Alejandro Mejías-López

Alejandro Mejías-López

Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1995
  • M.A., University of Michigan, 1992
  • B.A., Universidad de Sevilla, 1990


  • Cultural Studies
  • Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • West European Studies

About Alejandro Mejías-López

My research combines Latin American and Transatlantic Studies and seeks new ways to approach the study of modernism and modernity in Spanish America, Spain, and Western culture more broadly. I have published on modernismo, modernist fiction, and the imperial legacies of Hispanism. In my book The Inverted Conquest: The Myth of Modernity and the Transatlantic Onset of Modernism (Vanderbilt UP 2010), I questioned the neo/post-colonial theoretical frameworks that have sustained Latin American studies for decades and showed how a transatlantic approach can help us recognize modernismos radical modernity and its multilayered relationship with both western and global modernisms and modernities.

My current book project significantly expands on this line of research and aims to challenge standard views of Hispanic literary and cultural history. Focusing on evolving concepts of cosmopolitanism, empire, and nation, among others, I posit that Spanish American letters, from Inca Garcilaso to Rubén Darío to the post-boom, have been a constant modernizing force in Spanish Peninsular literary culture, a force, however, consistently unrecognized by nationalist, postcolonial, and post-imperial critical traditions. From within the fields of Latin American and Transatlantic studies, my research remains critical of a practice of transatlanticism that leaves traditional power structures in place.

I regularly teach undergraduate courses on Spanish American literatures and cultures, as well as introductory courses in Hispanic cultural history and Hispanic literatures. I strive to foster in my students an aesthetic, cultural, and critical appreciation of Hispanic literatures and cultures and to help them improve cultural and linguistic competency, critical skills, and modes of expression that will enhance both their personal and professional lives. At the graduate level, I typically teach the Introduction to 19th-Century Spanish American literature as well as more specialized courses and seminars on topics such as modernism, modernity, postcoloniality, transatlanticism, cosmopolitanism, and emerging theories of world literature. I encourage graduates to sharpen their reading and analytical skills, write clearly, construct original arguments, and think against the grain as essential tools for their future as researchers, teachers, or in other career paths.


  • 19th-and early 20th-century Latin American literature
  • Hispanic modernismo
  • Transnational modernism(s)/modernities
  • Transatlantic Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Gender and sexuality

