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Joseph Mulligan

Postdoctoral Associate
Romance Studies


I am a Postdoctoral Associate in the Romance Studies department. My research focuses on literature and politics in vernacular print cultures of Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, and Spain during the 19th and 20th centuries. I study the history of education reform, the critique of liberalism, and the rise of regionalism as a response to the marginalization of the indigenous majority by the urban lettered elite. I am guided by the sociology of literature and post-Marxist philosophy as I approach questions of literacy, race, and post-secular spirituality, concentrating on practices of cultural mediation. My dissertation, Poetics of Revelation: Communities of the Literary Oracular in Transatlantic Modernism (1939-1979), evaluates the distinction of visionary poetry and the philosophy of myth in comparative case studies on María Zambrano, Octavio Paz, and Jaime Saenz.

In fall of 2020, I was the Bass Instructor of Record for Spanish 327: Culture on Wheels: Civic Engagement and Education Reform in Spain and Mexico, a methods-based cultural studies seminar for first-year students which critically examines public education reform in the 1920s and 1930s. In this historical approach to social activism, teacher advocacy and philanthropy, undergraduates explored archival materials and diverse research methods to assess a pre-history of service-learning with such protagonists as María Zambrano, Ramón Gaya, Diego Rivera, and Frances Toor.

Current Appointments & Affiliations