Jorge Téllez

Office Location: 
504 Williams Hall
Office Hours: 
Fall 2019: Thursdays 1-2 pm
(215) 898-6029
(215) 898-0933
Assistant Professor of Romance Languages

I am a literary critic and a cultural historian of Latin America from the colonial period to the present. My research focuses on the function of literature and art in history and society.

My first book, Poéticas del Nuevo Mundo (Siglo XXI Editores, 2012), studies 16th and 17th century colonial Latin American literary criticism, praises of poetry, and poetics. It was awarded the Siglo XXI-Editores International Essay prize (2011).

My recent work focuses on Mexico—I am currently working on two book-projects that examine how colonial legacies have shaped modern and contemporary cultural institutions and practices.

The first book, titled Precarious Narratives: The Picaresque and The Writing Life in Mexico, 1690-2013, studies the emergence and development of the Mexican literary field through the lens of the picaresque. My book contends that Mexican writers invoke this literary form to ponder on what they regard as the perils of intellectual labor in Mexico, thus turning the picaresque into a reflection on the place that literature and writers have borne within Mexican society throughout history.


The second book, titled Colonial Collections: Value, Objects, and Narratives of the Past in 21st Century Mexico, delves into the relationship between art and politics by analyzing contemporary cultural productions and institutions that engage the colonial past as a source for literary, artistic, and historical value. This is an interdisciplinary project that includes a diverse set of case studies from urban and architectural sites and literary works to initiatives from non-profit organizations, financial institutions, and the government.



Research Interests: 
  • Colonial Latin America
  • Mexican literature and culture
  • Cultural Theory
  • Intellectual History
  • Poetics

PhD, El Colegio de México (2011)