Universiteit Leiden

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Nike van Helden

PhD candidate

N. van Helden MA
+31 71 527 2727

Nike van Helden is an external PhD candidate at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.

More information about Nike van Helden

Fields of interest

  • Cuban literature
  • Censorship
  • Discourse
  • Power
  • Otherness
  • Neo baroque


Nike van Helden is an external PhD student at Leiden University who is currently doing research on the influence of self-censorship within the literary production in Cuba. The research focuses on the first decade of the Cuban revolution (1959-1970) and explores the relation between politics and artistic expression. By analysing how the presence of censorship influences the literary production, this project seeks to obtain a better understanding of the relation between discourse, power and individuality within the literary field of the sixties in Cuba.

During her masters in Latin American Studies, Van Helden already focused on these three elements within Cuban Literature. In her MA thesis she explored how the monster, as a symbol of both political and ethical otherness, was represented in three short stories of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas.
In her MPhil thesis she related the analysis of her MA thesis to the views of the neo baroque (neobarroco), a literary movement that explicitly questions the power-structures that are present in discourse. By exploring the relation between the style and content of the stories the thesis showed how the author sought to create more space for otherness within “normal” Cuban discourse.

Curriculum vitae


MPhil Latin American and Amerindian Studies, Leiden University, 2007-2008 (Literature).
Thesis title: Capturando al monstruo: Una relectura neobarroca de la tesina.

MA Latin American Studies, Leiden University, 2001-2006 (Literature)
Thesis title: Los monstruos de Reinaldo Arenas: Un estudio sobre los monstruos en Algo sucede en el último balcón, Monstruo I y Monstruo II.

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • Literatuurwetenschap

No relevant ancillary activities

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