Dr Catherine Leen

Spanish & Latin American Studies, School of Modern Languages

Associate Professor
First Year Coordinator

Arts Building
(01) 708 6214


Dr Catherine Leen is Associate Professor and Fulbright Ambassador at Maynooth University, Ireland. Her teaching and research interests centre on Mexican and Chicana/o literature and cinema and Argentine and Paraguayan cultures. She has published widely on Chicana/o writers, such as Sandra Cisneros and Tomás Rivera, and on Chicana/o and Latin American cinematographers. In 2008, she received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research at the Chicana/o Studies Centre at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her edited volume International Perspectives on Chicana/o Culture: “This World is My Place,” coedited by Dr Niamh Thornton was published by Routledge, New York, in 2014 and reissued in paperback in 2017. Her most recent publications include 'Deconstructing the Divas: Music in Arturo Ripstein's El lugar sin límites and La reina de la noche' in The Films of Arturo Ripstein: The Sinister Gaze of the World (2019) and ‘From Don Juan to Dolores Huerta: Foundational Chicana/o Films,’ in The Routledge Handbook of Chicana/o Studies (2018).  She is currently completing a monograph on Latina/o filmmakers and Mexico.

Research Interests

Chicano Culture, Literature and Cinema; Latin American Literature and Cinema; Latino and Latin American Art; Translation

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
Mundo Villa: Screening Marginal Communities in Argentine and International Film PI 01/10/2015 30/09/2017 45620

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2020 Catherine Leen (2020) 'Aliens as Superheroes: Science Fiction, Immigration and the Photography of Dulce Pinzón' In: Legacies of the Past: Memory and Trauma in Mexican Visual and Screen Cultures. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press. [Link] https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-legacies-of-the-past.html
2020 Catherine Leen and Niamh Thornton (2020) 'Public Intellectuals' In: The Routledge Handbook on Culture and Media of the Americas. New York : Routledge. [Link] https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-to-the-Culture-and-Media-of-the-Americas-1st-Edition/Raussert-Anatol-Thies-Berkin-Lozano/p/book/9781138479821
2019 Catherine Leen (2019) 'Deconstrucing the Divas: Music in Arturo Ripstein’s El lugar sin límites and La reina de la noche' In: The Films of Arturo Ripstein: The Sinister Gaze of the World. London : Palgrave Macmillan. [Link]
2018 Catherine Leen (2018) ''La vaquilla'' In: The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Films. Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield. [Link]
2018 Catherine Leen (2018) 'From Don Juan to Dolores Huerta: Foundational Chicana/o Films' In: The Routledge Handbook of Chicana/o Studies. New York : Routledge. [Link] [Full-Text]
2017 Catherine Leen (2017) 'Kissing the Spiderwoman and Loving the Awful Grandmother: Popular Culture in Manuel Puig's El beso de la mujer araña and Sandra Cisnero's Caramelo' In: The Routledge Companion to Inter-American Studies. London and New York : Routledge. [Full-Text]
2017 Catherine Leen (2017) 'Beyond the Spitfire: Re-Visioning Latinas in Sylvia Morales' A Crushing Love' In: Latin American Women Filmmakers: Production, Politics, Poetics. London : IB Tauris. [Full-Text]
2014 Dr Catherine Leen (2014) 'Introduction' In: International Perspectives on Chicana/o Studies: This World is My Place. New York : Routledge. [Link]
2014 Dr Catherine Leen (2014) 'Virgen Transatlantic: Religious Iconography in Irish and Chicana/o Art' In: International Perspectives on Chicana/o Studies: This World is My Place . New York : Routledge. [Link]
2013 Leen, C (2013) 'The Silenced Screen: Fostering a Film Industry in Paraguay' In: Contemporary Hispanic Cinema: Interrogating the Transnational in Spanish and Latin American Film. Suffolk : Tamesis. [Full-Text]
2012 Leen, C (2012) 'Independent Cinema and Globalization: The Case of Paraguay' In: Power, Place and Representation: Contested Sites of Dependence and Independence in Latin America. Oxford : Peter Lang. [Full-Text]
2012 Leen, C. (2012) 'Familia Fictions: Writing the Family in Tomás Rivera's ...And the Earth Did Not Swallow Him and Sandra Cisneros's Caramelo' In: Critical Insights:Family. United States : Salem Press. [Full-Text]
2011 Leen, C. (2011) 'Stories from The Hem of Life: Contesting Marginality in Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye' In: María Herrera Sobek(Eds.). Critical Insights: The House on Mango Street. California : Salem Press. [Full-Text]
2010 Leen, C. (2010) 'How Not to Make a Mexican Musical: Luis Bunuel and the Perils of Mexicanidad' In: Exploring Transculturalism: A Biographical Approach. Germany : VS Verlag. [Full-Text]
2009 Leen, C. (2009) ''The Final Frontier: Imagining Latinos in Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Gustavo Vasquez's The Great Mojado Invasion (The 2nd US-Mexico War)'' In: Imagined Transnationalism: U.S. Latino/a Literature, Culture, and Identity. New York : Palgrave Macmillan. [Full-Text]
2007 Leen, C. (2007) 'Trial by Media: Zoot Suit and the Career of Luis Valdez' In: Hector Brioso and José V. Saval(Eds.). Nuevas aportaciones a los estudios teatrales (del siglo de Oro a nuestros días). Spain : Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. [Full-Text]
2007 Leen, C. (2007) 'Una herida que no cicatriza: The Border as Interethnic Space in Mexican, North American and Chicano Cinema' In: Aoileann Ni Eigeartaigh and David Getty(Eds.). Borders and Borderlands. : Cambridge Scholars Press. [Full-Text]
2002 Leen, C. (2002) 'Three Border Films: El Mariachi, El Jardin del Eden and Lone Star' In: Cultura Popular: Studies in Spanish and Latin American Popular Culture. Bern : Peter Lang. [Full-Text]

