Paul Julian Smith
Position: Distinguished Professor, Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures
Distinguished Professor, Comparative Literature
Program: Comparative Literature
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center
Phone: (212) 817-8393
Office Hours: By appointment
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. in Modern Languages (French and Spanish) from the University of Cambridge, UK
Research Interests: Spanish and Mexican cinema and television, critical theory

Social Media: Twitter

Paul Julian Smith is an internationally recognized scholar of Spanish and Mexican cultural and media studies and of critical theory. He is the author of 22 books and over 100 academic articles.


Paul Julian Smith came to The Graduate Center as Distinguished Professor in 2010. He is an internationally recognized critic in Hispanic cultural studies and critical theory. He has been Visiting Professor in 10 universities including Stanford, NYU and Carlos III, Madrid and has given over 100 lectures and invited papers around the world. His books have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Turkish. Elected a fellow of the British Academy in 2008, his interests are wide-ranging and interdisciplinary. His Writing in the Margin (Oxford University Press, 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 (Oxford University Press, 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 wrote dozens of reviews and, as the author of Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar (Verso, 1994, 2000 and 2014), 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 (Polity, 2003) to examine cultural areas that receive less academic attention; and his 2007 work Spanish Visual Culture: Cinema, Television, Internet (Manchester University Press) explores emotion, location, and nostalgia in each of these media. Smith's research also focuses on Mexico, including a book on the groundbreaking film Amores Perros (BFI, 2003). He was a juror at the Morelia Film Festival in Mexico in 2009 and at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2013, was a regular contributor to Film Quarterly, and is one of the founding editors of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies. A tribute ('homenaje') to him was held at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid in 2013.

Awards and Grants
Fellow of the British Academy

Professional Affiliations and Memberships
Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland

Courses Taught

  • Lorca, Buñuel, Dalí: Theater, Cinema, Painting
  • The City in Spain: Literature, Cinema, Visual Arts
  • Cinema and Television in Spain and Mexico
  • The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar and Guillermo del Toro


Publications (Most recent articles)

  • 'Copycat television? Gran Hotel (2011-13) and El hotel de los secretos (2015-16)', Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinemas 14.3 (2017), 349-65.
  • 'Two televisual Guernicas: Genius Picasso (National Geographic, 2018) and El Ministerio del Tiempo (TVE, 2015-17)', Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies 2.2 (2018), 167-79.
  • 'En busca de la calidad: la ficción televisiva actual en México', in Benjamín Mayer et al (eds), Los cuerpos de la imagen (Mexico City: Colección diecisiete, 2018), 281-99.
  • 'Tendencias en el audiovisual actual: cine de masas y televisión de calidad', in Antonia del Rey-Reguillo and Nancy Berthier (eds), Cine y audiovisual: trayectos de ida y vuelta (Valencia: Shangrila Textos Aparte, 2018), pp. 152-67.
  • 'Un cine LGBT posthegemónico en México: industria, estética, afecto y subjetividad', in Sonia García López et al (eds), Contraculturas y subculturas en el cine latinoamericano (1975-2015) (Valencia: Tirant, 2019), 127-37.
  • 'El cine ensayo, la network narrative, y la serie en streaming en México: un estudio de caso de Sintonía (Gustavo Loza, 2017), la primera serie de la plataforma de Internet de Televisa', in Norberto Mínguez (ed.), Itinerarios y formas del ensayo audiovisual (Barcelona: Gedisa, 2019), 61-74.