Guillermo Rodríguez-Romaguera has a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture and an M.F.A. in Film and Television Production from the University of Southern California as well as an A.B. in Comparative Literature and Latin American Studies from Princeton University. His research focuses on theorizing horror film spectatorship as a self-reflexive act of political resistance in modern and contemporary culture through an interdisciplinary imbrication of literary theory, political philosophy, film theory, critical race theory, queer theory, neuroscience and surrealist aesthetics. His first monograph titled Mirrors to the Unconscious: Spanish Meta-Art and Contemporary Cinema, which is under review at State University of New York Press, argues that cinema has the power to reveal to the spectator their own inner thoughts, especially when living in an environment in which they are not allowed to express their mind openly, such as politically oppressed or culturally repressed societies. Framed around critical readings of Spain’s masterworks in meta-art – Don Quixote, Las meninas, and Un chien andalou, the book examines instances of duality in contemporary films from Spain, Poland, France, Canada, Argentina, Cuba and the United States that appear to project on screen what the viewer is subconsciously thinking. He has also published several articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies, Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America and Studies in European Cinema.
Currently, he is working on a new research project titled The Fluid Gaze of Latinx Spectatorship: Transgender and Interracial Visual Pleasure in the Horror Film which re-thinks the horror genre as the site of a complex intermingling of gender and racial subjectivities for its Latinx audience. The book proposes a theory of how gender fluidity in Latinx cinematic identification disrupts not just patriarchal structures and heteronormative sexualities but the power dynamics of whiteness and racial oppression. Building off Jordan Peele’s exposure of racial issues through horror in Get Out and Us, the book will focus on the paradoxical relationship of Latinx spectators to the horror genre in the United States. For instance, statistics show that the current boom in horror box office with groundbreaking hits like It and the new Halloween sequel is attributable to an increase in Latinx audiences, yet these films do not feature any Latinx protagonists for these audiences to identify with. Given this lack of representation, why do Latinx viewers continue to embrace a genre known for excluding them? To tackle this question, this book will re-examine representations of political otherness in classic horror cinema as prefiguring contemporary transformations of the genre’s racial and ethnic stereotypes into narratives that advocate for the underrepresented, the oppressed and the marginalized. Guillermo’s transnational and comparative approach to Latinx Studies seeks to go beyond identity politics in the United States by applying the critical-theoretical framework developed in his first book to formulate a spectatorship of exclusion for Latinx horror audiences not only in the United States but also in Latin America and Europe.
Guillermo is also a film director, screenwriter and editor. He wrote, produced and directed an emotional thriller entitled The Shadows (2007) and produced and edited the feature film Sweet Thing (2008), a coming-of-age tale of two young women set in Seattle. He has worked as an editor for DirecTV, NBC and CBS as well as editing numerous feature films, documentaries and TV series such as The History Channel’s Gangland.