Fiona J. Mackintosh

Senior Lecturer and Year Abroad Coordinator for Year 3

  • Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
  • Department of European Languages and Cultures
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details



Room 3.25
50 George Square

Post code


  • My drop-in office hours for students are Mondays 14:00-15:00, Thursdays 9:30-10:30. Outside those times, please email me to arrange a meeting.

    My normal working hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and I will only respond to emails during those hours.


Dr Fiona J. Mackintosh is a Senior Lecturer in Latin American Literature. She arrived at the University of Edinburgh in 2002, having previously taught at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Fiona’s academic career began after graduating from the University of Cambridge in 1992 with an honours degree in Music and Modern Languages (Spanish and French). She received her MPhil in Modern Spanish American and French Literature at Oxford, and her PhD in Comparative Literature was awarded by the University of Warwick in 2000.

Fiona holds a Higher Education teaching certificate from Queen’s and has repeatedly been nominated for various EUSA Teaching Awards, including Best Dissertation Supervisor,  Best Overall Teacher,  Supporting Students' Learning, Best Practice in Inclusive Learning and Teaching, and Personal Tutor of the Year. In 2023 she was nominated for Teacher of the Year, and for Excellence in Leadership (jointly with her co-head of SPLAS, Charlotte Gleghorn).


  • MA (Cantab)
  • M Phil (Oxon)
  • PhD (Warwick)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Year Abroad Coordinator for Year 3

Undergraduate teaching

Current 4th year undergraduate modules on ‘Reading Latin American Poetry’ and 'Latin America: History and Culture Entwined', the latter co-taught with Iona Macintyre.

In previous years modules on ‘Spanish American Women’s Writing’, ‘History and the Writer in Latin America’ and ‘Reality and Fantasy in Latin American Fiction’.

I also contribute to DELC common courses 'Comparative Literature', 'Crime and Detection' and 'Gender and Culture'.

Postgraduate teaching

At Masters level, I teach on the MSc in Comparative Literature, in the option course ‘Fantastic Fiction’, and I supervise students for the MScR in Hispanic Studies.

Find out more about our MSc in Comparative Literature

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I very much enjoy supervising, working with and learning from my MScR and PhD students, and take great pride in their many and various achievements!


Possible topics on which I would be happy to supervise:

  • Literary translation Translation from Spanish to English; translation of metrical poetry; gender in translation.
  • Latin American women’s writing Women and the canon; redefining the fantastic; fiction and feminism; the gendered self.
  • 20th-century and contemporary Latin American novel and short story Music and visual art in literary texts; crime fiction.
  • Transatlantic literary exchange Cultural relations between Argentina and Europe, particularly France; travel writing on and from Latin America; the Scottish presence in Latin American literature.

Authors on whose writing I would be very happy to supervise PhD research (in no particular order): Claudia Piñeiro, Selva Almada, Guillermo Martínez, Martín Kohan, Samantha Schweblin, Carlos Gamerro, Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, Ariana Harwicz, Jorge Consiglio, Luis Sagasti, Inés Arteta, Vlady Kociancich, Liliana Heker, Carmen Boullosa, María Luisa Bombal, Elena Poniatowska, Luisa Valenzuela, Alfonsina Storni, Gabriela Mistral, Elvira Hernández, Alicia Genovese, Alejandra Pizarnik, Olga Orozco, Silvina Ocampo, Josefina Plá, Rosario Castellanos, María Negroni, Alicia Borinsky, Laura Restrepo, Julio Cortázar.

Current PhD students supervised

Elisabeth Goemans - 'Cultural Memory in Argentine Literature and Translation' (2nd supervisor; Current full-time PhD student funded by LLC Research Scholarship, September 2021-).

Rolando Bompadre - 'The Novels of Carlos Gamerro'. (Lead supervisor; Current part-time PhD student 2016-). Rolando has edited a book on Gamerro, 'Volver a las islas: Lecturas sobre la novela de Carlos Gamerro' (Edhasa, 2022).


Past PhD students supervised

Kate Dunn - ‘Poetry as testimonio: Writing Human Rights in Alicia Partnoy’ (1st supervisor; PhD awarded May 2022)

Luyue Wang - 'East Asian Culture and Visual Representation in José Juan Tablada's Poetry'. (Co-supervisor; PhD awarded September 2021).

Rosa Ross - 'Becoming Woman in the Land of Women: Investigating the Paradigm of the Individual Versus the Collective in Contemporary Feminist Utopianism '. [Gioconda Belli, Naomi Alderman and Jacqueline Harpman] (Co-supervisor; PhD awarded January 2021). After teaching for a year in France and then in secondary school in Scotland, Rosa is now working in the University of Edinburgh Business School as a Student Advisor.