Selected publications

  • Contemporary Colonialities in Mexico and Beyond. Co-authored with Kathleen Myers, Beth Boyd, Pablo Garcia, Cara Kinnally. University of Toronto Press. 2024.
  • “On Bad Education and Growing Flowers: Colonial/Imperial Legacies in Arturo Pérez Reverte, Pedro Almodóvar and Manolo Caro”. K. Myers, B. Boyd, P. García, C. Kinnaly and A. Mejías-López. Contemporary Colonialities: México and Beyond. University of Toronto Press, 2024: 207-266.
  • “Judío, gitano, nómada y queer: sexualidad, nacionalismo y flamenquismo en Pasión y muerte del cura Deusto de Augusto D’Halmar”. Augusto D’Halmar. Pasión y muerte del cura Deusto. Ed. Daniel Balderston and Daniela Buksdorf. Santiago: Biblioteca Chilena, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, 2023: 349-371.
  • “Decentering Primitivism: Latin America, Cultural Authority, and the Modernist Writing of the European Primitive”. The Primitive Imaginary in Iberian and Transatlantic Modernisms. Eds Joanna Cunha Leal and Mariana Pinto dos Santos. Routledge, 2023: 13-28.
  • “Hispanic Studies and the Legacy of Empire.”  Empire’s End: Transnational Connections in the Hispanic World, 1808-1898. Co-edited by Akiko Tsuchiya and William Acree. Nashville, TN, Vanderbilt U.P., 2016. 204-221.
  • “Modernism(o) y modernidad desde América Latina: una posible lectura a la inversa” Nuevos mapas de las vanguardias: Miradas desde (o hacia) América Latina. Co-edited by Emilio Irigoyen and Georgina Torello.  Montevideo: Universidad de la República, 2015. 23-44.
  • The Inverted Conquest:  The Myth of Modernity and the Transatlantic Onset of Modernism. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2010.
  • Reviews: Hispanic Review, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, Revista Iberoamericana, Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea, Hispania, Hispanófila, Colorado Review of Hispanic Studies, A contracorriente, Transmodernity, Romanistisches Jahrbuch, Choice.
  • Modernismo’s Inverted Conquest and the Ruins of Imperial Nostalgia:  Rethinking the Hispanic Atlantic in Contemporary Critical Discourse.” Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies 12 (2008): 7-29
  • “El perpetuo deseo:  esquizofrenia y nomadismo narrativo en De sobremesa de José Asunción Silva.”  Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos  31.2 (Winter 2007): 337-358.
  •  “Reframing Sodom:  Sexuality, Nation and Difference in Hernández Catá’s El Ángel de Sodoma.”  Ciberletras 16 (January 2007).
  •  “Textualidad y sexualidad en la construcción de la selva: genealogías discursivas en La vorágine de Rivera.”  Modern Languages Notes  121.2 (2006):  367-90.
  • “ ‘Conocer y ser conocido’:  Identidad cultural, mercado y discursos globales en tres revistas latinoamericanas de entre siglos.”  Revista Iberoamericana  LXXII  214 (enero-marzo 2006):  139-53.
  • “(Re)imagining Bolívar.”  A contracorriente. A Journal on Social History and Literature in Latin America  2.3 (Spring 2005):  147-60.
  •  “José Asunción Silva.”  Dictionary of Literary Biography: Modern Spanish American Poets.  Ed. María A. Salgado.  Columbia, SC:  Bruccoli Clark Layman, 2003.  327-35.
  • “Juan Ramón Jiménez y la transgresión modernista:  reflexiones críticas a propósito de sus ‘cuentos’.”  Unidad  III (2001):  115-27.
  • “Del ‘Problema de España’ a la ‘aldea global’:  Modernismo y 98 a un siglo de distancia.”  El 98 se pasea por el callejón del Gato. Proceso a una generación.  Eds.  Pedro Guerrero and José Belmonte.  Alicante, Spain:  Editorial Aguaclara, 1999.  21-32.


  • Modernismo and Vanguardia Beyond Latin America: Global Modernisms, Transatlantic studies, and World Literature.
  • Modernismo, 1880-1930.
  • SPAN 668:  Postcolonial Moves:  Spanish American Literature and the Hispanic Atlantic.
  • LTAM526/SPAN695/CULS701:  Local/Global:  The Politics of Knowledge and Space in Contemporary Latin American Literature and Culture.
  • SPAN 670:  Civilization/Barbarism?  Modernity, Modernization and Periphery in 19th century Spanish American Fiction.
  • SPAN 668:  19th-Century Spanish American Women Writers.
  • SPAN 568:  19th-and Early 20th-Century Spanish American Literature.
  • SPAN 474/498:  Hispanic Literature and Society: Writing (in) the city:  contemporary literature and urban space in Latin America and Spain.
  • SPAN 471:  Spanish American Literature I (Colonial & 19th century)
  • SPAN 420:  Modern Spanish American Prose Fiction:  Narrating Modernity in Latin America.
  • SPAN 411:  Spain:  The Cultural Context.
  • SPAN 332:  The Hispanic World II (Peninsular literature)
  • SPAN 331:  The Hispanic World I (Spanish American literature)
  • SPAN 310:  Advanced Grammar and Composition
  • COLL S104:  Freshman Seminar.  Un/Familiar Representations:  Thinking Hispanic Culture through Family in Literature, Film, and Art.

Honors & Awards

  • Research Fellowship. College Arts and Humanities Institute. Indiana University. 2014.
  • New Frontiers Exploratory Travel Grant. Office of the Vice President for Research. Indiana University. 2013.
  • Outstanding Mentor Award. Graduate Student Advisory Committee.  Indiana University. 2006-07.
  • President’s Arts and Humanities Initiative Research Grant. Indiana University. Fall 2004.

Current research projects

  • Re-discovering America: Postcoloniality, Literary Authority, and the Untold History of Transatlantic Relations.
  • Global Fictions: Modernismo and the Novel in Spanish America (1880-1930).  (Nearing completion)