Dr Mercedes Aguirre

Mercedes Aguirre British Library America
Lead Curator, Americas
Modern and Contemporary Literature

Mercedes Aguirre leads the curatorial team responsible for developing, managing and promoting the Library’s collections published in the Americas and Oceania after 1850.

Mercedes has an MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture from University College London, where she also completed her PhD in English Literature. In the academic year 2008-2009 she was a visiting postgraduate fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mercedes's research focuses on the relationship between literature and political activism in the 1930s. She is currently working on a monograph on the literature of the Spanish Civil War, which looks at the work of Nancy Cunard, Nicolás Guillén, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Pablo Neruda, Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn. A second research interest is the history of modernist small presses, and she has written about Nancy Cunard’s Hours Press and its connections to the Surrealist movement.

She currently co-supervises an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) project with the University of Sussex on the Library’s collection of American political pamphlets from the interwar period.

The Americas & Oceania curatorial team welcomes proposals from researchers wishing to collaborate on projects that enhance our knowledge of the Library’s collections. Please find out how to propose a new research collaboration via our Research Collaboration pages.



Articles and book chapters

  • Aguirre, Mercedes. ‘“Abroad Among Our Kind”: Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Spanish Civil War Love Poems’, Modernism/modernity (forthcoming).
  • Aguirre, Mercedes. ‘Publishing the Avant-Garde: Nancy Cunard’s Hours Press’, Publishing Modernist Fiction and Poetry, ed. by Lise Jaillant (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019), pp. 135-153.
  • Aguirre, Mercedes. ‘History and Myth in After the Death of Don Juan’, The Journal of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society (2014), pp. 76–90.
  • Aguirre, Mercedes. ‘Battles of the past: the siege of the Alcázar of Toledo in Collier's Weekly, The Spanish Civil War: Exhuming a Buried Past (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2013), pp. 102-109.

Selected reviews



Extensive collections from the Americas and Oceania

Literature and drama

Collections relating to English literature and British theatre

More subjects