Postgraduate Research Student
Louise earned both her BA in English & Hispanic Studies, and her MRes in Hispanic Studies, at University of Liverpool. Her MRes focused on the ways in which Spanish Instagram poetry (Instapoesía) is changing the face of contemporary literature through certain linguistic and visual changes afforded by the digital medium. Through analysis of a shorter, more concise style and the permeation of ‘el lenguaje informático,’ her research examined the ways in which contemporary digital poetry is changing not only the role of the reader, but the ‘acto de observar’ itself (Vilariño Picos: 2013).
Outside of her studies, Louise works as a Spanish Advisor for the University’s Language Lounge, assisting students by providing grammatical and conversational sessions. She is also learning French through the University’s Continuing Education department. She often writes about poetry published through social media (albeit in the Anglophone context) for monthly Brizo Magazine.
" ‘Tu cuerpo en verso:’ the representation of sexuality, (modern) relationships and the female body in Spanish Instagram poetry."
Not only to advertise but to publish their own poetry, a new generation of Spanish poets is transforming the art form by claiming digital media as its writing space. During his Peers Annual Lecture at the University of Liverpool in 2017, the great poeta de la experiencia Luis García Montero contemplated how Spanish lyricists are beginning to write with great entity, searching for ‘their own space.’ This ‘new space’ is allowing this phenomenon to become the most accessible form of literature in contemporary Hispanic consciousness, something which is making Maher ‘excited about [the trend’s] new capacity for poets to build something… toward larger change’ (2018).
This multi-faceted, virtual environment becomes a useful site to project societal concerns, rather than an online environment whose purpose is confined solely to the field of self-expression. Employing post-feminist and digital media critical theory (Kinnahan, 2005, Dobson, 2015 & Jackson, 2018) Louise’s research will aim to articulate the complexities of a feminine subject position in a Spanish, digital society.
Ultimately, acknowledging this genre of poetry as a valid part of literary culture in a broad sense, is beneficial as it ‘develop[s] an understanding of the literary that is adequate to the digital age because it takes into account the multiplicities and convergences of contemporary media culture’ (Schaefer, 2015: 179). The linguistic and visual representations of modern relationships and the female body through digital poetry address contemporary identity issues, whilst reworking or reclaiming traditional and historical poetic styles. Particularly salient to the research group ‘Media Histories: from Manuscript to Digital,’ at University of Liverpool, Louise’s project will charter a literary trajectory that is socially, culturally and intellectually relevant to the academic discourse of today.
E. Allison Peers Scholarship