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2021 Leen C. (2021) 'Visceral reality in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Carne y arena/Virtually Present, Physically Invisible (González Iñárritu 2017)'. Studies In Spanish And Latin American Cinemas, 18 (1):37-55. [DOI]
2021 Catherine Leen (2021) 'Shadow Men and Real Women: Shifting the Paradigms of the Chicana/o Family in Cherríe Moraga’s Shadow of a Man and Josefina López’s Real Women Have Curves'. Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies, . [DOI]
2008 Leen C. (2008) 'City of fear: Reimagining Buenos Aires in contemporary Argentine cinema'. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 27 (4):465-482. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2014 Dr Catherine Leen (2014) 'The Sound of Silence: The corrido as Counterculture in Felipe Cazals' Canoa'. MODERN LANGUAGES OPEN JOURNAL, 1 :1-16. [Full-Text]
2011 Dr Catherine Leen (2011) 'New Forms of Beauty'. Irish Arts Review, 28 :60-61. [Full-Text]
2009 Dr Catherine Leen (2009) ''Space Exploration: New Paintings by Sinead Ni Mhaoinaigh''. Irish Arts Review, 26 :70-71. [Full-Text]
2009 Dr Catherine Leen (2009) 'Mining the Landscape'. Irish Arts Review, 26 :60-61. [Full-Text]
2004 Dr Catherine Leen (2004) 'Borders, batos locos and barrios: Space as Signifier in Chicano Cinema'. NUI MAYNOOTH PAPERS IN SPANISH, PORTUGUESE AND LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, 11 :1-24. [Full-Text]
2004 Dr Catherine Leen (2004) 'The Caballero Revisited: Postmodernity in The Cisco Kid, The Mask of Zorro, and Shrek II'. BILINGUAL REVIEW/REVISTA BILINGÜE, 28 :153-165. [Full-Text]
2002 Dr Catherine Leen (2002) ''Deracination and Acculturation; the Border in Chicano Film Practice''. Film and Film Culture, 1 :87-95. [Full-Text]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2020 Catherine Leen (2020) Twenty Years of Spanish at Maynooth University Symposium to mark 20 years of Spanish at MU Arts and Humanities Institute, Maynooth University, 23/10/2020-23/10/2020.
2021 Catherine Leen (2021) 'Counter Narratives and Hidden Histories' 50th Anniversary Conference of the Irish Association for American Studies https://www.eventbrite.com/e/counter-narratives-and-hidden-histories-iaas-annual-conference-tickets-143976019149, 09/04/2021-10/04/2021.
2019 Catherine Leen (2019) Women in Spanish and Portuguese Studies XX Annual Conference Conference Paper Maynooth University, 01/11/2019-01/11/2019.
2019 Catherine Leen (2019) Association of Teachers of Spanish Annual Conference Keynote Address Clayton Hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin, 12/10/2019-12/10/2019.
2018 Catherine Leen (2018) 11th International Conference of Chicano Literature and Latino Studies: Toward New Interpretations of “Latinidad” in the 21st Century Conference Paper Salamanca,Spain, 28/05/2018-30/05/2018.
2018 Catherine Leen (2018) I Simposio internacional sobre el espanol en Irlanda: pasado, presente y futuro Traductora, Traidora: Interlingual and Intralingual Translation in Sandra Cisneros’ Caramelo TCD, 28/06/2018-28/06/2018.
2018 Catherine Leen (2018) 'Research for Repeal' An event organised by the Faculty of Arts, Celtic Studies and Philospohy MUSSI Seminar Room, Iontas Building, MU, 25/04/2018-25/04/2018.
2017 Catherine Leen (2017) Talking History, Newstalk 106 'The Aztecs: World's Greatest Civilization?' Newstalk 106, Dublin 2, 11/09/2017-11/09/2017.
2014 Catherine Leen (2014) Hispanic Studies Postgraduate Conference UCD Keynote Lecture on Mexican Cinema, Migration and Diaspora UCD, 08/10/2014-.
2014 Catherine Leen (2014) ‘Specular Ghosts: Memory and Trauma in Mexican Visual Culture’ Conference on Ghosts and Trauma in Mexican Visual Culture Senate House, University of London, 12/09/2014-.
2014 Catherine Leen (2014) South Facing An invited lecture as part of the Irish Film Institute's series of screenings of Latin American Cinema Irish Film Institute, 10/11/2014-.
2018 Catherine Leen (2018) Re-framing the Latina Body in Contemporary Latina Visual Culture An invited lecture as part of the celebrations of International Womens' Day at Trinity College Dublin Trinity College Dublin, 05/03/2018-05/03/2018.
2020 Catherine Leen (2020) Irish Association for American Studies A lecture on U.S.-Mexican border policies and recent Mexican film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0OnzjlmxvI, 02/11/2020-02/11/2020.
