Valentina P. Aparicio

Thesis title: Robert Southey's non-European poetry: imperialism and radical politics


PhD Candidate English Literature, The University of Edinburgh, UK

MSc Literature and Society: Enlightenment, Romantic, and Victorian , The University of Edinburgh, UK

B. A. (Hons) Hispanic Literature and Linguistics, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Chile

Responsibilities & affiliations

Co-Convener Edinburgh Nineteenth-Century Research Seminars (NCRS)

British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS)

The Friends of Coleridge



Undergraduate teaching

Tutor - Scottish Literature 2

Research summary

My work focuses on Robert Southey’s writings on the Americas. I specifically analyse how representations of non-British peoples and settings relate to the evolution from radicalism to conservatism in Southey’s politics. Through my research I  would  like  to  argue  that Southey’s diverse representations of non-Europeans in the Americas problematised the role  of  the English radical in projects based on universalism, such as revolution. The chapters of my work illustrate this through the analysis of representations of non-European culturally-based forms of violence: human sacrifices, Native American death songs, cannibalism, amongst other. I argue that Southey’s representations of the Americas reflect and analyse the contradictory convergence of universalist radical ideas and the expansionist politics of Empire. Through my research on Southey as a case study, I intend to demonstrate that this convergence between radical universalist projects and imperialism is central to politics of Romanticism. Thus, I want to show that the conservative turn of the Romantics is not a mere rejection of their previous political beliefs, but a change that grew out organically from some elements of 1790s radical politics, particularly the understandings of difference, historical development and what we now call ‘culture’. 

Current research interests

Robert Southey, Romantic literature and Imperialism, Cultural Studies, Marxist postcolonial studies, the Americas in British Romantic literature

Current project grants

Becas Chile Doctorado en el Extrnajero - Conicyt, Chilean Government
Stephen Copley Research Award - British Association of Romantic Studies
Funding for Research Expenses - Royal Historical Society

Past project grants

Becas Chile Magister en el Extranjero - Conicyt, Chilean Government
Ena Wordsworth Bursary - Wordsworth Summer Conference


Transgender Intersectional/International 2019. Logistics and catering.

Interdisciplinary Congress in Honour of Alexander von Humboldt, Claudio Gay, and Ignacio Domeyko, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile & Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin. Santiago, Chile 2014. Support team.

IV Coloquio Ensayo y Error, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. Santiago, Chile 2013. Head of committee.

Papers delivered

Oct 2018 - Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century Autumn Workshop; Edinburgh UK, Paper: “‘“Not with the burial of the sword this strife / Must end, but of the warrior”: historicity and the nation in Southey's Madoc”. 

Aug 2018 - Biennial Coleridge Conference (The Friends of Coleridge); Cambridge UK, Paper: “‘Either find repose in an Indian wig-wam or from an Indian tomahawk’: Memory in Southey’s Songs of the American Indians’”.

Aug 2018 - Wordsworth Summer Conference (Wordsworth Cirlce); Rydall UK, Paper: “‘thou shalt not shed the life of man in bloody sacrifice, it is his holy bidding which I speak’: Religious violence as a civilisational impulse in Madoc”. 

Aug 2017 - Wordsworth Summer Conference (Wordsworth Circle); Rydall UK, Paper: “Robert Southey’s ‘Songs of the American Indians’ and native-led rebellions in the Americas”

Aug 2016 - Conferencia Chile Transatlántico (PUC CHILE & Brown); Santiago, Chile, Paper: “Disidencia, resistencia y asimilación: mapuche y escoceses en la literatura romántica británica”. 

Aug 2013 - Jornadas Andinas de Literatura Latinoamericana para estudiantes (Universidad de San Agustín) Arequipa, Peru,  Paper: ‘‘Tres poemas’, ‘Soledad’ y ‘Un Tren Sonámbulo’: una poética de la impermanencia en La calle de la tarde de Norah Lange’. 

Aug 2012 - 3er Coloquio Ensayo y Error (PUC) Santiago, Chile, Paper: ‘Doña Francisca como figura fundamental en el proyecto ilustrado de Blest Gana para un nuevo público lector en el siglo XIX’

Jul 2012 - Jornadas Andinas de Literatura Latinoamericana (UniValle) Cali Colombia, Paper: ‘Cosmopolitismo y periferia en el Buenos Aires de los Veinte poemas para ser leídos en el tranvía’ 

Aparicio, Valentina. ‘Fervor de Buenos Aires y Trampantojos: puntos de encuentro entre Jorge Luis Borges y Ramón Gómez de la Serna’. Episteme, Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas.

Aparicio, Valentina. ‘Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud, Radical Orientalism: Rights, Reform, and Romanticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 268 pp. ISBN: 9781107110328, £64.99’. FORUM 22 (2016): 1-4.

Aparicio, Valentina. ‘El Español (Abril 1810 – Marzo 1811) Negociaciones del Meridiano Cultural entre América y España en un Espacio de Comunicación Transatlántica.’ Cuadernos de Ilustración y Romanticismo 21 (2015): 281-304.