Javier graduated (First Class) in Philosophy, Theology, and Education (Bachelor’s Degree) at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogota, Colombia) in 2011, receiving an award for his dissertation. After some years working as a teacher, in education management, and in social programmes, in 2018 he obtained an MA in Film and Film Cultures with Distinction at the University of Leicester. His MA dissertation was focused on the representation of class, gender, and armed conflict in Sergio Cabrera’s films from the 1990s. His PhD is funded by the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust in partnership with MINCIENCIAS (Colombia).
Beyond his studies, Javier has participated in diverse cultural platforms related to cinema. In 2019 he received the Premio de Periodismo Cultural IDARTES 2019 (Nuevos Nombres) — a renown local award in cultural journalism — for his story on a film club based in Bogota and organised by an advocacy group mainly formed by transgender women.
In 2020 Javier started the development of the research network Red Cu on queer perspectives in Colombian and Latin American film and screen, co-established with Dr Karol Valderrama-Burgos (University of St Andrews).
Provisional title: new representations of queerness in contemporary Latin American Cinema
Javier’s doctoral project explores new ways to bridge film and queer studies in Latin American scholarship. To rehearse this exploration, he draws on decolonial studies that emerged in the 1990s, ideas on the epistemologies of the South, and particularly recent revisions of these reflections from a queer perspective developed by Latin American scholars. Emphasising the entanglements of political and economic spheres with cultural structures – specifically with sexuality – Javier aims to ‘translate’ decolonial thinking into the realm of cinema. Using this framework, Javier probes the narrative and formal strategies used to depict queer desires and lives on Latin American screens, more specifically in feature films from the 2010s.
Research and Teaching Fellowship, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia (2023)
Scholarship awarded by the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust in partnership with MINCIENCIAS (2020-2023)
Santander Master’s scholarship (2017-2018)
COLFUTURO scholarship (2017-2018)
Consejo Nacional de las Artes y la Cultura en Cinematografía (CNACC) award (2017)
‘Orden al Mérito Académico’, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (2011)
- Course supervisor: CS6: European Film (2021 – present) and SP13: Contemporary Latin American Culture (2022 – present)
- Undergraduate Year Abroad Project dissertation supervisor (2022-present)
- Undergraduate Final Year dissertation supervisor (2022-present)
- Seminar leader: CS6: Global Art Cinema (2021-22) and Queer Cinema (2022-23)
Jul 2023 Queer Hispanisms Now, CRASSH, University of Cambridge (co-convenor)
May 2023 Screening Series: Queer Tropical Frames, University of Cambridge, funded by SLAS and BAFTSS (organiser)
May 2023 Cuiring the Americas, University of Cambridge (collaborator)
Oct 2022 I Simposio Red Cu, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia (co-organiser)
Jul 2022 PILAS Conference, ‘Repair, Resistance, and Resilience in Latin America’, University of Cambridge (co-organiser)
Jun 2022 Queer Cultures Graduate Symposium, University of Cambridge (co-organiser)
Sep 2022 6th International Society for Intermedial Studies Conference, In Between and Across: New Directions, Mappings and Contact Zones, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. ‘From Thailand to Colombia: Medial and Geopolitical Crossings in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria (2021)’ at the panel Coming to Latin America: Crossings and Connections Between Media Practitioners and Moving Image Excavations. (Co-convened with Lawrence Alexander)
Apr 2022 SLAS Conference: Latin America in times of political mistrust and global pandemic, University of Bath. ‘Deviant Sexualities, Dissident Citizenships: A Decolonial Examination of Queer Artistic Performances During Colombia’s Social Demonstrations’ at the panel Reimagining Protest: Cultural Mediations of Social Movements in Contemporary Latin America.
