Thornton, Niamh. Tastemakers and Tastemaking: Mexico and Curated Screen Violence, Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 2020 in Hardback and ebook.

“This book offers a novel perspective on textual analysis by implementing videographic criticism, a groundbreaking methodology based on the radical splitting of images in order to isolate and magnify details and facilitate comparisons and value judgments that are free of personal taste and outside conventional systems of valuation. Tastemakers and Tastemaking is a well-researched and finely written book.” — Adela Pineda, author of The Mexican Revolution on the World Stage: Intellectuals and Film in the Twentieth Century

“Tastemakers and Tastemaking, published in the SUNY Series in Latin American Cinema, is a compelling addition to studies of violence in Mexican cultural production. It is sure to prompt scholars and students alike to pause and consider the ways in which struc­ tural forces like gender and prestige mould our assessments of violence on screen.” – Carolyn Fornoff, author of Pushing Past the Human in Latin American Cinema, review available here: BHS98_10_61_Reviews_1041.

Here is an audio-visual essay linked to my chapter on Amat Escalante published in Tecmerin 4 (1) 2020: It was chosen as one of the BFI’s best video essays of 2020:

Thornton, Niamh. Revolution and Rebellion in Mexican Cinema, New York: Bloomsbury, 2013, 9781441168122, available in paperback, ebook or hardback.

“A breathtakingly authoritative review of Mexican film that covers the major titles as well as lesser-known but significant works, Niamh Thornton’s agile history takes the Mexican Revolution as an organizational principle and expands in multiple directions to provide a solid and entertaining foundation for the beginner and a nuanced, women-sensitive analysis for the specialist. From stars María Félix to subcomandante Marcos, from the original Villa and Zapata to their strangest filmic incarnations, this book has it all-including treatment of the appalling massacres of the late 1960s and early 1970s.” –  Emily Hind, Associate Professor of Spanish, University of Wyoming, US – See more at: http://

Thornton, Niamh.  Women and the War Story in Mexico: La novela de la Revolución New York and Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 2006,ISBN 0-7734-5869-7. A copy can be found here: Women and the War Story.

  “ … Dr. Thornton has managed to put together an overall, panoramic view of the novel of the Revolution as a whole and of related topics without which women’s writing on the same revolution cannot be full perceived, assessed and understood … The relevant areas and aspects covered, and the author’s perceptive powers in her analysis, lead one to think that in fact this is – should become – an essential primer for anyone studying or interested in studying Mexican, and by extension, Latin American literature …” – Professor Salomon Meckled-Morkos, Middesex University, U.K.


Haddu, Miriam and Niamh Thornton, eds. Legacies of the Past: Memory and Trauma in Mexican Visual and Screen Cultures, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020,

“Legacies of the Past offers a timely examination of the ways memory and trauma dominate Mexican visual and screen cultures. Bringing together essays on filmmakers, photographers, cartoonists, multi-media artists and student protestors, Haddu and Thornton make a remarkable contribution to understandings of representations of traumatic moments (1968, 1994 2006 and 2012) in Mexico’s past.” – Dolores Tierney, University of Sussex.

Leen, Catherine and Niamh Thornton, eds. and intro. International Perspectives on Chicana/o Studies: This World is My Place, New York & London: Routledge, 2013, now available in paperback.

“The essays found in this volume pioneer a much needed insight into American studies around the world. With the increased interest in the study of U.S. Latino/a literature, and the internationalization of many U.S. Latino/a writers…Whether intentional or not, this edition has explored more heavily the works and contributions of Chicanas and offers a refreshing and renewed view of how Chicano/a’s thematic interests and struggles are no longer a regional concern.” – Elena Foulis, Ohio State University. For more, see:

Bacon, Kathy and Niamh Thornton, eds. and intro. The ‘Noughties’ in the Hispanic and Lusophone World, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012, ISBN 978-1-4438-4100-9.

O’Byrne, Pat, Gabrielle, Carty and Niamh Thornton, eds. and intro. Transcultural Encounters: Film, Literature, Art. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010,ISBN 1-4438-2073-3.

