaching has thus far focused on Surrealism in Spanish image and text. I also offer a module on the Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar that is structured around presentations of masculinities, femininities and identities which blur the boundaries between male and female, human and animal. I have also delivered courses on Hispanic Cultures and Societies that introduce students to the link between society and cultural production from youth protest movements in Spain to the Chicano movement in the United States.

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