Research Interests

Atlantic and Archipelagic Studies; (Pen)insular Spanish literature; African and Asian literature in Spanish; Caribbean Literature and "artivism"; Migration-Displacement Studies; Photography/Film Studies; Environmental Humanities; Digital Humanities.

Thenesoya V. Martín De la Nuez (PhD, Harvard University) is an Instructor at the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University. She specializes in Island Studies, Spanish (Pen)Insular and Transatlantic cultural production, and African and Asian literatures in Spanish. With a solid background in Comparative Literature (MA/BA Compluetense University) and Hispanic Philology (BA University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), her research delves into topics related to islands and archipelagic studies; the rhetoric of imperial insularity in Transatlantic and Pacific territories; displacement; discourses and practices of national and peripheral identity formation; as well as of notions of provincialism, belonging, isolation, fluidity and displacement. Thenesoya's interests comprise photography and film, literary and "artivism" responses in the Anthropocene, digital humanities and mapping visualizations.

Over the past five years, she has been engaged in a cultural and artistic project that parallels her dissertation research: CISLANDERUS. This work, in collaboration with photographer Aníbal Martel, combines ethnographic and migration studies with documentary photography and video to explore 18th Century Spanish-Canarian immigration to Louisiana, and its evolution up to the present day. The project has resulted in a documentary film she has written and produced, Canarians in the United States, and a traveling photographic exhibition both in Spain and the United States—currently on view at Louisiana State Museum.

Thenesoya is currently working on a book tentatively titled Far Away from Home. Mapping the Canary Islander Descendants in the United States. This work combines the result of five years of research and fieldwork in Louisiana with the photographic component of CISLANDERUS project. Thenesoya's work on Canarian immigration to the United States is a natural way to expand her dissertation research into new directions, including ethnography, popular history and digital humanities.

She is also developing a research project on African and Asian literatures in Spanish that aims to make visible obliterated Spanish-speaking spaces of cultural production by establishing a dialogue between them.

At Harvard University, her dissertation (April 2020) was focused on 20th Century cultural and literary production in three insular and Spanish post-colonial spaces: The Caribbean Islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico, the African islands in Equatorial Guinea, and the Canary Islands.

Last Publication

Annotated edition of Cuando a Guinea se iba por mar, by Equatoguinean writer Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel. Ediciones Carena, Barcelona (2019).

Get a copy here.


  • Annotated edition of Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel’s novel Cuando a Guinea se iba por Mar, Ediciones Carena, Barcelona, May 2019.
  • “The Forgotten island. Spanish Colonial Legacy in Annobon.” In Hispanic and Lusophone Voices of Africa, Vernon Press, Delaware (forthcoming 2020). Book Chapter.
  • “Between Geography and the Imagination: San Borondón Island and the Haunting Power of Insular Spaces.” Visitas al patio. Number 13, Universidad de Cartagena, Colombia, forthcoming 2019.
  • “Liminal Photography: Drawing the Liquid Borders of the Insular Immigration.” Atlántica. Revista de arte y pensamiento. Vol. 57, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Oct 2016.
  • “(Re)escribiendo la Historia desde la agencia africana: La reconstrucción narrativa de la realidad en la obra de Ávila Laurel.” Afro-Hispanic Review, vol. 28, number 2, Fall 2009: 219-230.
  • “Sobre Marvin Lewis, An Introduction to the Literature of Equatorial Guinea: Between Colonialism and Dictatorship.” Revista Iberoamericana, vol. 81, Jul-Dec 2014: 247-48
  • “El tratamiento del paisaje en una novela guineoecuatoriana. El caso de ‘Ekomo’, de María Nsue Angüe”. Atanga: Revista de los Centros Culturales de España en Guinea 1, Malabo, Nov-Dec 2009: 42-46.

"Echoes of the Past"

A cultural and research project that parallels my dissertation, featured at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard.

"That’s when Thenesoya decided to embark on a cultural documentary project, a traveling photographic exhibition and a book focused on the communities of Canary Island descendants in the United States. What started as a project to find what was missing from scholarly accounts of Louisiana culture and connect with the descendants face-to-face, is now documented by an archive of over 100 interviews and more than 8,000 photographs collected during four years of field work and a traveling exhibition." Read it here.

Fellowships and Grants

  • 2019- Research Committee Grant for Faculty, Vassar College
  • 2018-2020- Louisiana Friends of the Cabildo Grant ($20,000.00)
  • 2017- Dissertation Completion Grant, Faculty of Art and Science, Harvard University
  • 2016- Cabildo of Gran Canaria and Casa de Colón Museum Grant (€10,000.00)
  • 2016- David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies Research Grant to Cuba
  • 2016- Graduate Scholarship Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard University
  • 2015- The Jens Aubrey Westengard Funds, Harvard University
  • 2015- Summer Research Grant, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (Cuba)
  • 2012- Summer Research Grant, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (Puerto Rico)
  • 2011- Summer Research Fellowship, Real Colegio Complutense, Harvard University (Madrid)
  • 2010- Special Mention for B.A. Degree in Comparative Literature, Education Ministry of Spain
  • 2009- Graduation Prize, Literary Theory and Comparative Literature, Universidad Complutense
  • 1999-2000- Erasmus Fellowship at the Università Degli Studi di Torino, Italy