Dr Luis Medina Cordova BA, MA, PhD

Dr Luis Medina Cordova

Department of Modern Languages
Lecturer in Modern Languages (Spanish)

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Luis A. Medina Cordova is Lecturer in Modern Languages. He specialises in the study of contemporary Ecuadorian and Latin American writing. After being awarded a PhD in Latin American Studies by King's College London in 2020, he has held teaching positions at King's College London and the University of Manchester. In 2021, he won the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland Publication Prize. His first monograph, published in 2022 by Tamesis Books, explores contemporary Ecuadorian fiction, its connections with economic phenomena and its impacts on the study of World Literature. He is developing a publication record that explores how the region's minor national literatures can provide alternative understandings of Latin American writing and World Literature in the twenty-first century.


  • PhD in Latin American Studies, King's College London
  • MA in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, King's College London
  • BA in Journalism, Universidad Casa Grande (Guayaquil, Ecuador)


I specialise in Latin American Cultural Studies, with a particular focus on contemporary Ecuadorian literature. Before moving to the UK, I did my BA in Journalism at Universidad Casa Grande (Guayaquil, Ecuador) and worked as a journalist for over seven years. My writing has been featured by outlets including El Telégrafo, Expreso, Vistazo, GK and El País.

My interest in cultural journalism and literature brought me to the UK to pursue a MA in Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies at King's College London. The learnings of that MA programme became the basis of my doctoral research. After completing a four-year research project on contemporary Ecuadorian literature at King's College London, I was awarded my PhD in Latin American Studies in 2020. My doctoral thesis received the 2020-2021 AHGBI Publication Prize and the King's Outstanding Thesis Prize 2021. I also won the 2021 NeMLA CAITY Essay Award for an article based on one of my thesis' chapters.

Following my PhD, I held teaching posts at King's College London and The University of Manchester. I joined the University of Birmingham in 2021 as Lecturer in Modern Languages (Spanish).


I specialise in teaching Hispanic culture. At Birmingham, I teach Spanish core modules at intermediate and advanced levels, including Hispanic Cultures in Global Contexts.

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising doctoral projects on Latin American cultural production broadly, but particularly in the following areas:

- Latin American literature, mainly 20th century and contemporary

- Ecuadorian Literature

-World Literature from Latin American perspectives

-Intersections of economics and Latin American cultural production

-Covid-19 Narratives in Latin America


I am interested in the intersection of cultural, social, and political processes in Latin America. I study the role of economic crises in understanding contemporary Latin American fiction and its connections to World Literature. I focus on how translation, circulation, and the international understanding of "Latin American writing" has impacted the development of Ecuadorian literature after Ecuador's 1999 economic crisis, also known as the Feriado Bancario. My work aims at shedding light on the work of poorly translated literary voices in the Anglophone academia while informing global debates about the meanings of World Literature from a 'minor' Latin American perspective.

My PhD research focuses on Ecuadorian fiction published after 1999. I draw from New Economic Criticism to identify a shift from the national to the transnational in twenty-first century Ecuador and propose a definition for "contemporary Ecuadorian literature". By examining a selection of novels published in the last twenty years, I propose that, underrepresented in the global literary market in terms of translation and circulation, as well as understudied in the scholarship, Ecuadorian writing illuminates alternative ways of understanding what constitutes a 'World Novel'.

My latest research project focuses on real-time literary responses to Covid-19 in Latin America. I propose that body of fiction deeply engaged with the fears and anxieties caused by the pandemic worldwide is vigorously developing on social media outlets and other digital platforms. I am analysing testimonial writing, survival poetry and Covid-19 flash fiction on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, where machine translation has allowed stories to circulate rapidly across cultural and linguistic territories.


Recent publications


Espinoza Carvajal, A & Medina Cordova, LA (eds) 2024, Pandemic and Narration: Covid-19 Narratives in Latin America. Series in Politics, 1st edn, Vernon Press. <https://vernonpress.com/book/1901>

Medina Cordova, L 2022, Imagining Ecuador: Crisis, Transnationalism and Contemporary Fiction. Monografías A, vol. 399, Boydell & Brewer. <https://boydellandbrewer.com/9781855663589/imagining-ecuador/>


Medina Cordova, L 2022, 'From Cuchitambo to Otavalo to New York City: border-crossing in Carlos Arcos’s Memorias de Andrés Chiliquinga', Journal of Romance Studies, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 257–276. https://doi.org/10.3828/jrs.2022.14

Medina Cordova, L 2022, 'Microcuentos: very short Latin American fiction in and for pandemic times', Journal of World Literature, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 39-53. https://doi.org/10.1163/24056480-00701005

Medina Cordova, L 2021, 'The war of the worlds may well start in Latin America: Gabriela Alemán’s filmmaking approach of writing and the decentring of global narratives', Journal of World Literature, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 414-429. https://doi.org/10.1163/24056480-00603009

Medina Cordova, L 2020, 'Narrating a Global Crisis from Guayaquil in Real Time: Early Literary Responses to the COVID-19 Outbreak in Latin America', Bulletin of Latin American Research, vol. 39, no. S1, pp. 108. https://doi.org/10.1111/blar.13172

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Medina Cordova, L & Espinoza Carvajal, A 2024, Nothing is Normal, Everything is Normal: Disruption and Continuity in Guayaquil’s Pandemic Experience. in A Espinoza Carvajal & LA Medina Cordova (eds), Pandemic and Narration: Covid-19 Narratives in Latin America. 1st edn, Series in Politics, Vernon Press, pp. 155-168. <https://vernonpress.com/book/1901>


Boyle, C, Tarlton, J, Cordone, L, Medina Cordova, L, Ramos, ML & Lisoni, N (eds) 2022, Conexión inestable: testimonio de una pandemia. Editorial de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras - Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires. <http://publicaciones.filo.uba.ar/conexi%C3%B3n-inestable-testimonio-de-una-pandemia>


Medina Cordova, L 2022, 'Preservar lo intraducible: entrevista con Gabriela Alemán', Ciberletras, no. 47, pp. 87-98. <https://www.lehman.cuny.edu/ciberletras/documents/0.6-Preservarlointraducible-Medina-Aleman.pdf>

Other contribution

Medina Cordova, L 2022, Ecuadorian Literature: Three Crucial Moments to Understand It Today. Boydell & Brewer. <https://boydellandbrewer.com/blog/hispanic-studies/ecuadorian-literature-three-crucial-moments-to-understand-it-today/>

Medina Cordova, L 2020, You're Studying, not Working.. <https://languageacts.org/blog/youre-studying-not-working/>

Medina Cordova, L 2018, La BBC en nuestras propias palabras.. <https://languageacts.org/blog/la-bbc-en-nuestras-propias-palabras/>


Medina Cordova, L 2024, 'From Poso Wells to The Country of the Blind and Back: Extremely Local, Incredibly Global Contemporary Ecuadorian Literature', Paper presented at AHGBI Annual Conference, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 25/03/24 - 28/03/24.

View all publications in research portal