Paul’s research focuses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latin American film and visual culture, with a particular emphasis on the countries of the Southern Cone and, more recently, Peru and Bolivia. He explored the political potential of domestic space in recent filmmaking in his doctoral work and is currently investigating the tension between territorial and ecological understandings of bodies of water in Chile, Peru and Bolivia, working across a variety of media, from film and digital video to poetry.
He is interested in how cinema relates to other visual media within the shifting critical frameworks of Latin American studies, and in the intersections between postcolonial theory and the environmental humanities. He is a co-editor (with Lucy Bollington) of Latin American Culture and the Limits of the Human (University of Florida Press, 2020), which analyses how discourses of humanism and posthumanism have operated in – and have been shaped by – a wide range of literary and visual cultures in the region.
- Merchant, P & Bollington, L, 2020, Latin American Culture and the Limits of the Human, University of Florida Press
- Merchant, P, 2019, ‘Cynicism and the Denial of Marginality in Contemporary Chile: Mitómana (José Luis Sepúlveda and Carolina Adriazola, 2009)’, in Creative Spaces: Urban Culture and Marginality in Latin America, edited by N. H.D. Geraghty and A. Massidda, Institute of Latin American Studies
- Merchant, P, 2018, ‘Spectres of Hierarchy in a Chilean Domestic Archive’, Journal of Romance Studies 18:2, 251-273