American Studies HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU

Academic Staff

Professor Bárbara Fernández Melleda
Assistant Professor in Latin American Studies

5.19 Run Run Shaw Tower

Bárbara Fernández Melleda

Bárbara arrived in Hong Kong in 2019 after completing her PhD in Hispanic Studies and working as a Teaching Fellow in Spanish at The University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on a variety of topics that analyse Chilean literature, such as intersections between articulations of the female psyche, the criticism of neoliberal principles within a post-dictatorship context, biblical references in poetry and narrative, and memory/post-memory constructions in Chilean writing, among others. Lately, Bárbara has been exploring the cultural relationship between China and Latin America, more specifically with Chile through poets Pablo Neruda, Armando Uribe, and Pablo de Rokha. She was the recipient of the Luis Cha Fund for East/West Studies to conduct research to examine details concerning the great friendship between Pablo Neruda and Chinese poet Ai Qing, and how this permeated both poets’ production. At the moment, Bárbara is working on her book manuscript entitled Chilean Women’s Poetry under Neoliberalism, 1980-2020 which is under review at a prestigious British university press. Her research features at top journals such as Literature Compass, Cultural Dynamics, and The Irish Review..

Her latest research project, The Fall of Neoliberalism in the Chilean Post Dictatorship Novel (2000-2020) received the Early Career Scheme Fund by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) in 2022. The project lasts 3 years and was awarded HKD 415,000.

As a Latinamericanist, Bárbara’s teaching portfolio is broad. She has lectured on Chilean culture, canonical authors from the Latin American Boom and Nobel Prize winners, XIX century foundational and abolitionist novels from Cuba, Perú and Argentina, Latin American visual culture and fine arts, and Latin American cultural theory. At HKU, Bárbara is devoted to the development of Latin American themed courses and expanding the scope of the American Studies Programme from a hemispheric perspective. She also welcomes postgraduate proposals on topics related to her research interests. For further information on postgraduate supervision, see what her students are doing below.

Dr Fernández-Melleda is a member of the Editorial Board for Memory Studies Review (Brill) and she works as a peer reviewer for a variety prestigious journals in her field.

2023/24 Courses
Semester 2 (January 2024)
AMER2060 US/Latin American cultural interactions
AMER2061 Argentina and Chile dictatorships: Building resistance in literature and film

Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Linguistics, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
Master of Arts in Latin American Literature, Universidad de Chile.
PhD in Hispanic Studies, The University of Edinburgh.

Postgraduate Supervision
Mr Henrique Gomes (2020-2024): Coloniality and Structural Racism in Brazil: Epistemic Diversity in Contemporary Brazilian North-eastern Literature and Cinema, PhD, Principal Supervisor.
Ms Leilei Zhang (2021-2023): Images and Memory of Brazil in Memórias do Cárcere (1953) by Graciliano Ramos and Brazil, Land of the Future (1941) by Stefan Zweig, MPhil, Principal Supervisor.
Ms Cecilia Chen (2022-2026): Phenomenological Analysis of Virtual Reality Film, PhD, Secondary Supervisor.
Ms Lilian Escalona (2023-2027): Latin American Buddhism in the Neoliberal Age: An Emancipatory Alternative, PhD, Principal Supervisor.

Office Hours: September-December 2023, via Zoom. Please email me in advance to book an appointment. January-April 2024, Mondays 2-4 PM.

For accessing some of my publications, please check my profile.

For any media enquiries please email me on


American Studies HKU