Dr Ross Woods

I am a Lecturer in the Spanish Programme of the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC). Having completed my PhD at University College Dublin in 2008 I spent two years as Assistant Lecturer at the Dublin Institute ‌of ‌Technology before my appointment at Victoria University of Wellington at the beginning of 2010.

My early research centred on post-Civil War Spanish literature, with a particular focus on the theme of memory in the poetry of José Manuel Caballero Bonald. At present my research has an interdisciplinary focus, encompassing diverse fields such as Spanish peninsular studies, cultural theory and comparative literary studies. Following this, I co-edited a collection of essays on the post-war Spanish novel, which demonstrated that novels of this period
Current Research Projects

My most recent research examines the reception of Spanish author Antonio Muñoz Molina’s ‘novel’, Los misterios de Madrid (1992). Despite being considered one of Muñoz Molina’s minor works, this short text has attracted significant attention from scholars. This research reflects on these studies, arguing that certain paratextual markers condition critical approaches to the novel. It outlines, with reference to the Spanish literary context, the importance of extratextual signifiers as signposts of interpretation; these include the title of a work, its author, and, most importantly, the genre assigned to a work. Drawing on a number of theorists, most importantly Gerard Genette, the article argues that many readings of Los misterios de Madrid rely heavily on arbitrary genre categorizations as the starting point for interpretation. Ultimately, it questions the value of an interpretative process which ignores intentionality in favour of extratextual literary and cultural factors.

In the longer term I am working on a research project in collaboration with Dr Marco Sonzogni of Victoria University, ‘A Case Study in Transnational European poetry’, which focuses on contemporary poetry written in Spanish and Italian. Specifically, my research concentrates on a selection of contemporary Spanish poets: two resident in Spain (Antonio Lucas and Raquel Lanseros); and two resident overseas (Ana Merino and Fernando Valverde). The aim of this proposed comparative study is to identify what Jahan Ramazani refers to as “specific poetic devices” that “enable extraterritorial imaginative travel” in order to establish “poetics of transnational identity” in contemporary Spanish poetry.