Paul Julian Smith
Position: Distinguished Professor
Programs: Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures | Comparative Literature
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center
Phone: (212) 817-8393
Research Interests: Modern Spain and Mexico, especially media studies: film and television.
Paul Julian Smith, a renowned specialist in the visual culture of Spain and Latin America, joined the Graduate Center in the fall 2010 semester, coming from the University of Cambridge, where he was professor of Spanish for nineteen years. Elected a fellow of the British Academy in 2008, his interests are wide-ranging and interdisciplinary. His Writing in the Margin (1988) was the first systematic application of poststructuralist critical theory to literature of the Spanish Golden Age, and The Moderns: Time Space, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Spanish Culture (2000) was a groundbreaking examination of Spanish urban space.
As the Spanish film critic for the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound magazine, Smith has written dozens of reviews and, as the author of Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar (1994 and 2000), earned a reputation as the major world scholar on the films of the Spanish director. Smith went beyond the field of cinema in Contemporary Spanish Culture: TV, Fashion, Art, and Film (2003) to examine cultural areas that receive less academic attention; and his 2007 work Spanish Visual Culture: Cinema, Television, Internet explores emotion, location, and nostalgia in each of these media. His most recent books are Spanish Practices: Literature, Cinema, Television (2012) and Mexican Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television (2014).
Smith’s research also focuses on Mexico, including a book on the pioneering film Amores Perros (2003). He was a juror at the Morelia Film Festival in Mexico in 2009, is a regular contributor to Film Quarterly, and is one of the founding editors of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. Follow him on Twitter @pauljuliansmith. See his complete biography here.