Vanessa Gubbins

Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies


Vanessa Gubbins is Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies in the Department of Romance Studies. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University. She writes and teaches about Latin American literature of the Andean Region and the Southern Cone, poetics and poetologies, critical theory and critical theory in the Global South, Andean and European philosophies, Marxism, psychoanalysis, feminist theories, and Third Cinema.

Prof. Gubbins is currently working on a project on critical mediums. Her current book project, The Poem and Social Form: Making a People out of a Poem in Peru and Germany, is part of this larger work. In this book, she studies how the poem can help us both critique dominant forms of societal relations, as well as conceive alternative ones. To do so, she follows a series of nineteenth and twentieth century Latin American and German poets who, during moments of crisis, turned to poems for weapons to critique the nation-state and regenerate democratic social bonds.

Prof. Gubbins is committed to drawing new comparative conversations with Latin America in its many languages and worldviews. She is also a coordinator of the Gender and Feminist Theory working group of the Latin American Interdisciplinary Gender Network (LAIGN). 

Research Focus

  • Poetics & Poetologies
  • Critical Theory/Critical Theory in the Global South
  • Philosophy (European & Andean)
  • Marxism
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Feminist theory
  • Third Cinema


  • “Hölderlin’s Dionysiac Foundations: Translation and the Communal Politics of (Un)natural Mothers.” Modern Language Notes (MLN), vol.136, no.5, December 2021. 
  • “Salvaje performance, soberana (in)decisión. Leyendo República salvaje de Jacques Lezra.” Res Pública, vol. 25, no.1, 2022. 
  • “General Strike: Feminist Performance?” Forthcoming in Bodies on the Front Lines: Performance, Gender, and Sexuality in Latin America and the Caribbean, edited by Brenda Werth and Katherine Zien, University of Michigan Press. 

In the news

SPAN Courses - Spring 2024

SPAN Courses - Fall 2024