Dr Lauren Rea is Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests centre on cultural history and popular culture in Latin America with a particular focus on Argentina. Lauren’s PhD thesis (King’s College London, 2009) analysed narratives of nation-building in Argentine radionovelas. Her book, Argentine Serialised Radio Drama in the Infamous Decade, 1930-1943: Transmitting Nationhood was published by Ashgate in 2013.
In 2016 Lauren was awarded an AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellowship for the Billiken Centenary Project. Her work has received additional support from the University of Sheffield Arts Enterprise and the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science. The project was supported at different stages by Research Assistants Dr Stacey Dunlea, Regina Solis and Norma Raimondo. Lauren is currently working on an academic monograph about the history of Billiken magazine.
As part of her collaborative work with Billiken, Lauren has acted as historical consultant for Editorial Atlántida, helping to shape the narrative around the legacy of the magazine. She curated the first bilingual edition of the Biblioteca Billiken book series, Horacio Quiroga’s Cuentos de la selva/Jungle Tales. In 2020 Lauren worked with Billiken’s director, Euhen Matarozzo, schoolteachers and educational specialists to develop digital educational resources based on this publication for the educational platform www.billiken.lat in a project supported by the University of Sheffield’s Arts and Humanities Knowledge Exchange.
Lauren is a co-author of Billiken’s commemorative centenary publication 100 Grandes Mujeres Latinoamericanas [100 Great Latin American Women], an illustrated children’s book which was inspired by the Billiken Centenary Project’s research findings. Lauren co-coordinated this publishing project with Billiken’s director, Euhen Matarozzo, together leading an international team of creative industries professionals. In October 2020, the partnership was awarded follow-on funding under the UKRI GCRF Collective Fund. For the Great Latin American Women Project, the partnership is developing audio-visual and digital educational resources based on 100 Grandes Mujeres Latinoamericanas with the aim of fostering greater gender equality in Latin America.
In Lauren’s other current research project she works with five Argentine anthropologist co-investigators on the consequences of the COVID-19 lockdown on access to education, attainment gap and family economies in five diverse regions of Argentina. “Diverse Childhoods and Educational Inequalities” is funded by the British Academy GCRF Tackling Global Challenges Scheme. Lauren is also a trustee of Grimm & Co, a children’s literacy charity based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.