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Lucy Bollington

Lucy Bollington

Department: Centre of Latin American Studies

Supervisor: Dr. Geoffrey Kantaris

College: Clare College

Title of Thesis: Necro-polis: The Politics and Aesthetics of Deathly Excess in Experimental Mexican Culture (1990-present)


I received a First Class BA (Hons) degree in the History, Literature and Cultures of the Americas from the University of Warwick, and spent my third year at Columbia University in New York City. I then completed an MPhil in Latin American Studies with Distinction at the University of Cambridge.



My research centres on the shifting relationality of death, power and aesthetics in twentieth and twenty-first century Latin American culture. My doctoral thesis examines these themes in relation to the contemporary Mexican cultural context, analysing the political and ethical implications of the multifarious death-worlds constructed in experimental literary texts by Mario Bellatin, Juan Pablo Villalobos and Jorge Volpi, and provocative works of visual culture by auteur directors Carlos Reygadas and Amat Escalante, acclaimed photographer Graciela Iturbide, and forensic artist Teresa Margolles. Through excessive experimentations at the limits of body and form, these cultural works call for a crucial reassessment of the historical connections between death, the nation-state, and the human in the face of contemporary mutations in the structure and deployment of power, the ubiquity of death within televisual and digital culture, and reiterative processes of necro-capitalistic accumulation. My thesis engages with a broad range of global and Mexican political and aesthetic theories, particularly in the areas of bio- and necropolitics, excess and posthumanism. My work dialogues with the thought of Achille Mbembe, Marina Gržinić, Giorgio Agamben, Georges Bataille, Jacques Rancière, and others, and foregrounds the burgeoning body of necropolitical scholarship authored by intellectuals and artists in Mexico.