Elaine Newton-Bruzza - 'La Mina del Tango: Gendering Discourse in Tango Lyrics'. (2nd supervisor; PhD awarded July 2020). Elaine is now a Language Assistant in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Alice Kilpatrick - 'Approaches to Subtitling Multilingual Films Set in Catalonia' (2nd supervisor;  PhD awarded April 2020). Alice is now a Teaching Fellow in Translation Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Bárbara Fernández Melleda - Chilean women’s poetry, ‘Neo-Liberalism and its Discontents: Three Decades of Chilean Poetry’ (Elvira Hernández; Carmen Berenguer; Alejandra del Río; Marina Arrate; Nadia Prado; Malú Urriola) (1st supervisor; PhD awarded January 2019). Having done a one year Teaching Fellowship in SPLAS at Edinburgh, Bárbara has a Tenure Track Assistant Professorship in Latin American Studies at the University of Hong Kong.

Patricio Rodríguez - 'La obra poética de Elvira Hernández, producida entre 1981 y 2016'. (Visiting PhD student April - September 2018 from Universidad de Chile). 

Julia Utiger - Literature's engagement with xenophobia: a comparative study of novels by/about second generation migrants in Spain, UK and Switzerland. (Visiting PhD student Jan-Aug 2018 from University of Zurich). I was external examiner for Julia's thesis defense in July 2021.

Juliana Nalerio - 'Literary violence in North and South American Literature: Representations of political, systemic, and symbolic violence in Roberto Bolaño, Diamela Eltit, and Miguel Angel Asturias' (Visiting PhD student from University of Valladolid, semester 1, Autumn 2015 and semester 1, Autumn 2016). Juliana received her PhD cum laude in May 2019 and is currently undertaking a second PhD at Harvard University.

Natasha Hakimi - 'El cuerpo exiliado: poesía argentina escrita por mujeres en EEUU', Alicia Borinsky, Gladys Ilarregui, Zulema Moret, María Negroni, Alicia Partnoy, Mercedes Roffe, y Lila Zemborain (Visiting PhD student from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, semester 1 Autumn 2015 and semester 2, Spring 2017). Natasha presented her translations of Alicia Borinsky's poetry collection 'La mujer de mi marido' / 'My husband's woman' (Literal Publishing, 2016) at Edinburgh in May 2017.

María José Barros Cruz – ‘Hablar por la herida: la comunidad nacional en la poesía chilena (1949-2013)’ (Pablo de Rokha; Raúl Zurita; José Ángel Cuevas; Bernardo Colipán) (Visiting PhD Student 2014-15) . Following successful completion of her PhD, María José has a Fondecyt funded postdoc project “Artistas y activistas del siglo XXI: Retóricas de la resistencia y genealogías descolonizadoras en Cecilia Vicuña, Ana Tijoux y Camila Huenchumil" and she is now Assistant Professor at the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Santiago.

Clara Martínez Nistal – ‘The Translator’s Imposture: History and Fiction in Sciascia and Borges’. (Joint supervisor; PhD awarded 2017).

Carolina Orloff – ‘The Representation of the Political Element and its Evolution in Julio Cortázar’s Longer Fiction’ (1st supervisor; PhD awarded 2010). Carolina has her own independent Press, Charco Press, specializing in contemporary Latin American fiction in translation.

Inés Ferrero Candenas – ‘Gendering the Marvelous: Strategies of Response in Remedios Varo, Elena Garro and Carmen Boullosa’ (1st supervisor; PhD awarded 2007). Inés has a permanent academic post in the Departamento de Letras Hispánicas, Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico and coordinates the PhD programme there.

Research summary

Fiona's general research interests are in literary translation, and in 20th-century and contemporary Latin American literature (prose and poetry), particularly of the Southern Cone. She  is an active literary translator. Her co-translation with Iona Macintyre of Gabriela Cabezón Cámara's 'The Adventures of China Iron' was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2020.

"aided by an electrifying translation from the Spanish, every sentence of the novel strikes the reader to the core. Mackintosh and Macintyre’s rendering of the text is extraordinarily clean and compact, yet full of detail and imagery. Without wasting a single word, the translators allow Cabezón Cámara’s tale to unfold gradually, suggesting rather than telling us what is happening. This is some of the most exciting work in the field of literary translation I’ve seen in a long time."

José Pablo Negroni (2021) The Adventures of China Iron, Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, 54:1, 159-160, DOI: 10.1080/08905762.2021.1909390

Current research interests

Fiona is currently working on various translation projects, as well as a monograph on the novels and short stories of Claudia Piñeiro. "Elena Knows contains another, broader focus. This is explored in Dr. Fiona Mackintosh’s excellent nine-page afterword, which provides more information about Piñeiro and her work, while also expanding on the ideas of the novel. Here, she makes certain themes touched on in the book more explicit, showing how it continues the writer’s attempt to tackle certain aspects of Argentinean society, including the reach and influence of the Catholic church. It makes for an excellent addition to the book and shows us that the writer has packed even more into the story than we might have imagined."

Past research interests

Fiona has published extensively on the Argentinian poets Alejandra Pizarnik and Silvina Ocampo. She has also written articles or book chapters on Claudia Piñeiro, Mario Vargas Llosa, Guillermo Martínez, Adolfo Bioy Casares and Alicia Kozameh.

View all 29 publications on Research Explorer

Fiona's joint translation with Iona Macintyre of 'The Adventures of China Iron' (Edinburgh: Charco Press, 2019), a novel by contemporary Argentinian writer Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, was shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize, and was discussed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival online.