Associate Professor in Spanish and Portuguese and Global Studies
Portuguese Minor and Brazilian Studies AdvisorShellhorse.Adam
440 Anderson Hall


Modern Latin American Literature (19th, 20th, and 21st centuries), Latin American Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Comparative Spanish American and Brazilian Literature, Visual and Concrete Poetics, Avant-Gardes, Women’s Writing


A Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, my areas of specialization are 19th, 20th, and 21st century Latin American literature and poetics viewed within a comparative, inter-American context.  Bridging these historically divided fields, four problems guide my research: 1) the constructivist, radical reflexive turn in Latin American poetics and art during the 1950s and 60s; 2) the legacies of the historical Latin American avant-gardes; 3) the examination of literature in relationship to the other arts, media, and technology, and how literature relates to questions of social justice; 4) the crisis of literary expression and nation-state discourses in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and, in consequence, the literary’s uneven relation with politics, class, and gender in Latin American Studies today.  No doubt, my aim is to forge a new view of the problem nexus, and state of affairs in the field, that fruitfully underwrite the literature discussion and its crisis.

My first book, Anti-Literature: The Politics and Limits of Representation in Modern Brazil and Argentina (University of Pittsburgh Press, Illuminations, 2017), articulates a rethinking of what is meant today by “literature.”  Examining key Latin American forms of experimental writing from the 1920s to the present, the book reveals literature’s power as a site for radical reflection and reaction to contemporary political and cultural conditions. My analysis engages the work of writers such as Clarice Lispector, Oswald de Andrade, the Brazilian concrete poets, Osman Lins, and David Viñas, to develop a theory of anti-literature that posits the feminine, multimedial, and subaltern as central to the undoing of what is meant by “literature.”

By placing Brazilian and Argentine anti-literature at the crux of a new way of thinking about the field, the book challenges prevailing discussions about the historical projection and critical force of Latin American literature. Examining a diverse array of texts and media that include the visual arts, concrete poetry, film scripts, pop culture, neo-baroque narrative, and others that defy genre, the book delineates the subversive potential of anti-literary modes of writing while also engaging current debates in Latin American studies on subalternity, feminine writing, posthegemony, concretism, affect, marranismo, and the politics of aesthetics.

The book is under contract and currently being translated into Portuguese by Editora Perspectiva and into Spanish by Santiago Arcos Editor with anticipated publication dates of 2019.

I am actively working on a second book that offers a new appraisal of the question of affect, politics, and vanguardism in Spanish American and Brazilian experimental literature. The book centers its attention largely on the writings of Alejandra Pizarnik, the Brazilian concrete poets, Oswald de Andrade, Roberto Bolaño, Juan José Saer, and David Viñas.

Selected Publications


  • Shellhorse book cover Anti-LiteratureAnti-Literature: The Politics and Limits of Representation in Modern Brazil and Argentina. Pittsburgh: The University of Pittsburgh Press (Illuminations: Cultural Formations of the Americas), 2017.
  • Antiliteratura: a política e os limites da representação no Brasil e na Argentina modernas. Trans. Diana Junkes. São Paulo: Editora Perspectiva, Estudos, Forthcoming.
  • Antiliteratura: la política y los limites de la representación en Brasil y Argentina modernas. Trans. Gabriela García Cedro. Buenos Aires: Santiago Arcos Editor, Forthcoming.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • “Affect and Event in Décio Pignatari: Multimedial Poetics, Politics and Radical Prosa.” CR: The New Centennial Review 20.1 (Winter 2019), Forthcoming, 30 pages.
  • “Dialécticas de la letra: El régimen de representación y la política de lo sensible en la literatura latinoamericana.” Política Común: A Journal of Thought 12 (Fall 2018), Forthcoming, 30 pages.
  • “A Poetics of Resistance and Multiplicity: Valle-Inclán, Spanish Theater, and War in the Work of Dru Dougherty. Or Lessons of a Master.” Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea 42.4 (August 2017): 9-19.
  • “Subversions of the Sensible: The Poetics of Antropofagia in Brazilian Concrete Poetry.” Revista Hispánica Moderna 68.2 (December 2015): 165-90.
  • “Figurations of Immanence: Writing the Subaltern and the Feminine in Clarice Lispector.”  Política Común: A Journal of Thought 6 (Fall 2014): 33 pages.
  • “Literature before Literature: Posthegemonic Mediation, the Body of Language and the Affect.” *Lead Article. Política Común: A Journal of Thought 6 (Fall 2014): 14 pages.
  • Formas de Fome: Anti-Literature and the Politics of Representation in Haroldo de Campos’s Galáxias.” CR: The New Centennial Review 14.3 (Winter 2014): 219-54.
  • “The Explosion of the Letter: The Crisis of the Poetic and Representation in João Cabral de Melo Neto’s Morte e Vida Severina: auto de Natal pernambucano.” Luso-Brazilian Review 50.1 (2013): 201-28.