The authors draw on an impressive panoply of critical and cultural theorists, to broach such varied issues as female identity, mother-daughter relationships, censorship, racism, transpecies encounters and the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968. Reading through the essays is akin to a process of accretion in which multiple insights coalesce into a powerful set of testimonies that can only enhance our knowledge and understanding. With this publication, the whole is considerably greater than the sum of the parts, not only because of the unity of theme, but because of the intellectual commitment and integrity each of the authors has brought to their task. –Dr Patricia Anne Odber de Baubeta, University of Birmingham

Thornton, Niamh and Claire Williams, Special Section Introduction: “Imagining the Impossible: Textual and Visual Negotiations of the City in Latin America”, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Volume 27, Number 4, October (2008), 463-464.

Kumaraswami, Par and Niamh Thornton, eds. and intro. Revolucionarias: Gender and Revolution in Latin America, co-edited with, Bern: Peter Lang, 2007,ISBN 978-3-03-910894-7.

Esta colección de ensayos magníficamente editados por Par Kumaraswami y Niamh Thornton viene a ser otro eslabón más en la productive historia de las mujeres en América Latina y representa sin lugar a dudas la extensa continuada de la labor artistic de sus mujeres, Marjorie Agosín, poeta y autor.


Thornton, Niamh (2021) “Alejandro González Iñárritu’s melodramatic masculinities”, Studies in Spanish & Latin American Cinemas, 18:1, pp. 57–72, doi:

“Brews and brows: shaping stories from eyebrows to scousebrows”, co-written with Liz Greene, Screen, 61, 4, Winter 2020,

Taylor, Claire and Niamh Thornton (2017) “‘Writing Sprints’ can facilitate collaboration and encourage new ways of thinking about academic writing”, LSE Impact Blog, 28th June,

Taylor, Claire and Niamh Thornton eds (2017) “Modern Languages and the Digital”, Modern Languages Open, January,

Launched at the start of the week of the 9th of November 2015, the Writing Sprint began with seven commissioned pieces of c.500 words from experts in their field who addressed a particular question within the overall topic. This led to a productive discussion described here by my co-editor, Claire Taylor and by Claire and I, here on the LSE Impact Blog.

Fraser, Benjamin and Christine Henseler, eds. (2014) “The Future of Hispanic Studies: An Interactive Conversation with Journal Editors”, Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies vol. 18: pp. 135-80,

I contributed to this collaborative interview/conversation with 40 journal editors on the current state of Hispanic studies, the desirability of interdisciplinary collaborations and the future directions of the discipline.

Thornton, Niamh. “Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden: Writers Crossing Digital Borders”, Forum for Inter-American Research, Vol. 5 No.1 (April 2012): Transitions and Continuities in Contemporary Chicano/a Culture,

A comparative study of the use of social media by Mexican and Chican@ writers.

Thornton, Niamh. “Valentinas, Coronelas, Soldaderas: Explosive Women in Mexican Film”, The Colorado Review of Hispanic Studies, Volume 8, Spring 2011,

Thornton, Niamh. “YouTube: Transnational Fandom and Mexican Divas”, Transnational Cinemas, Volume 1, Number 1, (2010): pp. 53-67,ISBN 2040-3526,

An article on the film stars, María Félix and Dolores del Rio, and fan created content on YouTube.

Thornton, Niamh. “From the City Looking Out, Out of the City Looking In”, Bulletin of Latin American Research Volume 27, Number 4, October (2008). pp. 501-518,ISSN 0261-3050.

A journal article considering the novel, Los muertos incómodos, by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos and Paco Ignacio Taibo II.

Thornton, Niamh. “Travelling Tales: Mobility and Transculturation in Contemporary Latin American Film”, Film and Film Culture 4 (2007): 31-40.

Thornton, Niamh. “(Trans)gendered Lines in Conflict: Jesusa in Elena Poniatowska’s Hasta no verte Jesús mío”, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies. 83.1 (2006): 87-102,ISSN 1475-3839

Thornton, Niamh. “Finding a Place in a Megalopolis: Mexico City in Amores perros”, Film and Film Culture 2 (2003): 43-50.

Thornton, Niamh. “Playing the Macho: Challenging Masculinities in Spanish Film”, Film and Film Culture 1, (2002): 95-104.

