Kate Dunn

Spanish, Edinburgh

Tenure since 2012

Acts of Survival: Women Writers and Dictatorship

Kate DunnKate's PhD thesis explores poetry as a form of testimony in the work of Alicia Partnoy.

Originally from Argentina, Partnoy now lives in Los Angeles, California. During the 1976-1983 Argentine dictatorship, Partnoy was kidnapped, illegally imprisoned and tortured. After being forced into exile in the USA, she testified about her experiences at the United Nations, Amnesty International and CONADEP (Argentine National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons).

To literary scholars, Partnoy is best known for her testimonial short stories in "The Little School" (1986)/"La Escuelita" (2006). Kate's research centres on the collections "Venganza de la manzana" (1992), "Volando bajito" (2005) and "Fuegos florales" (2014), considering Partnoy’s poetry as testimonio. The testimonial mode came to prominence in Latin America during the last decades of the twentieth century and has seen a resurgence in the twenty-first century with the publication of testimonial novels.

Traditionally, academic studies of testimonio have focussed on narrative and she seeks to investigate what the poetic form can contribute to writing about state violence. Building on a body of pre-existing criticism, she uses close reading to illustrate how poetry can be understood as testimonio.


Kate's Previous academic achievements include: MA Hons German and Spanish (University of St Andrews, 2008); Erasmus exchange at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2006-2007); MLitt Spanish and Latin American Studies (University of St Andrews, 2012).

Forthcoming publication with the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2016): ‘“Clases de español”: Education and testimonio in the poetry of Alicia Partnoy’.

Current Carnegie-Caledonian Scholars

The full list of current Carnegie-Caledonian scholars is available here.

Carnegie PhD Scholarships

The next deadline for applications is 28th February 2017.

To learn more about this scheme and how to apply, please visit Carnegie PhD Scholarships.