Jul 2023 Queer Hispanisms Now, University of Cambridge. ‘Queer Memory and Resistance in Tengo miedo torero (2020)’
May 2023 Cuiring the Americas, University of Cambridge. ‘Cada vez que muero (2023): Trans Performance, Embodiment, and Resistance in Colombia’
Apr 2023 SCMS Conference, Denver, US. ‘Wandering Boxes, “Worldling Potential”: Reframing Queer Aesthetics in Retablo (2017)’
Oct 2022 Posthuman Bodies & Embodied Posthumanisms, University of Warwick. ‘Queer Bodies from the Tropics: A Posthuman Reading of The Untamed (2016)’
Jul 2022 Screen Studies Conference, University of Glasgow, online. ‘Wandering boxes: appropriation and subversion of queer aesthetic in Retablo (2017)’
Jun 2022 NECS 2022: Epistemic Media: Archive, Atlas, Network, National University of Theatre and Film, Bucharest, Romania. ‘Queer Monsters from the Global South: A Countersexual Reading of As boas maneiras (2017)’
Apr 2022 AHGBI Conference, Institute of Modern Languages Research, London. ‘“Es como si yo no existiera en este mundo”: The Depiction of Queer Subjectivity in Señorita María (2017)’
Mar 2022 SCMS Conference, online. ‘Queer Aliens: The Countersexual Potential of The Extra-Terrestrial in The Untamed (2016)’
Jul 2021 Quo Vadis?: Arts and Humanities Research in the 21st Century, UCL, London. ‘Rethinking Latin American queer cinema from a decolonial perspective’
Jun 2021 Queer Cultures Graduate Symposium, University of Cambridge. ‘New representations of queerness in Latin American cinema’
May 2021 Queer Representation: Pasts, Presents and Futures, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh. ‘Screening Through Silence: The Representation of Queerness in Retablo (2017)’
Other academic events and Public Engagement
February 2022 Selwyn College MCR, LGBTQ+ History Month Seminar Series, University of Cambridge. ‘Tropical Frames: New Approaches to Latin American Queer Cinema’
Jun 2021 GSB Seminar, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. ‘Melorealism in Colombian cinema’
‘Deviant Sexualities, Dissident Citizenships: Queer Performances During El Paro (2019-2021)’, The Edinburgh Companion to Queer Reading, (forthcoming, Spring 2024).
‘Screening Through Silence: The Representation of Queerness in Retablo (2017)’, Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture, (forthcoming 2023).
‘Review of Cada vez que muero‘, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, (July-December 2022).
‘Review of Señorita María, la falda de la montaña’, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 111 (January-June 2021).
‘Reseña de Una historia comparada del cine latinoamericano de Paul A. Schroeder Rodríguez’, Imagofagia: Revista de la Asociación Argentina de Estudios de Cine y Audiovisual, n. 22 (October 2020).
‘Pushing the boundaries of melodrama’, Carma: Colombian Artistic Research Magazine (2018), pp. 143-155.
‘Momentos “queer” en el cine colombiano’, Canaguaro: Revista de cine colombiano, n. 3 (September 2021), co-written with Karol Valderrama-Burgos.
‘Reseña de El río de las tumbas de Julio Luzardo (1964)’, Canaguaro: Revista de cine colombiano, n. 2 (Abril 2021).
‘En búsqueda del cine melorrealista en Colombia’, Canaguaro: Revista de cine colombiano, n. 1 (December 2020).
‘Entre la ausencia y la burla: reflexiones en torno a la representación LGBTIQ+ en el cine colombiano más taquillero’, Catálogo del 5º Festival de Cine de Jardín (August 2020), pp. 64-69.
Other activities and roles
Javier co-organises the research network on queer Latin American moving image Red Cu.
In the academic year 2021-2022 Javier was part of the committee of PILAS, the postgraduate affiliate of The Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS), and co-organised the postgraduate conference. He was also co-convenor of the Queer Cultures Seminar in the same academic year.
Javier is a member of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), the British Association for Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS), the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS), the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS), the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Irelandand (AHGBI), and the Red de Investigadores sobre Cine Latinoamericano.