Thornton, Niamh. “Pulling Down the Walls. The Politics of Testimonio”, Ropes no. 6 (1998), 60-64.


Thornton, Niamh.“Bridges, Streams and Dams: the Multiple Negotiated Strategies of Distribution and Access in Latin American Cinema” in Stefano Baschiera and Alexander Fisher eds., World Cinema On Demand: Global Film Cultures in the Era of Online Distribution, Bloomsbury Academic, 2022,

Thornton, Niamh. “Felipe Cazals and Servando González Grapple with the Aftermath and the Archive: 1976 and 1968” in Miriam Haddu and Niamh Thornton, eds. Legacies of the Past: Memory and Trauma in Mexican Visual and Screen Cultures, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020,

Leen, Catherine and Niamh Thornton. “Public Intellectuals”, in Wilfried Raussert, Giselle Liza Anatol, Sebastian Thies, Sarah Corona Berkin, José Carlos Lozano eds., The Routledge Handbook to the Culture and Media of the Americas London: Routledge, 2020,

Thornton, Niamh. “La perdición de los hombres (2000): Beyond Melodrama and its Variations” in Manuel Gutierrez and Luis Duno Gottberg eds., The Films of Arturo Ripstein: The Sinister Gaze of the World  London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2019.

Thornton, Niamh. “What Happens in Clipperton…: Criminality and Trauma in Isla de pasión (1989) by Laura Restrepo and Isla de bobos (2007) by Ana García Bergua”, in Charlotte Lange and Ailsa Peate eds., Latin American Crime Scenes: Latin American Crime Fiction 1970s to 2010s Bern: Peter Lang, 2019.

“Clipperton is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Small in scale, but significant in its multiple occupations and territorial contestations, Mexico claimed and occupied it in the early twentieth century. During the Mexican Revolution a small group of men, women and children remained on the island. Lacking the practical supports needed to live on Clipperton, many fell ill and some died of malnutrition leaving women and children behind alongside a violent man who declared himself leader. Unwilling to withstand his aggression, he was murdered by one or more of the women. Shortly thereafter the women returned to Mexico. The story of how they survived and escaped has inspired two novels, Isla de pasión (1989) by Laura Restrepo and Isla de bobos (2007) by Ana García Bergua. This chapter examines how both authors employ distinct approaches to piece together the remnants of the trauma and identifies where responsibility lies.”

Thornton, Niamh. “Paraíso ¿Cuánto pesa el amor? (2013): Challenging the Neoliberal in Mexican Cinema”, in Carolina Rocha and Claudia Sandberg eds., Contemporary Latin American Cinema: Resisting Neoliberalism? London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2018.

“Paraíso ¿Cuánto pesa el amor? (Mariana Chenillo, 2013) is a film that serves as an ideal case study for a new way of looking at Mexican cinema. It is an adaptation of a little-known short story; made by a director for hire; starring a first-time actor who has since transitioned into becoming a YouTuber; with musical choices that encourage micro-attention to Mexico City at street and neighborhood level and signals a shared aesthetics with transnational genre cinema. Successful, yet far from the type of film normally celebrated by scholarship, because it does not fit the familiar models, at a textual and meta-textual level Paraíso ¿Cuánto pesa el amor? is a highly generative case study to use to critique neoliberalism.”

Co-authored chapter with Gonzalo Aguilar and Mariana Lacunza, “Digital Interfaces”, in The Routledge Companion to Latin American Cinema Marvin D’Lugo, Ana M. Lopez and Laura Podalsky eds., New York & London: Routledge, 2018,

Thornton, Niamh. “Women’s (R)evolutions in Mexican Cinema”, in Paul Cooke, Stephanie Dennison, Alexander Philip Marlow-Mann and Rob Stone eds. Routledge Companion to World Cinema New York and London: Routledge, 2017.

Thornton, Niamh. “Where Cabaret Meets Revolution: the prostitute at war in Mexico” in Prostitution and Sex Work in Global Visual Media: New Takes on Fallen Women Danielle Hipkins and Kate Taylor-Jones eds., London & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Thornton, Niamh. “YouTube as Archive: Fans, Gender and Mexican Film Stars Online”, in Guy Austin and Sabrina Yu eds. Revisiting Star Studies, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017 (OUP link, here;

Revisiting Star Studies makes a welcome and timely intervention into the field of star studies.”

