+44 (0)113 343 3520
Summary: Spanish culture and society; performing arts (theatre, film, television and pop music, esp. hip-hop); ethnic identity and multiculturalism, especially Spain's relations with Africa; humour and comedy
Location: Room 233, Michael Sadler Building
I lived and worked in Madrid for a number of years before completing a degree in Spanish and History of Art at University College London. I then went on to do an MA and a PhD in Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield.
At the University of Leeds, I teach mostly on Spanish theatre and film, but I also teach on the novel, painting, poetry and popular music. I am particularly interested in looking at how cultural products can be employed as a political tool to provoke debate and change, and dialogues between genres (the exchange of ideas and artistic inspiration). The modules on which I teach include: my research-led module 'Is Spain White? Immigration, Nation and Performance' (SPPO3590), 'Spanish Literature and Theatre' (SPPO2690/1) and 'An Introduction to the Cultural Production of Spain and Spanish America' (SPPO1160).
The principal research project on which I am currently working examines the various ways in which the performing arts in Spain are shaped by - and can shape - understandings of the Spanish nation and Spanishness along ethnic lines. Topics on which I have published are the roles in which actors of African origin have been cast on stage and screen (both big and small) and the value of rap for Afro-Spaniards who wish to challenge racism and establish alternative spaces of belonging in dialogue with the international black diaspora. Current topics of investigation include the performance of ethnic 'otherness', not only of sub-Saharan identity (as in blackface and the dubbing of African American actors) but also as regards the more contentious matter of North Africa, with which Spain has a far more ambivalent relationship.
My previous research project, which led to a book and a number of articles, analysed the impact of Hollywood cinema on a number of humorists affiliated to the Madrid avant-garde, and how they endeavoured to renovate Spanish theatre and humour inspired by their film viewings and film-making experiences. This experimentation blossomed in the years immediately following the Spanish Civil War (when many hoped for a break with the past before the consolidation of the Franco dictatorship) but was curtailed soon after, its transnational inspiration viewed with suspicion by the regime and its supporters, who celebrated instead an exclusive version of national culture.
I am interested in practical theatre and in theatre translation. During my undergraduate degree, I was involved in a number of productions of plays in the original Spanish and in translation. In Leeds and Sheffield, I have directed several Spanish-language productions with students, and attended various theatre courses in applied theatre in the UK and Spain.
I am interested in supervising postgraduate students who wish to work in the following areas:
- Spanish theatre and performance in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
- Spanish cinema
- Spanish music
- Spanish cultural studies
- Immigration, race, ethnicity and nation in Spanish cultural production; Spanish orientalism
- Humour and comedy in Spain
- Comics and the graphic novel in Spain
'Promoting a Theatre in Crisis: Poster Design and the Marketisation of Culture on the Madrid Stage', Hispanic Research Journal.
La estanquera de Vallecas / The Granny and the Heist, José Luis Alonso de Santos, translation and introduction (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press).
The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place, co-edited with Isabelle Marc (London/New York: Routledge, 2016).
From Silver Screen to Spanish Stage: The Humorists of the Madrid vanguardia and Hollywood Film (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011).
Articles and Book chapters
'Exaggeration and Nation: The Politics of Performance in the Spanish Sophisticated Comedy of the 1940s', in Dean Allbritton, Alejandro Melero and Tom Whittaker (eds), Performance and Spanish Film (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016), pp. 59-75.
'More Than Words: Theorising the Singer-Songwriter', co-authored with Isabelle Marc, in The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place, pp. 1-19.
'Transitions of the Cantautor: Aesthetics, Politics and Authenticity in Spanish Popular Music from the Late Franco Dictatorship to the Present Day', co-authored with Fernán del Val, in The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place, pp. 163-76.
'Humor in Spain, Part. 2: Introduction', Romance Quarterly (2016), 63.2, pp. 51-2 (guest edited with P. Louise Johnson).
'No Laughing Matter? The Ethics of Racial Humor in Tres sombreros de copa', Romance Quarterly (2016), 63.2, pp. 63-72.
'Humor in Spain: Introduction', Romance Quarterly (2015), 62.4, pp. 1-6 (guest edited with P. Louise Johnson).
'The African Diaspora in Europe: New Atlantic Routes and Roots in the Music of Concha Buika', Journal of Romance Studies (2014), 14.2, pp. 50-61.
'Ladies in Da House: Feminidad e hispanidad en el rap de Arianna Puello', in Enrique Cámara Arenas and Laura Filardo (eds), Cuarenta años de trova urbana: acercamientos textuales al rap (Valladolid: Universidad de Valladolid, 2014), pp. 139-50.
