Mexico in a Nutshell II: The Ways of Literature

Canal Washington, D.C.


COST: $30.00 dollars per person

This is not your average course on Mexican literature. This brief but thunderous course combines the educated remarks of your tutor with the richness of a reading circle to produce an overview of the many layers that construct Mexican society.

In only ten sessions, we’ll have the opportunity to read and discuss several masterworks of contemporary Mexican fiction, non-fiction and poetry written by some of this country’s greatest writers, both famous and obscure. We will visit the work of writers like Alfonso Reyes, who was very young when the Mexican Revolution burst, as well as novels of recently published and acclaimed young writers like Laia Jufresa and Valeria Luiselli, without leaving behind Mexican Nobel laureate, Octavio Paz, or the disturbing world of Amparo Dávila.

Through these writers’ eyes, we will understand some of the many ways Mexican literature has taken to produce its own fantastic fiction, erase the borders that used to separate novels from diaries or become part of the boisterous world literary scene. We will also explore different hearts of Mexico: The North and the US border, Mexico City, and the world of indigenous people.

Swift and concise, Mexico in a Nutshell is a literary experience for those who enjoy reading and understanding other cultures.



After several years as a journalist, literary critic and cultural manager in Mexico City, where he was acquainted with the artistic field and the literary community, he moved to Barcelona, where he will live between 2001 and 2010, and learn the trades of publisher, literary translator and editorial advisor. His main employees would be Spanish publishing houses of high renown as Anagrama, Penguin Random House, Atlanta, Galaxia Gutenberg, Acantilado, Libros del asteroide, Alfaguara, among many other. He became also an advisor and reader for Antonia Kerrigan’s literary agency.

As a contributor to the literary supplements Cultura/s ––­La Vanguardia, Barcelona––and Confabulario ––El Universal, Mexico––, and the magazines Letras libres, SoHo, Chilango and National Geographic Traveller, he has published essays, reviews and features on film, literature, gastronomy and travel, as well as social and scientific subjects. Roberto writes every week about Mexico City for the cultural TV channel Canal 22, and writes and produces the podcast Patrimonio (Heritage), interviews with writers, artists and cultural managers ––available on Spotify and many other platforms.

Translator of Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde, Hanif Kureishi, Francisco Goldman, Elizabeth Hardwick and many others, he has also finished two novels, an opera libretto and the script for an experimental medium film. A book of short stories is his present project.

Roberto has been the recipient, on two occasions, of the prestigious Mexican grant National System of Art Creators (SNCA), bestowed by the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA), on the field of literary translation. He has been a resident at the Writer’s Centre, Norwich, UK; Yaddo, New York; Banff Centre, and the Sun Yat-sen University’s International Writers Residence, Guangzhou, China.

On the field of cultural management, Roberto has been, at the Department of Cultural Affairs of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (CulturaUNAM), Coordinator of the Chair Max Aub of Transdiscipline in Art and Technology, Coordinator of Vértice (Festival of experimental and avant-garde art) and Curator of its Expanded Literature section, among other responsibilities. At the official national homage to Octavio Paz, he was a member of the organizing committee. And a member of the Advisory Council for Banff’s International Literary Translation Center.

His workshops and conferences have been given in Mexico, United States, Canada, China and Spain.