2016 - 2017 PILAS Committee


Lourdes Parra Lazcano | mllpl@leeds.ac.uk
PhD in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at the University of Leeds.

My PhD research analyses transcultural performativities in the discourse of Mexican women travel writers in the XX century. While completing my doctoral degree, I founded and am co-directing Women's Paths: Rewriting Physical and Discursive Borders, a research group about women's writing around the world that has the sponsorship of the Leeds Research Humanities Institute (2015-2016).

I studied Communication Studies at undergraduate (2004-2008) and postgraduate level (2010-2012) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) with a research stay at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands (2011-2012). Furthermore, I continued my postgraduate education at the University of Groningen and University of Göttingen, Germany, where I took a double degree to obtain a Master in Arts (2012-2014). While studying and afterwards, I worked as a research assistant, teacher and seminar/workshop facilitator in different institutions such as the UNAM, and other civil and political organizations.


Jesús Sanjurjo | hy13jsr@leeds.ac.uk
PhD in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at the University of Leeds, UK.

Jesús studied History at undergraduate level at the University of Oviedo, Spain (2009-2013), and he continued his postgraduate education at the University of Leeds where he took an MA in 'Race and Resistance' (2013-2014). He worked as production assistant for the online journal Periodismo Humano and was member of the US Embassy Youth Council of Spain at the United States Embassy in Spain. He has been awarded an AHRC-WRoCAH Doctoral Studentship to support his PhD studies at the University of Leeds. He currently co-directs the LHRI Research Group Ideas and Identities in the Atlantic World, c.1500-c.1900.


Valentina Caruso | vcaruso2@sheffield.ac.uk
PhD in Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Following her BA in Foreign Languages at the University of Roma Tre and an MA in Translation Studies at the University of Rome La Sapienza, Valentina has pursued an MA in Latin American Studies at the University of Seville. In 2010, she secured a scholarship to investigate Carlos Pellicer’s poetry at UNAM in Mexico City. She is currently a third-year PhD student in Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield. She has been awarded a Faculty scholarship to support her PhD. Her research deals with Latin American novels whose principal context is the mining industry. Besides her academic achievements; she works as a Spanish Associate Tutor and as a Translation Tutor at the University of Sheffield.


Peter Watson | pete231176@hotmail.com
PhD in Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Peter originally studied Iberian and Latin American Studies at the University of Southampton, and after completing a PGCE at the University of Bristol, he taught Spanish at two English boarding schools for 14 years, and was Head of Spanish in both. He returned to study an MA in Latin American Studies at the University of Sheffield in 2014, and in September 2016 he will start a PhD having earned a faculty scholarship. His research deals with the use of football by the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the construction of nation and colombianidad. Pete has published a number of A level and IB Spanish resources and also coaches the University of Sheffield cricket teams.

Past Committees


President: Laura S. Sariego-Kluge; Vice-President: Diana Morales-Arcila; Treasurer: HéctorBezares-Buenrostro; Secretary & Communications Officer: Ivone Campos-Luna; Communications Officer: Jorge Altamirano-Flores


Co-Chairs: Megan Ryburn and Rachel Randall, Vice-Chair: Esther Ojulari, Secretary: Natalie Hoskin, Treasurer: Pablo Torres, Conference Team: Emily Baker


President: Jose Angel Garcia, Secretary: Christian Beyle, Treasurer: Ramón I. Centeno, Communications Officer: Marcia A. Vera Espinoza, Webmaster/developer: Jennifer Nelson.


President: Sarah Parry, Secretary: Jenny Wattrus, Web Officer: Rachael Boothroyd, Communication Officer: Benjamin Inman.


President: María Mancilla García, Secretary: Claudia Contreras Rojas, Treasurer: Patricia Espinoza, Website Editor: Gisela Robles Aguilar, Network Developer: Cintia Kulzer Sacilotto, Communications Officer:Ivan González de Alba, Social Events Officer: Carmen Contreras Romero, Panel Organizer: Annette Idler


The 2010-2011 PILAS Committee was based at the University of Cambridge. Andrew Tillman and Catriona McAllister served as Co-Presidents with the following committee members: Lucy Bell (Secretary), Stella Krepp (Treasurer), Katy Critchfield and Joey Whitfield (Social Events), and Juan Pablo Scarfi (Keynote Organiser). Cara Levey of the University of Leeds undertook the advisory role of Past President. An outline of the year’s events can be found in the 2010-2011 Annual Report.


The 2009-2010 PILAS Committee was based at the University of Manchester, and also included members from other universities in the region. In December, after the resignation of the elected President due to unforeseen personal circumstances, Cara Levey (Secretary, University of Leeds) and Chandra Morrison (Past President, University of Cambridge) acted as Co-Presidents for the remainder of the academic year. Susanne Hofmann and Ainhoa Montoya served as Conference Coordinators at the University of Manchester, leading the Manchester team which included Rachel Wilde (Treasurer); Logistics Team: Carolina Corral, Kirsten Howarth, Pablo Jaramillo, Siobhan McGrath, Jessica Pineda Zumarán, Germán C. Prieto, Giulia Sirigu; Programme Management: Ania Kowalczyk, Robin de la Motte; Social Events: Félix Aponte González, Alex Flynn, George Oliveira Bentley, Patrick O’Shea, Hugo Romero, Jacqueline Romo, María Ximena Sanclemente. A review of the year’s events is outlined in the 2009-2010 Annual Report.


The 2008-2009 PILAS Committee was based at the University of Cambridge, and comprised of the following members: Chandra Morrison (President), Jordana Blejmar (Secretary), Matthew Butler (Conference Secretary), Stefanie Gänger, Carrie Gibson, Natalie Krol, and Joanna McGarry. All committee members were PhD students in either the Centre of Latin American Studies (CLAS) or the Department of History. The year’s PILAS activities are summarised in the 2008-2009 Annual Report.


The 2006-2007 PILAS Committee was based at the University of Liverpool, and consisted of the following members: Daniel Huerta Conde (President), Violeta Mayer (Secretary), Heinrich Kramarski, Gregorio Perez, Helen Porter, and Katinka Weber.

Long-Term Development Initiatives

Each year, the PILAS Committee undertakes at least one long-term development initiative, so as to continue improving PILAS as a useful resource for our postgraduate community! Below are some of the projects carried out by past Committees: 

2013-14 – Developed an ‘Experts Directory’ to facilitate communication and enhance research networks between members of PILAS.

2010-11 – Introduced a third annual event for PILAS members, PILAS @ The British Library, to provide further information about research resources and an additional opportunity for PILAS members to meet. Wrote ‘The Rough Guide to PILAS’, a detailed document about the running of PILAS for future committees, to improve continuity from year to year. Set up the PILAS twitter account.

2009-2010 – Expanded the website content, including the addition of downloadable ‘Research Resources’ documents accessible via the website; and reinitiated the use of the PILAS JISCMail forum, in efforts to improve networking and dissemination of information among postgraduates.

2008-2009 – Developed the permanent website and email account, in an effort to create a stable base for PILAS as an institution and to maintain continuity between committees.