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Diego Azurdia

Diego Azurdia

Diego Azurdia

PhD Candidate in Spanish


Hughes Hall


Diego Azurdia holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Stanford University and an MA in Latin American Cultures from Columbia University. He is currently in his 3rd year of the PhD in Spanish and Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge. Currently he is finishing his first novel. He is most at home under the menacing shadows of the volcanoes of his native Guatemala.

Teaching Interests

Spanish and Latin American cultures and Literature: SP5, SP13, Optional Dissertation, Year Abroad Projects. Sociology and Political Theory: Sociology 2.

Research Interests

Critical Environmental Humanities. Political Philosophy. Migration Studies. Continental Philosophy. Central American Literature and Culture. Aesthetics. Landscape Theory.

Recent Research Projects

Guatemala as a nation can be read as a history of land. Diego’s dissertation attempts to unpack this statement. For one the nation as history places it in the temporal axis.

Nation as history of land pulls it down to the spatial axis. A thesis then emerges: in Guatemala land’s pull is greater than the nation’s historical push. If understood as a narrative process, Guatemala’s chronotopial characteristic is that of a weighted topology. With this in mind, the project explores three land configurations presented chronologically: the map, the clearing and the grave. From the map to the grave, this thesis spans the turn of the 20th century to the turn of the 21st century. Land is the site where space materializes most clearly, into mode of production, into property, into a stage for societal actors stablishing power structures. This is especially the case in a place like Guatemala founded on a fragile, creole controlled, monocultural coffee economy and consolidated by foreign intervention and increasingly violent land and labor policies. The nation was founded on a highly charged land with deeply unresolved contradictions. A more nuanced version of the thesis: Guatemalan history can be read as a series of moments when land as a charged space gives in with earthquakes that crack its sovereignty, revolutions that look to shatter the terms of its ownership and sinkholes that reveal cadavers. Images, worlds and memories.


Monumentalizing Landscapes: Ontologies of Scale and Guatemalan National
Consolidation. Revista Hispanica Moderna. Accepted for publication.

Escribr Para Merecer Volcanes: La vocación del escritor en tiempos de
posguerra. Introductory essay. El futuro empezó ayer. UNESCO and
Catafixia. 2012

Tres formas de autonomía de lo literario a partir de la literatura
mundial. Iberoamérica Global. Volume 4, No. 1, September 2011.

Poetic Lives: beyond the narrow limits of self. Intuición. Volume 2,
No. 2, 2011.


Dr. Rory O’Bryen