Gisela Heffes


  • Ph.D., Yale University, 2007
  • Licenciatura en Letras. Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, 1997 

Areas of Interest

  • Latin American literature, film and culture
  • Theories of space and urban imaginaries
  • Utopian studies and thought; fictional utopias
  • Ecocriticism; environmental studies and discourses on nature
  • Jewish literature and culture


Gisela Heffes is the editor of the anthology Judíos/Argentinos/Escritores (1999), and two monographs - Las ciudades imaginarias en la literatura latinoamericana (2008) and Políticas de la destrucción / Poéticas de la preservación. Apuntes para una lectura (eco)crítica del medio ambiente en América latina (2013). Las ciudades is a study of the literary representations of non-existent urban spaces and their significance in the wider political and cultural framework of Latin America. Prof. Heffes' Políticas de la destrucción examines narratives from the mid-twentieth century to the present that are related to the environment in Latin America and analyzes how these texts refer to both the conservation and destruction of nature. This book received the First Honorable Mention by the Southern Cone Section at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) in 2015.

Professor Heffes has edited two collections of essays, one on the experience of displacement and translocation in the creative imagination of Spanish-American writers residing in the US (Poéticas de los (dis)locamientos, 2012), and another devoted to the intersections between utopia and cities in Latin America (UtopÍas urbanas. GeopolÍtica del deseo en América latina, 2013). She was also the guest editor for the special issue of Revista de Critica Literaria Latinoamericana on "Ecocrítica" (2014). Dr. Heffes is now serving as Co-Diversity Officer at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE).

Creative Works

In addition to her academic work, Gisela Heffes is an active fiction writer, having published the novels Ischia (2000), Praga (2001), and Ischia, Praga & Bruselas (2005); the collection of short stories, Glossa urbana (2012); a collection of poetic chronicles, Aldea Lounge (2014); and the novella Sophie La Belle and the Miniature Cities (a bilingual edition with images designed by the author, 2016). She is the founder of the digital repository "Archiving the Future: The Recovery of a Heritage in the Making," an initiative that seeks to gather and record the voices of Spanish-American writers living in the United States, in collaboration with Literal Publishing and the Humanities Research Center (Rice University).