Researchers at UCD

Tara Plunkett

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Languages, Cultures & Linguis
Newman Building
Dublin 4

Tel: X8308


My research focuses on Spanish and Latin American artists' use of the Surrealist aesthetic in works of self-fashioning. In investigating canonical figures such as Federico García Lorca and Rafael Alberti in tandem with lesser-known painters like Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington, my research traces a chronological and geographical evolution of self-fashioning on the margins of Surrealism. I am particularly interested in the motif of the hybrid body and how it relates to a shifting subjectivity.

As co-editor of 
Preservation, Radicalism and the Avant-Garde Canon (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) I have also been investigating the ways in which avant-garde cultural production is canonised, classified and curated. In 2014 I curated an exhibition of works by local Irish artists inspired by women of the Spanish and Latin American avant-gardes, Out of the Ordinary: Contemporary Visions of the Avant-Garde at the Naughton Gallery, Belfast.

My teaching has thus far focused on Surrealism in Spanish image and text. I also offer a module on the Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar that is structured around presentations of masculinities, femininities and identities which blur the boundaries between male and female, human and animal. I have also delivered courses on Hispanic Cultures and Societies that introduce students to the link between society and cultural production from youth protest movements in Spain to the Chicano movement in the United States.




Conference Contributions

Tara Plunkett (2016) El Mal de la modernidad: Las mujeres y las vanguardias. [Oral Presentation], El Mal de la modernidad: Ángeles Santos y Leonora Carrington, Ateneo de Madrid , 04-MAY-16 - 04-MAY-16.
Tara Plunkett (2016) Peformance and Radicalism: From Dada to Today. [Oral Presentation], A Centenary Celebration of Elefantenkarawane, Irish Museum of Modern Art , 05-OCT-16 - 05-OCT-16.
Tara Plunkett (2014) Things you see in a lobster salad nightmare: Transgression, Metamorphosis and the Spectrum of Surrealist Communion. [Oral Presentation], School of Languages and Literatures Seminar Series, University College Dublin, University College Dublin , 31-OCT-14 - 31-OCT-14.
Tara Plunkett (2014) The Timid and Humble Listener: Remedios Varo's Journey along the Margins of Surrealism. [Oral Presentation], Dada, Surrealism and Outsider Art, Modern Languages Association Annual Conference, Chicago , 06-JAN-14 - 08-JAN-14.
Tara Plunkett (2014) Melusina after the Scream: Surrealism and the Hybrid Bodies of Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Out of the Ordinary: Women of the Spanish Avant-Garde Colloquium, Queen's University, Belfast , 22-MAY-14 - 23-MAY-14.
Tara Plunkett (2014) Muerte verdaderamente muerta: Lorca's Dance with his own Death in the New York Poems and Illustrations. [Oral Presentation], Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, NUI Galway , 13-APR-15 - 16-APR-14.
Tara Plunkett (2013) Death of a Sailor: Homosexual Imagery and Tragedy in Federico García Lorca's Poeta en Nueva York and Contemporary Illustrations. [Oral Presentation], Association of Hispanists Great Britain and Ireland, Oxford University , 24-MAR-14 - 26-MAR-14.
Tara Plunkett (2013) Beholders of Beauty: Overcoming the Subject/Object Dichotomy in the Surrealist Self-Portraits of Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington. [Oral Presentation], Reimagining Gender: Reimagining Sex, Durham Centre for Gender and Sexuality Studies Summer Workshop, Durham University , 12-JUN-14 - 13-FEB-14.
Tara Plunkett (2012) ¿¿Por eso se han muerto¿: Gender Ambiguity and Martyrdom in Federico García Lorca¿s Experimental Prose Poems (1927-28) and Contemporary Illustrations¿. [Oral Presentation], Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities Graduate Fellows Lecture Series, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee , 12-APR-13 - 12-APR-12.
Tara Plunkett (2011) Subjects/Objects of Desire: Self-portraiture in the Early Surrealist Works of Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. [Oral Presentation], Desire: From Eros to Eroticism, City University of New York, City University of New York , 10-NOV-11 - 11-NOV-11.
Tara Plunkett (2011) [Conference Organising Committee Member], The Forgotten Voices of the Avant-Garde, Leeds University , 20-JAN-12 - 21-JAN-12.


Year 2007 Institution: Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK
Qualification: MSc Subject:
Year 2005 Institution: Queen's University of Belfast, UK
Qualification: BA Subject:
Year 2012 Institution: Queen's University of Belfast, UK
Qualification: PhD Subject:



Book Chapters

Tara Plunkett (2017) 'Dissecting The Holy Oily Body: Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington and El Santo Cuerpo Grasoso' In: Jonathan P. Eburne and Catriona McAra (eds). Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde. Manchester: Manchester University Press. , pp.99-123 Available Online [Details]
Rebecca Ferreboeuf, Fiona Noble and Tara Plunkett (2016) 'Exquisite Encounters with the Avant-Gardes' In: Rebecca Ferreboeuf, Fiona Noble and Tara Plunkett (eds). Preservation, Radicalism and the Avant-Garde Canon. Milton Keynes: Palgrave Macmillan. , pp.4-12 [Details]
Tara Plunkett (2012) 'Había necesidad de romper para siempre: The conflicted imagery of Federico García Lorca's Suicidio en Alejandría' In: Selena Daly and Monica Insinga (eds). The European Avant-Garde: Text and Image. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. , pp.33-49 Available Online [Details]

Edited Books

Rebecca Ferreboeuf, Fiona Noble, Tara Plunkett (Ed.). (2016) Preservation, Radicalism and the Avant-Garde Canon. Milton Keynes: Palgrave Macmillan. Available Online [Details]

Invited Review Articles

Tara Plunkett (2011) Review: Surreal Friends: Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Kati Horna. Pallant House Gallery, 19 June - 12 September 2010. Invited Review Articles Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

Surrealism in Spain and Mexico; the historical avant-gardes; visual cultures; gender studies; hybrid bodies/identities; the 1927 Generation in Spain.                      

Current Postgraduate Students

Annmarie Kelleher, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Secondary Supervisor



Modules Coordinated

201600   SPAN20200     Spanish: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
201600   SPAN30200     Spanish: Surrealism in Spain and Mexico
201600   SPAN10130     Spanish: Hispanic Cultures & Societies
201600   SPAN10010     Spanish: Spanish Language I a
201600   SPAN10050     Spanish: Spanish Language I b
201600   SLL40320     Languages, Cultures & Ling: Avant-Gardes: Europe & Beyond
201600   SPAN40300     Spanish: Hispanic Visual Cultures