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters

  • “The Avant-Garde: From Creacionismo to Ultraísmo, Brazilian Modernismo, Antropofagia, and Surrealism.”  The Cambridge Companion to Latin American Poetry.  Ed. Stephen M. Hart.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (Forthcoming, 2018). 36-62.
  • “Augusto de Campos.” Dictionary of Literary Biography: Twenty-First Century Brazilian Writers. Volume 384. Eds. Monica Rector and Robert Anderson. Detroit: Gale, (Forthcoming, 2018). 15 pages.
  • “Latin American Literary Representational Regime.” The Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Eds. Sangeeta Ray, Henry Schwarz, José Luis Villacañas Berlanga, Alberto Moreiras and April Shemak. Vol. II. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. 923-32.

Scholarly Essays


  • “Theory of the Non-Object.” By Ferreira Gullar. Art in Brazil: (1950 – Present). Brussels: Ludion, 2011. 59-61.
  • “Neo-Concrete Manifesto.” By Ferreira Gullar.  Trans. Laura Pérez & Adam Joseph Shellhorse.  Art in Brazil: (1950 – Present). Brussels: Ludion, 2011. 55-57.


  • “‘No hay literatura inocente’: An Interview with Argentine Intellectual and Novelist David Viñas.” Letras Hispanas 6.2 (Fall 2009): 127-37.

Courses Taught

  • Portuguese 4000, Literature and Revolution: Global Lusophone and Latin American Literature, 19th century-Present, (Spring 2018)
  • Spanish 4161/5161, Brazilian and Spanish American Literature and the Arts, (Spring 2018)
  • Spanish 8161, Global Latin American Literature and Aesthetics in Theory (Fall 2017)
  • Spanish 3142, The Cultures of Latin America: Brazil and Spanish America (Fall 2017).
  • Portuguese 4083, Directed Reading, Brazilian Literature from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Spring 2015)
  • Spanish 4146/5146, Radical Reinventions of Language in Brazilian and Spanish American Literature and Film (Spring 2017)
  • Portuguese 4000, Modern Brazilian Literature, Film and Culture (Spring 2017)
  • Portuguese 3201, Portuguese Speaking Cultures, (Fall 2015, 2016, and 2017)
  • Portuguese 2001, Portuguese Readings, Conversation, and Composition (Fall 2016)
  • Spanish 9083, Directed Reading, A Transatlantic Endeavor: Modern Brazilian, Portuguese and Spanish American Literature in Comparative Context (Fall 2016)
  • Spanish 8147, Global Forms: Affect and Multimedia in Latin American Literature (Spring 2016)
  • Portuguese 2002, Readings in Portuguese (Spring 2016)
  • Spanish 2001, Conversational Review (Fall 2016)
  • Spanish 3002, Hispanic Readings II (Spring 2015)
  • Spanish 8147, La letra y sus márgenes: literatura hispanoamericana y brasileña (Spring 2014)
  • Spanish 0868 (GenEd), Brazil and Spanish America in Literature and Film (Fall 2012, Spring 2014)
  • Portuguese 4000/5000, Modernity and the Margins of the Letter: Brazilian Literature from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (Fall 2013)
  • Portuguese 1021, Portuguese for Spanish Speakers (Fall 2011, Fall 2013)
  • Portuguese 3201, Portuguese and Brazilian Culture and Civilization (Spring 2012)
  • Spanish 3001, Advanced Conversation and Composition in Spanish (Fall 2011)