Pablo San Martín

Myth and Enlightenment: Necessity, History, and Agency in Shelley's Poetry and Prose

  • PhD in English Literature
  • Department of English Literature
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details


I completed a BA in Spanish Language and Literature at the University of Chile in 2009. Afterwards, I studied English and German Interpretation and Translation for a year, but interrupted the programme when I obtained a scholarship to do an MSc in Literature and Society: 1688-1900 at Edinburgh. I began my doctoral studies in 2013 under the supervision of Tim Milnes. I am also interested in creative writing (in Spanish), and have published two plays and a book of poetry. I sometimes work as a translator.


  • BA in Spanish Language and Literature (First Class Honours), University of Chile
  • MSc in Literature and Society: 1688-1900 (Distinction), University of Edinburgh
  • German Language Certificate (C2), University of Vienna

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Member of the British Association of Romatic Studies

Undergraduate teaching

Scottish Literature 2

Postgraduate teaching

Theories and Textual Practices

Research summary

My research interests gravitate around the interactions between philosophy and literature in the long eighteenth century. I am particularly interested in the way in which Romantic poetry and poetics engage with Enlightenment epistemology, historiography, political philosophy and early social science. My MSc dissertation inquired into the way in which William Wordsworth engaged with Adam Smith’s ideas on the division of labour in the ‘Preface’ to Lyrical Ballads. My doctoral research project traces the development of the conceptions and uses of myth in the work of Percy Shelley within the intellectual context of the late Enlightenment, especially concerning the fields of mythography, epistemology, and historiography.

Literary Criticism

  • ‘Exploring the Enlightenment from Intellectual History and Critical Theory: A Case Study of Hybrid Methodologies in Literary Criticism.’ FORUM 19 (2014): n. pag.

  • ‘Materialismo e idealismo en la poética y en el pensamiento político de Percy B. Shelley.’ Revista Chilena de Literatura 81 (2012): 107-118.

  • ‘Tesis para una crítica basada en la estética hoy día”. Materialismo Histórico 1 (2011): 69-77.

Creative Writing

  • Romancero abandonado. (Poems.) Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 2012.

  • Madre nuestra que estás en la cama / El cementerio de naves. (Plays.) Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 2012.

  • XIV y XV Muestra de Dramaturgia Nacional. (Drama anthology.) Santiago: Concejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes, 2012.

  • Muestra de poesía: 18 poetas jóvenes de la región metropolitana. (Poetic anthology.) Santiago:, 2007.


  • Grant, Melissa Gira. Haciendo de puta. La labor del trabajo sexual. Santiago: Pólvora, 2016. [Grant, Melissa Gira. Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work. London: Verso, 2014.]

Conferences and Seminars

  • Romantic Voices, University of Oxford, June 2016: ‘Theological Debate and Natural History in Percy Shelley’s Irreligious Writings of 1811-1816’

  • LLC Colloquy, University of Edinburgh, May 2014: ‘Exploring the Enlightenment from Intellectual History and Critical Theory.’

  • Romantic Realignments Research Seminar, University of Oxford, February 2014: ‘The Concept(s) of Myth in Hume and Shelley.’

  • Work in Progress Research Seminar, University of Edinburgh, October 2013: ‘The Belletristic Conception of Poetry in the “Age of Separations”.’

  • Conflict and Catastrophe in the Long Eighteenth Century, University of Cambridge, April 2012: ‘“But Poets do not write for Poets alone, but for men”: Romantic Poetics and the Division of Labour.’

  • Jornadas Andinas de Literatura Latinoamericana de Estudiantes, University of Chile, October 2010: ‘Alegoría y negatividad en La Bandera de Chile de Elvira Hernández.’

Scholarships and Grants

  • Principal's Go Abroad Fund (2016)

  • Becas Chile, PhD Scholarship (2011-2015)

  • Fondo del Libro, Creative Writing Grant for essay (2010)

  • Fondo del Libro, Creative Writing Grant for poetry (2007)

Literary Awards

  • Public Libraries’ Acquisition Programme in Chile (2013)

  • XIV National Playwriting Contest, winner in the young writers category (2009)

  • Gabriela Mistral Prize for poetry, finalist (2009)

  • Gabriela Mistral Prize for drama, finalist (2009)