Professor Niamh Thornton DPhil

Professor in Latin American Studies Languages, Cultures and Film


The War Story

Niamh Thornton has a particular interest in the War Story in its various manifestations. This includes how it is represented in fiction and non-fiction literature and film. As a specialist in Mexican cultural output, this has largely focused on the Mexican Revolution, but it also includes 1968, the subsequent Dirty War, the Zapatista Rebellion, and, more recently, the so-called Drugs War.

Specular Ghosts

During the past century the Mexican nation has experienced periods of significant political and social unrest where lives have been lost amidst a context of conflict and violence. Of particular note are the Revolution (1910-20), the student unrest, and massacre at the Plaza de Tlatelolco in 1968, the subsequent dirty war of the 1970s, the EZLN uprising in Chiapas (1994–present), and more recently, the current Drug Wars which seen a tarnish of the country’s external image and continues to dominate political debate. Within this climate Mexican filmmakers, artists, photographers, designers, performance artists and painters turn to address the traumatic events of the past and present, choosing to represent these insights through a variety of visual media. This is a collaborative project with Miriam Haddu, Royal Holloway.For more on the Specular Ghosts Project, click here.

Curation, Commemoration and Taste

This recent project is related to her earlier projects on the War Story and are a reflection on the emerging ways that grand historical moments have been represented and re-presented by filmmakers and curators.

Research Grants

Specular Ghosts: Memory And Trauma In Mexican Visual Culture


July 2014 - September 2014

Research Collaborations

Dr Liz Greene Liverpool John Moores University; Dr Catherine Wilkinson, Edge Hill University; Dr Samantha Wilkinson, Manchester Metropolitan University; Prof Caroline Wilkinson, Liverpool John Moores University; Sarah Shrimpton, Liverpool John Moores University; Roger McKinley, FACT Liverpool.

Project: Brews and Brows
External: Liverpool John Moores University, Edge Hill University, Manchester Metropolitan University, FACT

Brews and Brows is a project that gathers stories about the cultural importance of the eyebrow and the Scousebrow to Liverpool,