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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge
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    Dr Lorna Dillon

    01223 762206 (Mon, Weds, Thurs & Fri)
    Murray Edwards College
    Huntingdon Road
    CB3 0DF

    Research Fellow in Latin American Studies



    Degrees &  Honours:     

    MA Hons (University of Aberdeen), MA (King’s College London), PhD (King’s College London)

    Awards & Prizes (selected):    

    • LASA Book Prize, Best Book (Southern Cone Section) 2020
    • Henry Moore Foundation Research Award
    • British Academy Conference Award
    • Leverhulme Trust and Isaac Newton Trust Early Career Fellowship
    • El Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes de Chile (travel award)
    • Institute of Fine Art, University of New York (travel award)
    • Arts and Humanities Research Council (doctoral award)

    Research Interests:    

    My main interest is Latin American visual art. I am particularly interested in Chilean and Colombian art. My current focus is the work of participatory needlework collectives (tejedoras) in Colombia, Mexico and Chile, which use quilts, appliqués and embroideries for memorialising or social justice purposes, or for reconciliation following conflict. I am also interested in the link between the material visual culture of textiles and the way images of textiles are currently used on the internet to form diasporas of solidarity.

    My previous research was on the embroideries (arpilleras), papier-mâché sculptures and oil paintings created by the Chilean artist Violeta Parra (1917 – 1967) and this has led to two books, the edited volume Violeta Parra: Life and Work (Tamesis, 2017) and the monograph Violeta Parra's Visual Art: Painted Songs (Palgrave, 2020).

    I am also interested in the Latin American feminist wave; the iconography of human rights in Latin America; cultural theory; the decolonisation of art history; the Latin American ‘Boom’ of the 1960s, structural biases in art history, the translation of theatre and expanding the surrealist canon.

    I welcome enquiries from students with interests in these areas.  


    I am a Research Fellow in Latin American Art at Murray Edwards College. My degree was awarded by the University of Aberdeen and my PhD was awarded by King's College London. I have been an Associate Lecturer at the University of Kent and a sessional lecturer at King's College London. I am the Co-chair of the Latin American Studies Association Visual Culture Section (2022-2024) and on the executive committee of Women in Spanish and Portuguese Studies (2019-2023). I am a graduate tutor at Murray Edwards College.



    Articles, reviews and book chapters

    • Dillon, Lorna. (translator). 2023. “Claiming the Right to Memory, Stitch by Stitch. The experience of the Costurero Tejedoras por la Memoria de Sonsón (the Sonsón Memory Sewing Group)” The Textile Reader (London: Bloomsbury).    
    • Dillon, Lorna. 2022. “Repairing the Fabric of Society through Needlework” Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture. 4, 4: 74-80.   
    • Dillon, Lorna. 2022. “Embroidery in Abya Yala” Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture. 4, 4: 119-128.   
    • Dillon, Lorna, Lucy Phelps and Jennifer Wood (translators) 2022. “The Catch Up” In Poor Connection / Conexión Inestable. Edited by Catherine Boyle, Jack Tarlton, Lucila Cordone, Luis A. Medina Cordova, María Laura Ramos and Nicolás Lisoni. 201-211.  
    • Dillon, Lorna. 2021. "The Aesthetics of Global Protest; Global Activism and Art and Conflict in the 21st Century" Visual Studies 37. 
    • Dillon, Lorna. 2018. “Repositioning the Popular: The Hybrid Aesthetics of Violeta Parra’s Paintings Machitún, Las tres Pascualas and Casamiento de negros.” Studies in Latin American Popular Culture No 36: 145-160.
    • Dillon, Lorna. 2016. “Religion and the Angel's Wake Tradition in Violeta Parra's Art and Lyrics.” Taller de Letras 59: 91-109.
    • Dillon, Lorna. 2015. “Review of Arpillera sobre Chile: cine, teatro y literatura antes y después de 1973.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 92, no. 6: 728-729.
    • Dillon, Lorna. "Violeta Parra". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 March 2015.
    • Dillon, Lorna. 2011. “The Representation of History and Politics in Violeta Parra’s Visual Art.” In Seeing in Spanish: from Don Quixote to Daddy Yankee - 22 Essays on Hispanic Visual Cultures, edited by Ryan Prout, 252-267. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    • Dillon, Lorna. 2009. “Defiant Art: The Feminist Dialectic of Violeta Parra’s Arpilleras.” In Identity, Nation, Discourse: Latin American Women Writers and Artists, edited by Claire Taylor, 53-56. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    • Dillon, Lorna. 2007. “Translating Poetics: Approaches to the Translation of a Play in the Grotesco Criollo Tradition.” In Exploración y proceso: estudiando la cultura hispánica, edited by Catherine Boyle, 185-197. Valencia: King’s College London and Biblioteca de Valencia.

    Teaching and Service:

    I teach in the History of Art Department and the Centre of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge. I supervise and examine undergraduate students, postgraduate MPhil and PhD students working in the areas of Latin American visual culture, textile art or Surrealism.

    I am the co-chair of the Latin American Studies Association Visual Culture Section (2022-2024) and a member of the executive committee of Women in Spanish and Portuguese Studies (WISPS). I am a tutor at Murray Edwards College and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  

    Research Awards:

    My research has been supported by organisations such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, The Henry Moore Foundation, the Isaac Newton Trust and the Institute of Fine Art at the University of New York.

    I am a Research Fellow at Murray Edwards College and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


    What lies Beneath: Women, Politics, Textiles (co-curated with Naomi Polonsky, February to August 2022), The Women's Art Collection, Murray Edwards College.

    A virtual display of the exhibition can be seen here: What lies Beneath: Women, Politics, Textiles - 3D virtual exhibition by Lorna Dillon and Naomi Polonsky | art.spaces | KUNSTMATRIX

    The introductory chapters to my books and full details of all my publications can be found on my page.