“Niamh Thornton has been given the chance to revisit the topic of YouTube users’ mash-ups of Mexican stars but this time concentrating on male stars (namely Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, and Emilio Fernández), having previously focused on the screen divas Dolores del Río and María Félix. In so doing, she provides valuable insights into how the methods of doing a star study have recently evolved with changes in technology and social media use. Thornton’s essay is one of many that make a significant contribution to the ongoing expansion of star studies.” – Martin Shingler in Cinema Journal, Vol. 57, No. 3, Spring 2018, 176-179.

Thornton, Niamh. “Re-Framing Mexican Women’s Filmmaking: the case of Marcela Fernandez Violante” in Debbie Martin and Deborah Shaw eds., Latin American Women Filmmakers: Production, Politics, Poetics, London: I.B. Tauris, 2017.

‘This exciting collection balances contextual analysis with close attention to individual films and the careers of more and less visible women working in different industry roles. A major contribution to not only film studies but also to current and future thinking about women’s cultural production in Latin America.’ – Claire Williams, University of Oxford
‘Focusing on the cinemas of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and the Hispanic US, the essays collected here are brilliant advocates for filmmaking by Latin American women, a timely reminder that the personal is still political.’ – Andrea Noble, Durham University

Thornton, Niamh. “Transience and Permanence in Online Selves: A Personal Reflection” in Wilfried Raussert ed. The Routledge Companion to Inter-American Studies, New York & London: Routledge, 2017,

Thornton, Niamh. “Writing Cinema. The Communicating Vessels of Literature and Film”, in Anna Nogar, José Ramón Ruisánchez Serra, and Ignacio Sánchez Prado eds.A History of Mexican Literature New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Thornton, Niamh.  “Pacific Rim: Reception, Readings, and Authority” in Ann Davies, Deborah Shaw, and Dolores Tierney eds. The Transnational Fantasies of Guillermo del Toro Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Amber Shields in Frames Cinema Journal states,

“The individual essays in these last sections […] provide detailed and impassioned accounts of the importance of the director’s oeuvre that serve as an essential critical basis for anybody looking to understand del Toro’s auteurial style and contributions. Despite their focus on specific bodies of work, read in the context of the whole book, and with many articles in dialogue with the same core sources already written on del Toro, the individual pieces contribute to a greater picture of the director that has only more recently been developed. In this vain, the articles by Simon Bacon on The Strain trilogy and Niamh Thorton [sic] on del Toro’s big budget production Pacific Rim, a critical flop that is too often politely disregarded in accounts of del Toro, are essential contributions in drawing attention to how del Toro’s less analysed pieces also hold important positions in understanding his intermediality.”

Thornton, Niamh. “Zapata on Film: Dreams, Nightmares, Realities” in Tilman Altenberg ed. Imagining the Mexican Revolution: Versions and Visions in Literature and Visual Culture Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

Thornton, Niamh. “My Super Sweet Fifteen: the Internationalisation of Quinceañeras in Literature and Film”, Catherine Leen and Niamh Thornton, eds and intro. This World is My Place: International Perspectives on Chicana/o Studies, New York & London: Routledge, 2013.

Thornton, Niamh. “Wide-eyed Boys and Star Kids: Children and Violence in Voces inocentes (2004) and La lengua de las mariposas (1999)”, Dictatorships in the Hispanic World.  Julia Riordan-Goncalves and Patricia Swier eds. Rowman & Littlefield, 2013, ISBN 978-1611475-89-0.

Thornton, Niamh. “’It just looks like more of Texas’: Journeys and Travel Narratives in the Western”, (Re)Discovering ‘America’ Road Movies and Other Travel Narratives in North America / (Re)Descubriendo ‘América’ Road movie y otras narrativas de viaje en América del Norte. Wilfried Raussert & Graciela Martínez-Zalce eds. Trier & Arizona: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier & Bilingual Press / Editorial Bilingüe, 2012, ISBN 978-1-931010-91-7.

