I am a Lecturer in Spanish and Latin American Studies in the Division of Literature and Languages. Broadly speaking, I am interested in Iberian experiences of modernity and colonialism from the perspective of cultural studies and critical theory, especially where these questions intersect with notions of class, race and gender.
Currently, my research follows two separate but interconnected lines of investigation. The first concerns the study of cultural production from actors of indigenous descent over the last fifty years, drawing attention to how some writers have contributed to the process of redefining ideas of indigeneity and subsequently making certain issues visible in the public sphere. My previous project focused on how indigenous activist writers in the Bolivian highlands reinscribed senses of indigenous belonging in the country in order to create a new critical vocabulary around issues of indigeneity which were also a recycling of older, hegemonic imaginaries of race. The project sought to show the influence of earlier indigenous activists on current discourses around ‘indigeneity’ in Bolivia, particularly influential in the context of the current pro-indigenous government and the so-called ‘process of change’ and ‘decolonization’ in the country. More recently, I have begun to work on a comparative study of indigenous media across different centres of production throughout the region, focusing on the question of the political significance of how such practices mediate and make visible issues of indigenous rights. As part of this project, I also hope to engage with intercultural approaches to understanding the ecological impact of climate change, focusing on how indigenous media gives us insights into relationships between humans and non-humans beyond the nature-culture divide.
The second line of investigation that characterizes my research involves an engagement with the intellectual history of Latin America, particularly in relation to the political and material consequences of that history. Other publications that have explored these themes include a study of the notions of ‘barbarism’ and ‘modernismo’ in Latin American intellectual thought and of recent debates around populism in the work of Ernesto Laclau and its influence in both Bolivia and Spain.
I am also more generally interested in the cultural history of Spain and Latin America and have published studies on both film and literature.
I have research interests in critical race and indigenous studies, critical and political theory (especially deconstruction, psychoanalysis and Marxism), the intellectual history of Latin America, and any study of cultural texts analysed from the perspective of those questions.
Baker P, Pareja R, Geddes M, Lagos F & Feldman I (eds.) (2019) Latin American Marxisms in Context: Past and Present. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars. https://www.cambridgescholars.com/latin-american-marxisms-in-context
Muñoz G & Baker P (2018) Reflexión infrapolítica y democracia: una introducción. Pensamiento al Margen, Especial, Art. No.: 1. https://pensamientoalmargen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Reflexi%C3%B3n-infrapol%C3%ADtica-y-democracia.pdf
Baker P (2018) An Infantile Witness in the New Bolivia: Juan Carlos Valdivia's 'Zona sur'. In: Page P, Selimovic I & Sutherland C (eds.) The Feeling Child: Politics, Childhood and Affect in Contemporary Latin American Literature and Film. 1st ed. Children and Youth in Popular Culture. Maryland: Lexington Books, pp. 97-124. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498574419/The-Feeling-Child-Affect-and-Politics-in-Latin-American-Literature-and-Film
Baker P (2016) Modernismo. In: Ray S, Schwarz H, Villacañas BJ, Moreiras A & Shemak A (eds.) Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. https://www.wiley.com/en-us/The+Encyclopedia+of+Postcolonial+Studies-p-9781444334982
Baker P (2016) Nelson Pereira dos Santos. In: Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. London: Routledge. https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/pereira-dos-santos-nelson-1928; https://doi.org/10.4324/9781135000356-REM341-1
Baker P (2015) Can the State Learn to Live Well? Alvaro Garcia Linera as an Intellectual of the State and Interpreter of History. Culture, Theory and Critique, 56 (3), pp. 283-296. https://doi.org/10.1080/14735784.2015.1012684