Pedro A. Aguilera-Mellado

Assistant Professor of Spanish, Iberian Studies.
Concurrent Faculty of Film Studies, Faculty Fellow, Nanovic Institute for European Studies and Faculty Fellow, Kellogg Institute for International Studies


M.A., Ph.D. in Spanish, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 2017

Graduate Teaching Certificate, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 2013

B.A., M.A., in Philosophy, Universidad de Granada, 2010

Research and Teaching Interests

18th - 21st Century Iberian literatures and film, modern and contemporary thought


Pedro Aguilera Mellado (Priego de Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain, 1986 -) joined Notre Dame in 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Spanish literature; and Film Studies (concurrent). His main areas of interest are 18th to 21st Century Iberian literatures and film, and modern-contemporary continental thought.

He has published a number of articles in the intersections of political and continental thought, literature, and the cultural and political history of modern and contemporary Spain, dealing with questions such as: sacrifice, human finitude, capital accumulation, subjectivity, writing and  existence, reason and Enlightenment, postfeminism, postmarxism, or visual representation. These publications have appeared in the most relevant journals of the profession.

Pedro Aguilera-Mellado is the author of Fines Infrapolíticos: de la razón, la representación y la narrativa española moderna (Tirant Lo Blanch, 2022), in which he provides the first sustained analysis of modern and contemporary Spain through the infrapolitical register of writing, thought, and existence. This book bears witness to the present “twilight of the political” and the ongoing ruination of the fundamental categories inherited from modern times. The main drive of this work stems from two overlapping questions: first; is there something else in existence than the generalized social astonishment accompanying the ongoing ruination of modern life, or than the paralysis in face of the impending ecological emergency? Second; is there an experience other than the integral and bourgeois market-state duopoly and its neoliberal dismantling of the working class on a planetary scale? In order to responsibly answer to these two guiding questions, this book thematizes the urgent need to confront the moribund understanding of these fundamental modern notions: ‘reason’ and its violent techno-capitalist adrift; humanist representation and its predications on the exceptionalism of humankind, and the modern narrative based on and aiming for the construction of personhood. By studying the Enlightenment and liberal inception of the three notions of the book’s subtitle—reason, representation and narrative—this book provides with a novel understanding of a certain exhaustion or ‘end’ of the modern project after the coming of post-neoliberalism in contemporary times. It helps in understanding the genealogy and causes of the new social discontents of life and the destruction of the ecosystems by humankind. 
Fines Infrapolíticos: de la razón, la representación y la narrativa española moderna unfolds through comparative analyses of history, society, culture, political thought, painting, literature and cinema; bringing into discussion European thinkers (such as Marxian thinkers, Heidegger, Derrida or Nancy), with authors in the cultural and intellectual life of modern and contemporary Spain, including Jovellanos, Goya, Galdós, Cristina Morales or the independent filmmaker Elisa Cepedal. In the untimely genealogy of modern and contemporary times that this book provides, the reader could find how infrapolitics, as a register of thought and existence, recalls human and planetary finitude—while trying to set some distance with a crumbling modern humanism that still insists in the power of the subject despite all the evidence to the contrary that surrounds us.

Professor Aguilera-Mellado is currently working on this second book project, which is tentatively entitled Fines Infrapolíticos II: Del Antropoceno, la Técnica y la Post-universidad. He is also co-editing a book entitled La Excritura de Juan Benet (Editorial Comares, forthcoming for February, 2024), and a special issue for the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies entitled “The Ruin of the Modern” (forthcoming for March, 2024).

Recent Courses Taught

Literature Reading Technicity
Anthropocene in Iberian Literatures and Cultures
Anthropocene & Existence in Iberian Literatures and Critical Theory
Spanish Cinema: Classical, Mainstream and Experimental Film of Spain
Democracy and its Other(s) in Contemporary Spanish Writing and Culture

Graduate Seminars:
On De-presentation: Desubjectification, Denarrativization, Demetaphorization
Introduction to Critical Theory

Graduate Directed Reading:
Biopolitics and Infrapolitics
Anthropocene: Bestiality, Animality
Community & the Commons

Representative Publications

Recent Publications

“Anthropoce Infrapolitics” In: Culture Machine. Vol 22. December 2023. Co-edited with Peter Baker (University of Stirling, UK), Gabriela Méndez Cota (University Iberoamericana, Mexico).

Fines Infrapolíticos: de la razón, la representación y la narrativa española moderna. Tirant Lo Blanch, 2022.

“Despeje Infrapolítico: La destrucción de la Modernidad en la Escritura de Rafael Sánchez (Ferlosio).” Modern Language Notes 137: Issue 2. March 2022 (Hispanic Issue). 260-78.

“Sobre un cierto registro infrapolítico del cine rural: Vida Vaquera de Ramón LL. Bande” Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, 25: 2021.198-219. Special Issue: “Cine Rural y Representación Cinematográfica del Campo hasta la España Vaciada de hoy.”

“De-metaphorization of ‘the Other’ in the Wake of Biopolitics: A Reading of Jesús Carrasco’s La tierra que pisamos.” Hispanic Issues, 65: Oct. 2021. 293-310. Special Issue “Rites, Flesh, and Stones: The Matter of Death in Contemporary Spain”

“’Goyesque Modernity’: Image, Violence, and Dignity-Potency” Hispanic Research Journal. Iberian and Latin American Studies 20: 5, Visual Arts Issue XIII: (forthcoming Spring 2020). Online Access

“¿Feminismo sin Sujeto? Culpa, Empoderamiento, Nuevos Feminismos” Journal of Gender and Sexualities Studies/Revista de Estudios de Géneros y sexualidades, 44:2, 2019. 76-89. Print. Online Access

Phone: (574)-631-0923
Office: 312 Decio Faculty Hall
Office Hours: Wednesdays 2-4pm or by appointment