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Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Dr Jane Elizabeth Lavery BA, PhD

Lecturer in Latin American Studies (Modern Languages and Linguistics)

Dr Jane Elizabeth Lavery's photo

Dr Jane Lavery is a Lecturer in Latin American Studies (Modern Languages and Linguistics) at the University of Southampton.

I have research expertise in the following areas and would therefore like to hear from PhD applicants interested in:


Author of two books and of two co-edited books; and several peer reviewed journals in the area of Mexican women’s literature and Spanish American multimedia artists and writers (see publications) and the Mexican Day of the Dead.

Funding Awarded

Awarded funding (BA small grant) for monograph on Ana Clavel (2015) and funding from various sources (PER Unit, Queen’s University Belfast, Modern Languages and Linguistics at Soton) for multimedia research project (see below) with co-researcher Dr Sarah Bowskill (Queen’s University Belfast).

Funding awarded for research project on the Mexican Day of the Dead in Covid Times for impact/outreach activities (Per Unit, Mexican Embassy in the UK, University College Cork and support in kind Tom Price/Stephanie Beeston).

Bowskill and I were invited to an “in conversation” event at Kettle’s Yard gallery (Cambridge) with Biennale Award winner Regina José Galindo which was pitched at a broader audience as well as the academic community.

Multimedia Project

Media Coverage

Extensive media coverage including interview on Mexico’s leading media outlet El Universal for my monograph on Ana Clavel.

Interviewed on the day at the Boscombe in Bournemouth event by BBC South Today’s broadcast journalist and presenter. See the T.V. interview (41 secs) or see the extended, unedited, BBC interview (3.42 min).

Day of the Dead and Virtual Technologies article.


BA, Hons French and Spanish, University of Cambridge 1993-1997

PhD, Hispanic Studies, University of Swansea 1997-2002.


University of Kent, 2003-2006 as Latin American Studies Lecturer

Head of Section (2005-06).

Hispanic Studies Lecturer at the University of Southampton (2006-present).

Research interests

I am the author of two books (2005; 2015) and the co-editor of one book on the Boom Femenino (2010, see research publications), as well as the author of several peer-reviewed journal articles. I have published on multimedia works of Latin American artists and writers including a partly funded British Academy monograph on the works of the Mexican multimedia writer Mexican Ana Clavel (Lavery, 2015), which received extensive media coverage (see below); a journal article on the poet and performance artist Regina José Galindo (Lavery and Bowskill, 2012) and a journal article on the multimedia artist writer Eli Neira (Bowskill and Lavery, 2020).

I am currently involved in a research project with co-researcher Dr Sarah Bowskill (University Queen’s Belfast) on Latin American multimedia women artists and writers (see below of details and podcast) for which we have been awarded funding (see below). The artists and writers whose works were exhibited in a poster exhibition at Winchester School of Arts (University of Southampton) are contributing, with a number of international leading academics on their works, to a volume which is being co-edited by Lavery and Bowskill. We were invited to an “in conversation” event at Kettle’s Yard gallery (Cambridge) with Biennale Award winner Regina José Galindo which was pitched at a broader audience as well as the academic community. Regina José Galindo is collaborating with us in the project.

I am also interested in the reception and consumption of Day of the Dead and Frida Kahlo in the UK from 2015 to present times, and how these phenomena have been reincarnated in the UK in the retail industry, fashion, media, and art amongst other areas. I have an article on the subject published with Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies in April 2021.

This article forms the basis of a larger project examining the intersections of Day of the Dead, Covid-19 and diaspora. I am currently conducting research, in collaboration with Professor Nuala Finnegan (University College Cork), which focuses on the Mexican Day of the Dead and how this ritual is celebrated in the UK by Mexicans in the diaspora (UK and Ireland) and the impact of Covid-19 on this practice. The research will be published in monograph format.

I  recently received funding from Southampton University’s PER unit to conduct research related activities including community-engaged art project in Cork and England and to co-produce a short documentary. In collaboration with Finnegan, we will co-produce the short documentary on the impact of Covid-19 on the Day of the Dead and the UK/Cork diaspora (funded by PER unit and University College Cork as well as support in Kind from Price and Beeston). The short will be filmed by award-winning documentary film makers Tom Price (The Times Photographer of the Year 2021; Southampton University alumnus), and Stephanie Beeston winner for the London Emerging Award at Cheap Cuts Documentary Film Festival 2020 for her documentary Those Who Wait which looks at death rituals in the Philippines.

