Dr Thomas Nulley-Valdes

PhD and BA (Hons) (ANU)
Lecturer in Spanish Studies
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Literature In Spanish And Portuguese 200514
  • Comparative And Transnational Literature 470507
  • Literary Theory 200525
  • Latin American History 210308
  • Globalisation And Culture 200206
  • History Of Ideas 220209

Research interests

20th, and 21st Century Latin American fiction; World Literature theories and methodologies; Latin America's historical identity discourse; anthologies and literary canonization; author studies; Latino literature in the USA; Chilean literary history.

Biography

Thomas is Lecturer in Spanish Studies in the College of Arts & Social Sciences. He is an emerging scholar of World Literature with a focus on Spanish and Latin American literature of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

His research analyses literatures’ various interactions with their ecologies (artistic, political, commercial, etc.) and traces their circulation and reception at national, regional or global strata. His research spans continents and numerous countries of Latin America as well as many genres, such as the novel, poetry, short story, essay and anthology. Through diverse case studies he uncovers the structure and dynamics of what he theorizes as the Latin American literature-world, and considers the function of specific genres (e.g., the essay and anthology) as instruments of canonization and literary revolutions.

Over the course of his research career he conducted archival research and conducted dozens of in-person interviews with authors in Chile, The United States, Portugal, and Spain. Some of these interviews have been published in Latin American Literature TodayNagaríLetra Urbana and also in the edited book McCrack: McOndo y el Crack y los destinos de la literatura latinoamericana.

His first monograph was published by Lexington Books in 2023, titled McOndo Revisited: The Making of a Generation Defining Anthology in the Latin American Literature-World.

Thomas has also worked in the Australian Public Service as a Senior Engagement and Policy Officer at the Australian Research Council (ARC), in research advocacy for the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Researchers & Centres (ACHRC), and in the private sector as a Senior Consultant and as a Defence contractor.

Researcher's projects

Thomas' main research areas include:

  • Case studies in and theorisation of the Latin American literature-world.
  • Chilean Literature as World Literature.
  • World Literature Theories and Methodologies.
  • Latino Literature and the New Latino Boom in the United States.

His first monograph McOndo Revisited was considered 'a brilliant contribution to the sociology of literature in Latin America and an exceptionally well researched and argued book' (Juan Poblete, UC Santa Cruz), as well as 'a major contribution to the study of one of the critical moments of Latin American literature’s ongoing struggle to be a part of world literature' (Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado, Washington University St Louis). 

Cover Image

The Pan-Hispanic short story anthology McOndo (Grijalbo Mondadori Barcelona, 1996), edited by the Chileans Alberto Fuguet and Sergio Gómez, was envisaged as a forceful contestation of local and global horizons of expectation in Latin American literature, still fixated with exoticized and politicized narratives most especially in the magical realist style. 

By drawing on as well as developing a range of theoretical and methodological approaches from World Literature scholarship, McOndo Revisited reconsiders the literary, political, and publishing ecologies which gave rise to this anthology. This rich context, as well as numerous author interviews, informs a holistic analysis of its controversial prologue, short stories, authors, and reception. 

As the first comprehensive monograph dedicated to the McOndo anthology, McOndo Revisited rectifies numerous misreadings and reclaims its primarily artistic intentions. Its analysis zooms back and forth from the macro to the micro perspective, analyzing the artistic trajectories of the authors involved through a complex evaluation of the Latin American literature-world as well as individual authors’ habitus.

Considered by many a commercial and critical failure, McOndo Revisited sheds light on this controversial anthology and demonstrates its role in historicizing the Latin American Literature-World and indeed becoming a generation defining anthology, even if through a most paradoxical fashion

Available student projects

I am available to supervise PhD, Masters, and Honours students in any of my fields of expertise.

Current student projects

Primary Supervisor and Chair of Panel, Jéssica M. Andrade Tolentino (PhD) 'The child gaze: imaginaries of childhood in contemporary Latin American literature.'

Advisor, Hamid Farahmandian (PhD) 'Irish Orientalism: The Iranian Eire of James Joyce.'

Publications

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Updated:  23 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers