Silvia Dapía

Silvia Dapia

Research Interests

  • Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Latin American Literature and Culture (emphasis on Southern Cone—Argentina and Chile)
  • Transnational and Translation Studies
  • Gender Studies (Third World Feminist Theory and Masculinities)
  • Transitional Justice and Memory Studies
  • Philosophy and Literature
  • Critical Theory
  • Affect Theory and Politics of Emotion


  • Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Cologne, Germany


Affiliated Campus(es)

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Office Hours

By appointment

Silvia Dapía is a literary scholar and critic working at the intersection of Transnational Studies, Gender Studies, and Affect Theory and Politics of Emotion in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Latin American Literature and Culture, with emphasis on Southern Cone. She is also frequently as concerned with philosophy and literature as she is with subjectivity and embodiment approaches.

Silvia Dapía is Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate Center’s Ph.D. Program in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures (LAILAC). As a scholar, with a Ph.D. from the University of Cologne, Germany, with areas of specialization Latin American, German and French literatures and cultures, Prof. Dapía made a mark in the central and crowded field of Borges Studies with her early and pathbreaking book Die Rezeption der Sprachkritik Fritz Mauthners im Werk von Jorge Luis Borges (The Impact of Fritz Mauthner’s Philosophical Critique of Language on Jorge Luis Borges) published by Böhlau in 1993. The book argues for the impact of the critique of language of Fritz Mauthner, a very original forerunner of Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language, as a source as important as Berkeley, Schopenhauer, Hume, Spinoza and Russell for Borges’s experimental narrative.

Scholarly interest in Philosophy and Literature relationships resurfaces in her second book, Jorge Luis Borges, Post-Analytic Philosophy, and Representation published by Routledge in 2015. Prof. Dapía uses Borges’s short stories to demonstrate how philosophical questions related to representation develop out of Borges’s literature and actually anticipate various strains of American post-analytic philosophy. The volume discusses American post-analytic philosophers such as Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, Donald Davidson, Nelson Goodman, and Arthur Danto as well as a wide-ranging set of philosophical ideas including reflections on Keynes, Hayek, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and many others. 

More recently, Prof. Dapía‘s research interests expanded to include Transnational Studies, Affect Theory, and Translation Studies, as shown by her edited volume Gombrowicz in Transnational Context: Subjectivity, Translation, and Politics, also published by Routledge in 2019. The volume discusses issues of subjectivity, translation, and politics in the work of Witold Gombrowicz through a transnational lens, linking thus several contexts (Argentine, Polish, German, and French cultures) rather than in a single nation-state, and paying particular attention to transnational themes such as diaspora consciousness, multiple identifications, cultural blending, construction of places by transference and re-grounding of meanings derived from specific geographical and historical points of origins, among others.

Currently, drawing on affect theory and politics of emotions, Prof. Dapía’s research examines politically charged use of emotions such as ressentiment, sympathy/compassion, contempt, and terror. The political logic of emotions is studied from a Latin American perspective—which is largely absent from mainstream debates in which these emotions have been historically studied. By focusing on the work of Argentine León Rozitchner, Venezuelan Simón Rodríguez, and Argentine Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, her research examines the use of affect and emotions as political instruments and its potential for the creation of alternative political projects. 

Her articles appear in numerous scholarly journals such as Chasqui, Diálogos Latinoamericanos, Polish American Studies, Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, Revista Iberoamericana, Semiotics, Siglo XX/20th Century, The Polish Review, and Variaciones Borges.

Awards and Grants

  • 2021 — Distinguished Fellow, Advanced Research Collaborative, Graduate Center, City University of New York. Fall 2021.  
  • 2017 — Fellowship Leave Award. John Jay College Research Advisory Committee, City University of New York. Spring 2017. 
  • 2015 — Amicus Poloniae Award for Distinguished Service to Polonia from the Polish American Historical Association (PAHA) by a person who is not of Polish descent. 
  • 2015 — Faculty Scholarly Excellence Award from the John Jay College Research Advisory Committee, City University of New York

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • IILI (Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana)
  • LASA (Latin American Studies Association)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • PAHA (Polish American Historical Association)

Courses Taught

  • “Theorizing Latin American Masculinities” (SPAN 87000),
  • “Contagious Affectivity: Body-Affect in Gombrowicz” (SPAN 85000),
  • “Subjectivity, TV Miniseries, and the 40th Anniversary of the Coup d’état in Chile” (SPAN 87100),
  • “Anarchism, Representation and Argentine Literature” (SPAN 87100),
  • “Transitional Justice in Latin American Literature and Film” (SPAN 87100),
  • “Philosophy In and On the Works of Jorge Luis Borges” (SPAN 77700),
  • “Hispanic Critical & Cultural Theory” (SPAN 70200),
  • “Dissertation Seminar” (SPAN 88800).

Selected Publications

Books Authored

  • 2015 - Jorge Luis Borges, Post-Analytic Philosophy, and Representation. New York: Routledge. 
  • 1993 - Die Rezeption der Sprachkritik Fritz Mauthners im Werk von Jorge Luis Borges (The Relationship between Fritz Mauthner's Critique of Language and Jorge Luis Borges's Work). Cologne: Böhlau. 

Books Edited

  • 2019 - Gombrowicz in Transnational Context: Subjectivity, Translation, and Politics. New York: Routledge. 2019. Edited, authored introduction, and contributed chapter.

Book Chapters

  • 2018 - "Dwa sposoby myślenia o zbrodni. Zbrodnia z premedytacją Gombrowicza (1933) i Emma Zunz Borgesa (1948)” (Two Ways of Thinking about Crime: Gombrowicz’s ‘Premeditated Crime’ (1933) and Borges’s ‘Emma Zunz’ (1948)). In: Witold Gombrowicz, pisarz argentyński. Antologia. Ewa Kobyłecka-Piwońska, ed. Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 2018. 121-132.
  • 2016 - “Interpretación radical e intersubjetividad en ‘El etnógrafo’ de Jorge Luis Borges.” Filosofia y Culturas Hispanicas: Nuevas Perspectivas. Morgado, Nuria y Rolando Perez, eds. Newark, NJ: Juan de La Cuesta, 2016, 137-154.
  • 2013 - “Argentina’s Attempt to Foster Immigration from Eastern Europe in the 1990s,” in Transatlantic Migrations from East Central Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Anna Mazurkiewicz, ed. Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013, 311-323.
  • 2010 - “Borges y la lírica: poesía sin sujeto” in Alfonso de Toro, ed., Borges poeta (Hildesheim, Zürich: Georg Olms Verlag, 2010), 225-232.
  • 2009 - “Bildern zuhören: Warum spielt man nicht Kandinsky oder Miró? Überlegungen zum Verhältnis von Repräsentation, Bild und Klang” [Listening to Painting: Why not playing Kandinsky or Miró? A Reflection on the Relationship between Representation, Image, and Sound] in Semiotische Weltmodelle. Mediendiskurse in den Kulturwissenschaften, Hartmut Schröder & Ursula Bock , ed. Münster: LIT- Verlag, 2009), 133-148.
  • 2008 - “Los indiscernibles de Borges y el nacionalismo de derecha en la Argentina,” in Jorge Luis Borges: Políticas de la literatura, Juan Pablo Dabove, ed. (Pittsburgh: Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana [Serie ACP], 2008), 61-77.

Articles Published (Refereed)

  • 2017 - “La ‘sociedad sin padre’: León Rozitchner y la búsqueda de una nueva subjetividad” (The “Fatherless Society: León Rozitchner and the Search for a New Subjectivity). Escrituras Americanas. 34-62.
  • 2015 - “Two Ways of Thinking about Crime: Gombrowicz’s ‘Premeditated Crime’ (1933) and Borges’s ‘Emma Zunz’ (1948).” The Polish Review, Vol. 60, No. 2 (2015): 114-124.
  • 2014 - “’Living in Another Language’: Witold Gombrowicz’s Argentinean Experience,” Polish American Studies, Vol. LXXI, No. 2 (Fall 2014): 79-89.
  • 2013 - “Borges, Social Order, and Human Action,” Variaciones Borges, Vol. 36 (2013): 125-153.
  • 2009 - “The First Poststructuralist: Gombrowicz’s Debt to Nietzsche,” The Polish Review, Vol. LIV, No. 1 (2009): 87-99.

Guest Editor

  • 2015 - Guest editor of the Spring 2015 issue of the journal The Polish Review, Vol. 60, no. 2, which focused on Witold Gombrowicz.
  • 2014 - Guest editor of the Spring 2014 Dossier “Sexualidades e identidades disidentes en América Latina: Desde el virreinato hasta nuestros días” of the journal Katatay Vol. IX, no. 11/12.
  • 2012 - Guest editor of the Spring 2012 issue of the journal Polish American Studies, Vol. LXIX, no. 1, which focused on the Poles in Latin America.
Silvia Dapia


Affiliated Campus(es)

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Office Hours

By appointment