Jorge Téllez

Office Location: 
504 Williams Hall
Office Hours: 
Fall 2022: By appointment only
(215) 898-6029
(215) 898-0933
Associate Professor
General Editor, Hispanic Review

My current research and teaching focus on the legacies of colonialism in Latin American cultural production, past and present, with an emphasis on Mexico.

In 2021 I publishedThe Picaresque and the Writing Life in Mexico (Notre Dame UP), a book that studies the development of the Mexican literary field through the lens of the picaresque from the 16th to the 21st century. The book contends that these narratives embody a discourse of precarity that goes beyond pícaros and applies to all subjects who engage in the production and circulation of literature, turning this popular literary form into a reflection on the value of literature, as well as on the place and role of writing in Mexican society throughout history.

Presently, I am working on two book projects. The first one, titled Barroco, Inc., traces a history of the modern and contemporary uses of the colonial past as a source of political, economic, and artistic value in Mexico. This project includes case studies from urban and architectural sites, museums, and private and public libraries to literature, film, and initiatives from non-profit organizations, financial institutions, and the government. The second, provisionally entitled A Museum for the Americas, analyzes 21st-century fiction that engages the figure of the museum to reflect on the rich and complex history of Latin American cultural heritage.

I have also published (and continue to work on) articles on book history and the history of reading in colonial Latin America. In 2012, my PhD dissertation on 16th and 17th-century Latin American poetics was awarded an international literary essay prize and published by the Mexican publishing house Editorial Siglo XXI.

I’m an Executive Committee member of the LCC Colonial Latin American Forum at the MLA, and a past board member of the Mexico Section ad LASA. During the 2022-23 academic year I’ll be a fellow at the Wolf Humanities Center, and the Humanities + Urbanism + Design Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania.

 As of 2022, I’m serving as General Editor of the Hispanic Review.

Research Interests: 
  •  Colonialism in Latin America, past and present
  •  Mexican literatures and cultures
  •  Material culture
  •  Cultural Memory
  •  Intellectual History
  •  Poetics


Selected Publications: 
  • “The Practice of Epic and Lyric Writing in Colonial Mexico.” A History of Mexican Poetry. Ed. by Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado, Anna Nogar, and José Ramón Ruisánchez. Cambridge University Press. (Forthcoming)


  • “Mexican Picaresque Narratives.” A History of the Mexican Novel. Ed. by Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado, Anna Nogar, and José Ramón Ruisánchez. Cambridge University Press. (Forthcoming)


  • “World-Making and the Poetics of the New World.” In Mexican Literature as World Literature. Ed. by Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado. Bloomsbury Press, Academic Series Literatures as World Literatures., 2021: p. 7-22.


  • “Reading the Margins: Juan Pablo Viscardo y Guzmán and Francisco de Miranda (1801).” Textual Cultures 13, 2 (Fall 2020): p. 25-48.Special Issue: Editorial Thought and Textuality in Latin America. Ed. by Andrew Reynolds.


  • “Valuing Literature: The Mexican Picaresque as Transaction.” Latin American Research Review 55, no. 1 (2020), pp. 110-121.


  • “Hacia una teoría de la lectura en la época colonial.” Revista Hispánica Moderna, 17.2 (2018): 79-196. (Special issue on the history of the book)


  • “Soneto vs Suñeto: Poesía Colonial y El Periquillo Sarniento.” Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, 52 (2018): 1-22.

PhD, El Colegio de México (2011)