In collaboration with British Mexican-American artist Emily Wood Ramirez Ahmed, I led a family online workshop on the day of the dead as part of the Southampton’s Art and Humanities Festival on November 16th. The online workshop focused on the Day of the Dead’s central symbol, the Monarch butterfly to discuss environmental degradation, how Covid has impacted the Day of the Dead practice/communities and ideas of loss and renewal. Children and adults created their own monarch butterflies. This workshop will also be running at schools, Day of the Dead festivals in 2022 with an installation of a giant skull created by Emily Wood surrounded by community-created Monarch butterflies. Forthcoming workshops and launch of documentary will be funded by the Mexican Embassy to the UK.

I am also working with Mexicanos en Bournemouth, Bournemouth Fringe Emerging Arts Fringe and Dorset Race and Equality Council by organising community Day of the Dead events in Bournemouth.

PhD research 

2018- Jessica Elizabeth McIvor AHRC/ South West Wales DTP Doctoral Researcher

University of Southampton/ University of Bristol

Women at War: Irish and Spanish Women's Militancy in Visual Culture; Supervisor 1 Name: Scott Soo (Southampton University); Supervisor 2 Name: James Thompson (Maternity cover for Erika Hanna) (University of Bristol); Supervisor 3 Name: Jane Lavery (Southampton University).

Past postgraduate projects:

PhD co-supervision on Jewish-German Film director (with Professor Tim Bergfelder from Film Studies - University of Southampton) 2006-2011.

MPhil dissertation on Colombian Narrative (with Dr Mark Dinneen).

Phd co-supervision with Mark Dinneen on The literary works of Colombian Fernando Vallejo (2011-2014).

MA dissertation on Latin American female art performers and the representations of the female body.

Supervised 10 MA students and 1 MPhil in the area of Latin American literature, painting and film produced by women between 2003-2005.

Affiliate research groups

The Institute for Language and Culture, MeXsu

Research project(s)

The Multimedia Works of Contemporary Latin American Women Artists and Writers

This project will be in collaboration with Chapel Arts Studios organisation and artists and WSA. We have received funding from PERU, WSA and CAS to conduct these activities.

Outreach Officer for Modern Languages and Linguistics and Routes into Languages South Co-ordinator.

My role has involved organising and running events online and on campus:

  • Mexican Day of the Dead in-school activities (all years in secondary).
  • In collaboration with Routes into Languages (Sarah Schechter, director), Year 7 South Regionals Finals Spelling Bee.
  • England-wide Regional Finals Spelling Bee Awards Ceremony (attended by 850 Spelling bees, parents and with a welcome talk by the Mexican Ambassador to the UK Josefa Gonzalez Blanco, 2022).
  • Year 7, England-wide Regional Finals Translation Bee Awards Ceremony.
  • Year 8 and Year 10  Language Study Days (online and on campus).
  • Year 10 Mandarin Excellence Programme Day (co-organised with Vicky Wright and Ali Dickens (Southampton University Routes South). Funding received by Confucius Institute to conduct related activities.
  • 6th form Modern languages and Linguistics conference (on campus and online). The online 6th form conference in 2022 was attended by 350 pupils from across England.

We have welcomed on campus ca 700 secondary school children in total for above events. The funds from Southampton University Outreach (over £600 per event) have been used for Widening Participation schools which has meant these events can be accessible to many pupils who might otherwise not have been able to attend. The aim of the events are to promote MLL's enthusiasm for our area and to inspire young people to take up and to continue studying Modern Languages of all Key Stages in primary and secondary.

I also give talks at schools on the importance of studying Modern languages and organise colleagues to give these talks too.

See website for events

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  • Undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Iberian and Spanish American Cultural Studies and an array of cultural production from literature, film and documentary to photography. Other areas include Transnational, Latino, Queer and Transgender Studies.
  • Module co-ordinator and lecturer for final, second and first year: SPAN3012 Sex Soap Operas and Female Dissidents: Representations of Women in the Spanish Speaking World; SPAN2006 High, Mass and Popular Culture in the Spanish Speaking World; SPAN1003 Introduction to Hispanic Studies; SPAN1001 The History and Politics of the Hispanic World.
  • Lecturer for LANG 1 Reading Culture looking at visual analysis techniques in film.
  • Supervisor for MAs, PhDs and year abroad projects for second year students and ISMs.
  • 2019 Life Long Learning fee paying study day for general public on Frida Kahlo. This event will be repeated in 2022.
  • Public Lectures on Mexican Day of the Dead for secondary school children and teachers as part of Mexico Week and yearly celebrations.

Podcast about my research as well as an interview on Mexico’s leading media outlet El Universal:

Dr Jane Elizabeth Lavery
Building 65, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BF, United Kingdom

Room Number : 65/3003

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