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Vázquez, Mercedes

Spanish Programme
PhD The University of Hong Kong
MA Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Hispanic Philology (BA MA) Universidad Complutense de Madrid


Dr. Vázquez is a specialist in Film and Cultural Studies, Hispanic Philology with specialization in Hispanic Literature, and Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. She was awarded the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2021 and received Teaching Development Grants for her teaching innovation projects "Virtual Field-Trip from East Asia to the Americas" (2021-2022) (co-led with Dr. Tim Gruenewald) and "Multicultural and Global Diversity Project" (2022-2025) (co-led with Dr. Loretta Kim and Dr. Li Chong).

She joined The University of Hong Kong in 1998. Since then, she has contributed significantly to the curriculum development of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (SMLC) with diverse courses on the literary and audiovisual cultures from Europe and Latin America and, more recently, East-Asian migrations to the Americas. She also teaches and coordinates Spanish-language and CLIL courses and was the Academic Adviser of SMLC’s Spanish Secondary School Programme (2019-2022) and Non-Degree Programme (2019-2021). She co-developed the curriculum of the Major in Spanish at HKU, which led to its establishment, and is a pioneer in teaching Latin American literary and audiovisual cultures at HKU. Her courses make ample use of ICT for Teaching & Learning. She is a member of several task forces on curriculum development and internationalization at School, Faculty and Senior Management levels.

Her research interests include Latin American cinema, East-Asian-Latin American cultural connections, the pedagogy of language and culture in Chinese-speaking educational contexts, and cross-cultural communication. Her monograph The Question of Class in Contemporary Latin America Cinema, published in 2018, centers on how class affects contemporary cinematic representations and, more recently, she has studied the effects of gender and racial inequalities on opportunities for film production in Brazil.

Combining research interests with curatorial practices is a key feature of her academic practice. She founded the first Venezuelan Film Series and annual Latin American Film Series at HKU, which aim to provide visibility to underrepresented Latin American filmmakers and familiarize the Hong Kong public with Latin American visual cultures. Since she started teaching at HKU in 1998, she has organized numerous other film screenings and literary events to promote European and Latin American cultures in Hong Kong.

She is an active member of the Committee on Gender Equality and Diversity of the Faculty of Arts since its inception. She was the Chair of its Research Subcommittee for several years.

Selected Cultural Events

Jury member of the first “Asia and the Americas” Section of LASA Best Academic Work Award.

2nd Latin American and Iberian Film Series (Hong Kong), Series Organizer in collaboration with Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Consulates in Hong Kong

Film Series: “Crossing Borders: The   many faces of the struggle for a better life in the Iberian American world”, a Spanish-Portuguese-American Studies project.

Research Seminar Series of the   Committee on Gender Equality and Diversity of the Faculty of Arts

“Argentine movie days” (November   2016-2017)

Panorama of Contemporary Cinema from Latin America and Spain: Film Series at HKU in collaboration with PRAGDA Spanish Film Club (March-April 2016)

First Venezuelan Film Series in   Hong Kong in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Bolivarian   Republic of Venezuela in Hong Kong and the Arts Centre (March 2010)

She has hosted or led both face-to-face and online cultural events featuring writers and filmmakers from Latin America such as Aura Xilonen (Mexico), Iván Osnovikoff and Bettina Perut (Chile), Anna Muylaert (Brazil), José Carlos Somoza, Javier Puebla, Agustí Villaronga and Espido Freire (Spain), and Cristina Rivera Garza (Mexico/USA), among many others.

Selected Conference Papers, Seminars, Workshops and Interviews:

“The Changing Landscape of Black Women Filmmaking in Brazil.” LASA 2021 (virtual conference), paper

Plenary Speaker. Conference “Encuentro Latinoamericano de Español para Fines Específicos: Perspectivas,  Prácticas y Retos en ELE”. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and   Universidad Federal de Paraíba. December 2020.

Webinar on Teaching Spanish as a   Foreign Language in Hong Kong and China (with Dr. Xu Lei), July 2020.

Webinar on Conducting Research   during COVID (with Prof. P. Zimmermann, Dr. R. Sinha and Prof. G. Marchetti), June 2020.

Talk on the Faculty of Arts’   research strengths on gender and sexuality at the forum “Taking Gender   Studies Research Seriously in Higher Education,” HKU, 8 March 2017.

Paper “Reconciling Re-emancipation   and Industrial Success in Venezuelan Cinema.” LASA Congress.

Seminar “The Cinematic Return of  “El Pueblo.” Comparative Literature, HKU 2016.

Seminar “Latin American Writers   Reading the World: Alejo Carpentier and Octavio Paz.” Hong Kong Book Fair   2015.

Seminar “From Novel to Film: Works   by Nobel Prize Laurate Mario Vargas Llosa.” Hong Kong Book Fair 2014.

Tel. No.




516, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

HKU Scholars Hub


Region and Language

Spanish, Spain, Europe, Latin America

Research Area

Latin American cinema, East-Asian-Latin American cultural connections, Pedagogy of language and film, Intercultural acquisition

Key Publications



Courses offered in


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