Dr Mercedes Aguirre

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

Mercedes is responsible for the Library’s collections printed in the Americas after 1850.

She has a degree in Philology from the Universidad de Sevilla and a MA in 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 Sylvia Townsend Warner, W.H. Auden, Nancy Cunard, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn and Pablo Neruda. A second research interest is the history of modernist small presses. She has written about Nancy Cunard’s Hours Press, and her next project will explore the history of another Anglophone press in Paris, Harry and Caresse Crosby’s Black Sun Press.

Since 2017 Mercedes has been Editorial Assistant of The Journal of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society, published by UCL Press.

She currently co-supervises an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Project with the University of Sussex on the Library’s collection of US political pamphlets from the interwar period.


Articles and book chapters
  • 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) (forthcoming)
  • 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 Press, 2013), pp. 102-109.

Selected reviews and other writings
  • Aguirre, Mercedes. ‘Nancy Cunard’s Selected Poems, edited by Sandeep Parmar’The Journal of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society (2017), 17 (2), pp. 84-87.
  • Aguirre, Mercedes. Review of Orwell and Religion by Michael G Brennan, Times Literary Supplement, 31 October 2017, p. 35.
  • Aguirre, Mercedes. Review of Anti-Fascist Modernism by Mia Spiro, Times Literary Supplement, 1 November 01, 2013, p. 31.


Americas and Oceania

Extensive collections from the Americas and Oceania

Literature and drama

Collections relating to English literature and British theatre

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