María E. López

Dr. María Encarnación López (BA (Hons), MA, MA, PhD) is a Senior lecturer in sociology and cultural studies. She joined the London Metropolitan University in 2007 as a lecturer of Hispanic politics and culture and was course leader of the Department of Hispanic Studies from 2009 to 2011, when she moved to the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. María currently teaches undergraduate courses on Gender and Sexuality, Social Problems and Social Issues and Twentieth Century Sociology. She is also an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS), University of London.

Before joining London Metropolitan University in 2007, María worked as a press and TV journalist in national television broadcasting in Spain and in the UK, taught cultural studies and sociology at Syracuse University London and acted as an external examiner for Spanish language in the BA Hispanic Studies at UCL and Syracuse University in London.

María has an English Philology BA (Hons) from Complutense University of Madrid, an International Conflict MA from Complutense University of Madrid, a Postcolonial Studies MA from London Metropolitan University, and a Philosophy Doctorate in the field of Hispanic Studies from University College London.

Research interests

María’s research interests are contemporary Latin American and Caribbean culture and politics, Cuban Studies, the multi-sited, transnational fieldwork, testimony and poetics of exile; diaspora; gender; homophobia; ‘race’; power and resistance; social cohesion and the marginal; stigma; migration; identity; testimonial narratives; multiculturalism; the politics of memory and social visibility.

Her most recent publications include a 2015 monograph on the construction of the sexual narratives in Cuban politics, film and documentary during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Homosexuality and Invisibility in Revolutionary Cuba: Reinaldo Arenas and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (Woodbridge: Tamesis) offers alternative insights of the complex relationship between politics and intelligentsia in Cuba through the detailed study of the discourses of Reinaldo Arenas and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.

Her forthcoming publications include a major study of the twenty-first-century testimonial women narrative in the Hispanic area. Her research on the US-Cuban diplomatic thaw and the transitional process to democracy in Cuba will be published in an article in Democratization journal (2016, Taylor and Francis). Her book chapter ‘Homophobia in twenty-first-century European Union’ will be published in the book European Social Problems (2016, Routledge). The article explores the subtle homophobic discrimination that exists in some places within the European Union frame.

List of Publications

Books (Authored)

ISBN: 9781855662889

  • Twenty-first-century Hispanic Women’s Writing. In preparation. Estimated publication date: 2017.

 Book Chapters and academic articles

  • ‘Homophobia in contemporary Europe’ (2016), European Social Problems (London: Routledge).
  • Political dynamism in twenty-first-century Cuba: democratization, Pope Francis and human rights’(2016), in Democratization (London: Taylor and Francis).
  • ‘Reinaldo Arenas: the spokesman of the invisible community’ (2014), in Handbook on Cuban History, Literature, and the Arts: New Perspectives on Historical and Contemporary Social Change, ed. by Mauricio A. Font and Araceli Tinajero (New York: Paradigm Publishers), pp. 73–96. ( ISBN: 978161205679

 Journal Articles

  • ‘Treinta años de Conducta Impropia’, Diario de Cuba (Miami, 30 July 2014). (
  • ‘Salir del armario: retrato de la España Homosexual’, Planeta Humano, ed. Ramón López de Villaamil (Madrid, 2003), pp. 48–59.
  • ‘Universidades online. A espaldas con la tradición’, Planeta Humano, ed. Ramón López de Villaamil (Madrid, 2001), pp. 73–81.
  • ‘Las Maras: la vida en un grupo armado’, Planeta Humano, ed. Ramón López de Villaamil (Madrid, 2001), pp. 30–41.
  • ‘Generación- E’, Vanidad, ed. Olga Liggeri (Madrid, 2001), p. 40.
  • ‘Dos Miradas del Este: entrevista a Norman Manea y Michal Viewegh’, Planeta Humano, ed. Ramón López de Villaamil (Madrid, 2000), pp. 74–79.

 Selected Presentations at Recent Peer-Reviewed International Conferences

  • ‘Homosexuality as a destabilising weapon in the contemporary Cuban novel: Pedro Juan Gutiérrez and Leonardo Padura Fuentes’, ACLAIIR event on 21C Latin American Fiction, Institute of Modern Languages Research School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House. 12 February 2014. (
  •  ‘The myth and reality of exile: testimonial literature in the diaspora’, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London. 20 January 2013. (
  • ‘Homosexuality and reconciliation in contemporary Cuban literature: Pedro Juan Gutiérrez and Padura Fuentes’, Queen Mary University. 12 December 2012.
  • ‘Invisibility and homophobia in revolutionary Cuba’, Institute for the Study of European Transformation (ISET), London Metropolitan University. November 2011.
  • ‘A failed attempt to reconcile the Cuban population: Gutiérrez Alea’s Fresa y Chocolate’, SLAS Annual Conference, University of St Andrews. April 2011.
  • ‘Homophobia, migration and national identity: the pains of nostalgia and invisibility in Cuba’, part of the international symposium Cuba Futures: Past and Present, The Graduate Centre of The City University of New York. April 2011.
  • ‘Searching for boundaries: female social exclusion in the Caribbean’, International Forum ‘1959–2009: Regards sur 50 ans de vie culturelle avec la Revolution cubaine’, organised by the University of Paris IV Sorbonne/Crimic EA 2561, the University of Paris Est/Lisaa EA 4120 and the Colegio de España. December 2010.
  • ‘Visibility–invisibility in Latin America: the struggle of sexual minorities in exile’, Centre for Transcultural Research, London Metropolitan University. October 2010.

Contact details

Room TM2-15
Tower Building
London Metropolitan University
166–220 Holloway Road
London N7 8DB