Dr Charles Pigott



Personal statement

My research and teaching focus on literature produced in Spanish and four indigenous languages of Latin America: Yucatec Maya, Nahuatl and both Central and Southern Quechua, spoken in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia, respectively. I combine Literary Studies, Linguistics, Anthropology and Philosophy to explore how indigenous literatures engage with questions of cultural memory and biocultural heritage. I use methods and theories from the Environmental Humanities (particularly ecocriticism) to forge links between the Humanities and Sciences.

I am Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at University of Strathclyde, Quondam Fellow of Hughes Hall (University of Cambridge) and Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Before joining University of Strathclyde, I was Associate Professor of Literature and Humanities at Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP) in Mexico, where I founded a new series of bilingual indigenous literature published by UDLAP. I now co-edit the series with Martín Tonalmeyotl and Martín Sánchez Camargo: http://blog.udlap.mx/blog/2020/09/udlap-presento-los-primeros-libros-de-la-serie-bilingue-literatura-en-lenguas-originarias/

Previously, I held a three-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellowship at Hughes Hall, during which time I spoke with over thirty Maya authors in Mexico as part of the research for my monograph, Writing the Land, Writing Humanity: The Maya Literary Renaissance https://www.routledge.com/Writing-the-Land-Writing-Humanity-The-Maya-Literary-Renaissance/Pigott/p/book/9780367473525#. During the Fellowship, I spent two months learning the Southern Quechua language in Cuzco, Peru, and another two months learning Nahuatl in Puebla, Mexico. These were the official languages of the Incan and Aztec Empires, and are spoken by millions today.

Prior to my position in Cambridge, I spent a year learning Yucatec Maya at the Autonomous University of Yucatán, funded by a Mexican Government Postdoctoral Fellowship, and held a concurrent Research Associateship at the Zoology Department, University of Oxford. My PhD (University of London, 2013), funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK), involved spending a year in the Peruvian Andes, during which time I learned the Central Quechua language and documented bilingual folksongs composed in Spanish and Quechua. My thesis engaged the folksongs in dialogue with the philosophical perspectives of Derrida, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, to explore the extent to which the concept of “identity” is applicable in the Andean cultural context.


Has expertise in:

    Indigenous languages and literatures of Mexico, Peru and Bolivia

    Cultural memory and biocultural heritage in indigenous cultures of Mexico, Peru and Bolivia

    Indigenous philosophies of Latin America

    Languages: Spanish; French; German; Portuguese; Yucatec Maya; Nahuatl; Central Quechua; Southern Quechua; some Catalan and Italian

Prizes and awards

Member of UK Young Academy
Honorary Mention: MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages

More prizes and awards


Fellow of Higher Education Academy


Retrospective prophecy in contemporary Maya literature : Chim Bacab's Flower of Memory
Pigott Charles M
Anticipatory Environmental (Hi)Stories Narratives of Coming Nature(s) from Antiquity to the Anthropocene (2023) (2023)
Landscapes of heterogeneity in mid-twentieth century Quechua literature
Pigott Charles M
Latin American Literature in Transition 1930–1980 (2022) (2022)
Indigenous poiesis : the semiotics of circulation in Villegas' Maya Poetry
Pigott Charles
The Routledge Companion to Ecopoetics (2022) (2022)
Aj-ts'íib or el letrado? Authorial identity in Gómez Navarrete's Bilingual Maya poetry
Pigott Charles M
Bulletin of Hispanic Studies Vol 98, pp. 415-432 (2021)
Cosmic narratology and human exceptionalism in Maya poetry : Villegas’ Yáax K’áak’ [Primordial Fire]
Pigott Charles Maurice
Green Letters Vol 24, pp. 169-184 (2020)
Writing the Land, Writing Humanity : The Maya Literary Renaissance
Pigott Charles M
Perspectives on the Non-Human in Literature and Culture Perspectives on the Non-Human in Literature and Culture (2020)

More publications


I am the class coordinator for the Honours classes "Shaping Spain: Ideas, Belief and Identity" (R4449), "Political and Social Crisis in Contemporary Hispanic Cinema" (R4402), and the second-year course "Independence and Isolation in Spain and Latin America" (R4200). I have also introduced a new undergraduate course, "Latin America through Indigenous Eyes".

I am delighted to accept PhD students in any of my areas of expertise.