2017 Catherine Leen (2017) Animating The Alien Nation: Mexican Filmmakers Countering Racist Stereotypes in Animated Films Invited Speaker TCD Hispanic Studies Trinity College Dublin, 22/03/2017-.
2017 Catherine Leen (2017) Guillermo Del Toro's The Book of Life and the Return Home Society for Latin American Studies Glasgow, 06/04/2017-.
2017 Catherine Leen (2017) Mujeres on Film: From Riot Grrls to Ovarian Psycos Invited Speaker Hispanic Studies UCD Hispanic Studies UCD, 02/11/2017-02/11/2017.
2016 Catherine Leen (2016) Cine Americano: U.S. and Latin American Cinema This international conference on U.S. and Latin American Cinema began with a screening of the documentary 'Feliciano Centurión: A Natural Embrace,' introduced by producer Fabián Bozzolo. It featured keynotes from Professor Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez, Dr Deborah Shaw, and Dr Niamh Thornton. It was accompanied by an exhibition of Feliciano' Centurión's art in the MU Library Maynooth University, 08/11/2016-09/11/2016.
2012 (2012) Lourdes Portillo's Recent Border Films AHGBI Conference University of Stirling, Scotland, .
2012 José Woldenberg (2012) La transición democrática en México , Arts, Spanish, .
2011 (2011) The Aztec Empire Strikes Back: Alex Rivera's Sleepdealer Irish Association for American Studies Queen's University Belfast, .
2011 Catherine Leen (2011) Lourdes Portillo as Transnational Filmmaker Lecture on the work of Chicana filmmaker Lourdes Portillo University of Ulster, Coleraine, .
2011 (2011) Rockin' the Barrio: Lalo Guerrero the Original Chicano Transitions and Continuities in Contemporary Xicana/o Culture University College Cork, .
2011 Dan Guerrero (2011) Irish Premiere of Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano , Arts, Spanish, .
2011 (2011) The Not-So Phantom Menace: Countering Stereotypes of Mexican Immigrants as Aliens in Alex Rivera's S Muchos Méxicos: Reflections of Mexico in History, Literature, Anthropology and Visual Culture NUI Maynooth, .
2010 (2010) Overcoming the Traditional of Silence; Rita Ann Higgins and Chicana Poetry IASIL International Conference NUI Maynooth, .
2010 Arturo Ripstein and Paz Alicia Garciadiego (2010) Interview with Mexican Filmmakers Arturo Ripstein and Paz Alicia Garciadiego , Arts, Spanish, .
2010 Catherine Leen (2010) Eat, Drink, Hombre Mujer: Translating Minority Cinema Trans/Inter/Intra: Ways of Exploring the Americas University of Bielefeld, Germany, .
2010 (2010) The Work of Art in an Age of Co-Productions: The Case of Paraguayan Cinema ALAI Conference NUI Galway, .
2010 (2010) The Awful grandmother and the Spiderwoman: Transformative Storytelling in Manuel Puig's El beso de l 7 Congreso Internacional de Literatura Chicana Universidad de Leon, Spain, .
2009 (2009) Does Paraguayan Cinema Exist? Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland Queens University Belfast, .
2008 (2008) Chilean Film and Calle Santa Fe Art, Media & Contested Space Queens University Belfast, .
2008 Juan Pablo Young, Pablo Zubizerreta, Eduardo Kimel (2008) 4 de julio: La masacre de San Patricio University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Arts, Spanish, .
2007 (2007) Real Women Have Curves Invited Speaker Universidad de Cordoba, Argentina, .
2007 (2007) Music, Movies and Mexico Reflections on Contemporary Mexican Cinema UCC, .
2006 (2006) Re-imagining the City in Contemporary Argentine Cinema Society of Latin American Studies University of Nottingham, .
2006 (2006) Imagining Latinos in 21st-Century Cinema V International Conference on Chicano Literature Alcala, Spain, .
2005 Catherine Leen (2005) What Have I Done to deserve This? Women in the Films of Pedro Almodovar Invited Speaker UCC Hispanic Studies University College Cork, .
2005 (2005) History Lessons: Luis Puenzo's La historia oficial and Contemporary Argentine Cinema New latin American cineams: Contemporary Cinema and Filmmaking University of Leeds, .
2004 (2004) The unlikely Origins of a Chicano Icon: O. Henry's the Caballero's Way Aperturas Conference DIT, .
2002 (2002) The Ties That Bind: Three Variations on the Theme of the Family in Chicano Film 3 International Conference on Chicano Literature Universidad de Malaga, Spain, .