An analysis of The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969) with a particular focus on the border crossing.

Thornton, Niamh. “Ana García Bergua: Gay Narrative and the Boom Femenino in Mexico”, El Boom Femenino Mexicano: Reading Contemporary Women’s Writing. Nuala Finegan and Jane Lavery eds. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010, pp. 217-240,ISBN 978-1-4438-2125-4.

Thornton, Niamh. “The Legacy of Mexico 1968 on Film in Y si placticamos de octubre (1981) by Maryse Sistach and Francisca, ¿De qué lado estás? (2002) by Eva López Sánchez” O’Byrne, Pat, Gabrielle, Carty and Niamh Thornton, ed. and intro. Transcultural Encounters: Film, Literature, Art. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010, pp. 195-208,ISBN 1-4438-2073-3.

Thornton, Niamh. “Being Fruity in the Big City: re-membering the past in Enrique Serna’s Fruta verde” (Re)Collecting the Past: History and Collective Memory in Latin American Narrative, Victoria Carpenter ed. Bern: Peter Lang, 145-165, 2010,ISBN 978-3-03911-928-8.

A study of Serna’s novel, the first to have an openly bisexual character in Mexican fiction.

Thornton, Niamh. “Body, Nation and Identity: Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s Performances on the Web” Navegando: Latin American Cyberliterature and Cyberculture. Thea Pitman and Claire Taylor eds. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2007, 111-122,ISBN 978-1-84631-061-4.

Thornton, Niamh. “In the Line of Fire: Love and Violence in Mastretta and Belli” in Revolucionarias: Gender and Revolution in Latin America. Niamh Thornton and Par Kumaraswami eds. Bern: Peter Lang. 2007, 217-237, ISBN 978-3-03-910894-7.

Thornton, Niamh. “Where Cuba Meets Mexico: Alejo Carpentier and Elena Garro”, Intercultural Spaces: Language, Culture and Identity. Aileen Pearson-Evans and Angela Leahy eds. Bern: Peter Lang, 2007, 257-273,ISBN 978-0-8204-9546-0.

Thornton, Niamh. “Women Writing About Women and the Mexican Revolution.” in Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Latin America. Nancy Serrano ed. Limerick: University of Limerick Press, 2000, 232-245.


Founding Hispanic Studies Editor of the Modern Languages Open, 2014-present,

Assistant Editor of the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 2013-present.

Co-editor with Claire Williams of special section of the Bulletin of Latin American Research, Volume 27, Number 4, October (2008).

Reader and Reviewer for the Manchester University Press, Peter Lang, Cambridge Scholars Press, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, International Journal for Iberian Studies, Film and Film Culture, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, Journal for Iberian and Latin American Studies, El ojo que piensa (, Feminist Media Studies and Forum for Inter-American Research

Reader for Making Waves: Anniversary Volume of Women in Spanish and Portuguese Studies Ann Davies, Parvathi Kumaraswami and Claire Williams eds Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007.

Co-founder and editor of Journal of Film Studies: Film and Film Culture 2001 – present.


“Ana García Bergua”, The Literary Encyclopedia,

“Elena Garro”, The Literary Encyclopedia,

“Mexican Film”, Oxford Bibliographies,


“A mí me gusta jugar: the ludic prose of Ana García Bergua”, forthcoming.

“From Ulysses to Bloom: an Interview with film director Sean Walsh”, Film and Film Culture 3, (2004): 35-47.

“Interview with film director Pat Murphy”, Film and Film Culture 1, (2002): 7-10.

“Interview with playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh”, co-authored with Padraig Whyte Film and Film Culture 1, (2002): 11-20.


I co-founded the journal Film and Film Culture in 2001 while I was working at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). Since 2004 the editorial team has been made up of Dr Richard Hayes, WIT, Dr Harvey O’Brien, University College Dublin and myself. Since its inception this peer-reviewed journal has attracted contributors from around the globe building on distinct themes, ie Identity in Cinema, Joyce and Cinema, and, most recently, Frontiers and Futures in Film and Digital Media. The latest issue has attracted a wide variety of scholars from the UK, US and across Europe. The international advisory board is made up of leading academics in Film and Media Studies from the US, UK and Ireland.

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