Paul Humphrey |

Paul was awarded a first class Joint Honours degree in French Studies and Hispanic Studies from the University of Birmingham in 2007. He then went on to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and in 2008 was awarded a Sir Henry Thomas scholarship by the Department of Hispanic Studies to study for an MPhil by research in Caribbean Cultural Studies, supervised by Dr Conrad James. Having received the College of Arts and Law Doctoral Fellowship by the University of Birmingham, Paul developed his project into a doctoral thesis which has recently been submitted for examination, entitled Gods, Gender and Sexuality: Representations of Vodou and Santería in Haitian and Cuban Cultural Production.

In his thesis, Paul analyses the manner in which African-derived religious traditions in Haiti and Cuba have been used to explore issues of gender and sexuality in literature and theatre from the mid-twentieth century to the present day, both within these specific religious traditions and in their wider social, political and racial contexts. In these transnational and cross-linguistic spaces, his project details the manner in which authors such as Mayra Montero, Eugenio Hernández Espinosa, Kettly Mars and Marie Vieux-Chauvet use corporeality, performance and the intersection of the physical and spiritual to collapse divisions between concepts of gender, sexuality and nation, thereby exploring multiple forms of womanhood and destructive masculinity. Paul has presented his research at various institutions in the UK, Switzerland and the United States, and his article examining African-derived religious traditions in the Caribbean and the concept of nation in four of Mayra Montero’s works will appear in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Haitian Studies.

Paul has contributed to a range of Spanish language courses in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham between 2009-2012, teaching as part of first-, second- and final-year Spanish grammar and translation courses in addition to taking a leading role in providing revision classes for these courses as well as year-long supplementary translation and grammar sessions. In addition, he has participated in the Routes into Languages programme with Aston University, and continues to be involved with foreign language pedagogy at the secondary and VI Form levels.