Other Journal

Year Publication
2018 Catherine Leen (2018) ''El Tiempo Nublado (Cloudy Times): The Ethics of Documentarian Activism'' IEEE Microwave and …, . [Link]
2006 Dr Catherine Leen (2006) ''Sinéad Ní Mhaoinaigh: Eatramh'' Catalogue Essay: Kevin Kavanagh Gallery Dublin, :2-6.
2006 Dr Catherine Leen (2006) ''Memory and Desire: New Works by Stephen Lawlor'' Catalogue Essay: Graphic Studio Gallery Dublin, :3-8.
2002 Dr Catherine Leen (2002) ''Paul Gregg: Magnesium'' Catalogue Essay: Carlow County Council, :2-9.

Conference Publication

Year Publication
1999 Nancy Serrano and Barrie Wharton, eds. (1999) Crossing Boundaries: Spanish Across Cultures University of Limerick, 12/07/1999- 14/07/1999

Book Review

Year Publication
2019 Catherine Leen (2019) Eva Karen Romero: Film and Democracy in Paraguay. Taylor & Francis London: BREV [Link]
2017 Catherine Leen (2017) Mexican Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television, Paul Julian Smith. BREV [Link]
2015 Dr Catherine Leen (2015) David William Foster, Latin American Documentary Filmmaking: Major Works. BREV
2014 Dr Catherine Leen (2014) VERÓNICA CORTÍNEZ Y MANFRED ENGELBERT,La tristeza de los tigres y los misterios de Raúl Ruiz. BREV
2013 Dr Catherine Leen (2013) Trans/Acting: Latin American and Latino Perfoming Arts. BREV
2008 Dr Catherine Leen (2008) 'Juan Pablo Young and Pablo Zubizarreta's Documentary Film 4 de Julio: La masacre de San Patricio'. BREV

Film or Broadcast

Year Publication
2016 Mon Ross and Catherine Leen (2016) Feliciano Centurión: Abrazo íntimo al natural. FILM [Link]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2023) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/01/2005 Royal Irish Academy Fellowship
01/01/2008 Fulbright Award
01/01/2005 NEA Honorarium


Committee Function From / To
Hume Scholarship Committee Part of a committee that shortlists and selects recipients of John and Pat Hume Scholarships 18/02/2005 -


Employer Position From / To
Trinity College Assistant Lecturer - 30/06/2001
NUI Maynooth Lecturer -

Other Activities

'Animating the Alien Nation: Mexican Filmmakers Countering Racist Stereotypes in Animated Films