'European Popular Musics: A Polycentric Dialogue', Journal of European Popular Culture (2013), 4.1, pp. 3-7 (guest edited with Isabelle Marc).
'The Musical Routes of the Spanish Black Atlantic: The Performance of Identities in the Rap of Frank T and El Chojín', Journal of Popular Music and Society (2013), 36.4, pp. 505-22.
'¿Cómo puedes ser tan negro? Rap y racismo en España: Entrevistas con Frank T y El Chojín', Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies (2011), 15, pp. 162-183.
'(Re)Casting the Spanish Nation: The Othering of Emilio Buale', Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies (2011), 12.2, pp. 197-215.
'El conflicto racial como táctica de camuflaje en el teatro durante el segundo franquismo', Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea (2011), 36.2, pp. 351-367.
'Humour and National Identity in Spain: The Failed Americanisation of Spanish Comedy (1939-1945)', Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies (2010), 16.2-3, pp. 127-142.
'Family' Disputes in Postwar Spanish Theatre: El amor sólo dura 2.000 metros and Como en el primer día..', Bulletin of Spanish Studies (2009), 86.4, pp. 475-491.
'Carry On Under Franco: Edgar Neville's Satire of Spanish Film and National Stereotype in Producciones Mínguez, S.A.', Estreno (2007), 1, 38-44.
'From Screen to Stage: Edgar Neville's La vida en un hilo', Modern Language Review (2005), 100.4, pp. 1015-1024.
'Wanna Be in My B(r)and? Live at Leeds Festival Report', co-authored with Duncan Wheeler, Popular Music (2016), 35.3, pp. 418-24.
'Prologue', The Art of Flying / El arte de volar, Antonio Altarriba and Kim, trans. Adrian West (London: Random House, 2015), pp. 8-10.
'Spanish rapper El Chojín visits the UK', La Revista: The British Spanish Society Magazine, 237, p. 20.
'Diez canciones para entender España', El Confidencial, 2012.
Events and Activities
I am member of the editorial board of the journal Estreno, Cuadernos del teatro español contemporáneo.
I am co-ordinator with Isabelle Marc (Universidad Complutense, Madrid) of the European Popular Musics Research Group.
I am co-editor with Dr Christopher Homewood (University of Leeds) of New Cinemas.
I am co-editor with Dr Ben Bollig (University of Oxford) and Dr Duncan Wheeler (University of Leeds) of the on-line Literary Encyclopaedia.
Organiser, with Dr Isabelle Marc (Universidad Complutense Madrid), of international conference 'From Adele to Zeca Afonso: The Singer-Songwriter in Europe', 13-14 September 2012.
Organiser of UK symposium 'Race, Ethnicity and Nation in the Hispanic and Lusophone Worlds', 9 March 2012.
Organiser, with Dr Lourdes Orozco (Unviersity of Leeds), of international symposium 'Performing Identities in Contemporary Spain', 27 June 2007.
Invited lectures and conference papers
- 'Voices (further) off: The Language of Theatre Publicity in Madrid', IV Congreso Internacional Estreno, Austin College Texas, March-April 2016.
- 'Marketing a Theatre in Crisis: Publicity Posters in Madrid 2014-2015', Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland Annual Conference, University of Exeter, April 2015.
- 'La escena de la música negra en Madrid', Symposio Conectando Escenas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, marzo 2015.
- 'Santiago Zannou: Can the Director Speak?', Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland Annual Conference, University of Galway, April 2014.
- Participant in round-table discussion 'Señoras y señoritas peligrosas en el teatro de Mihura' with Carmen Maura, José Cruz and Mariano de Paco, Teatro María Guerrero, Madrid, 13 January 2014.
- Participant in round-table discussion '¿Qué hacemos con el rap?' with El Chojín, Francisco Reyes, Enrique Cámara Arenas and Iván Iglesias, Universidad de Valladolid, September 2012.
- 'Performance Strategies: Race and Gender in the Rap of Arianna Puello', Conference 'From Adele to Zeca Afonso: The Singer-Songwriter in Europe', University of Leeds, September 2012.
- 'Representaciones del magrebí en las artes escénicas en España: El oriental(ismo) siniestro', Congreso sobre Representaciones del/de lo Oriental en las Américas y la Península Ibérica, Universidad Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, Fez, March 2012.
- 'Three Top Hats in Search of a Director: A Production History of Miguel Mihura's Most Famous Play', Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland Annual Conference, University of Nottingham, April 2011.
- 'Too Black. Too Strong: La creación de identidades negras en la música de Frank T', International Association for the Study of Popular Music Conference, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, April 2011.
- 'Does Buero Translate? Staging Misión al pueblo desierto', Spanish Civil War: History, Memory, Theatre symposium, Leeds, December 2010.