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Durham University

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Miss Beatriz Lopez

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Contact Miss Beatriz Lopez


I am a 4th-year PhD candidate on the project ‘The Political Warfare Executive, Covert Propaganda and British Culture’, based in the Department of English Studies and funded by the Leverhulme Trust. My doctoral research explores how Muriel Spark’s wartime intelligence work for the Political Warfare Executive - a secret service created by Britain during the Second World War with the mission of spreading propaganda to enemy and enemy-occupied countries – may have influenced the representation of deception and rumours in her literary work. Using archival materials from the Political Warfare Executive Papers (The National Archives, UK) and the Muriel Spark Archives (National Library of Scotland, UK & McFarlin Library, University of Tulsa, USA), my project brings together history, biography and literary criticism to rethink Spark's fascination with the art of deception. I am supervised by Prof. Patricia Waugh, Prof. James Smith and Prof. Jo Fox.

I hold an MSc in Literature and Modernity (with Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh and a 1st class BA (Hons) in English Studies from the University of Oviedo (Spain). I became interested in Scottish literature during my year abroad at the University of Glasgow and wrote my MSc dissertation on gendered monstrosity in contemporary Scottish fiction and drama. During my time in Edinburgh, I was an intern at the Scottish Review of Books, a book reviewer for The Skinny and a peer-reviewer for FORUM (University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts). Before coming to Durham, I worked as an editor in academic publishing at Bloomsbury Academic.

In the academic year 2021-2, I am teaching four tutorial groups of 'Introduction to the Novel' (UG, Level 1). I am also Research Assistant for the Centre for Modern Conflicts and Cultures and Co-Chair and PhD Representative in the Student-Staff Consultative Committee.

I welcome any enquiries about my research.

Twitter: @bealoplop

Conference Papers:

  • (Accepted - Deferred to 2024 due to Covid-19) ‘Muriel Spark, Propaganda and Textual Forgery: The Anarchic Creativity of Displaced Authorship’, MSA 2021, Chicago (USA), Date TBC
  • (Accepted - Deferred to 2022 due to Covid-19) 'Muriel Spark’s Wireless Imagination: Propaganda Broadcasting and the Muddled Voices of Fiction', 3rd World Congress of Scottish Literatures, Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic), 22-26 June 2022
  • 'Muriel Spark and the Scrambler Telephone' (long version), Special Session: Women Writers, WWII Intelligence and Post-War British Literature, organised by Beatriz Lopez and featuring Prof. Patricia Laurence (CUNY) and Dr. Natalie Ferris (University of Edinburgh), MLA 2021 (online due to Covid-19), 7-10 January 2021
  • 'Muriel Spark and the Scrambler Telephone' (short version), Telepoetics Symposium (online due to Covid-19), 27th May 2020
  • ‘‘Dangerous Dreamers of the Absolute’: The Terrorist as Psychological Warrior in Muriel Spark’s The Only Problem and Doris Lessing’s The Good Terrorist‘, The Figure of the Terrorist in Literature, Film and Media, University of Zurich (Switzerland), 8-9 November 2019
  • ‘Fabricating Deceptions: Plausibility in WWII British Black Propaganda and the Fiction of Muriel Spark’, BAMS 2019: Troublesome Modernisms, Kings’s College London, 20-22 June 2019
  • ‘Muriel Spark and the Politics of Unsentimentality’, Gen(d)eration: Gender and Construction of Subjectivity Workshop, Durham University, 10 May 2019
  • ‘Women’s Economic Inequality in Emma Tennant’s Two Women of London’, 6th International Conference SELICUP, University of Oviedo, 15-17 October 2014

Awards and Prizes:

  • Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship – The Leverhulme Trust (2018–2021)
  • Research Assistant Fellowship in the Department of English, French and German Studies at the University of Oviedo, Spain – Spanish Ministry of Education (2013–2014)
  • Award for Excellence in the Erasmus Mobility: Arts and Humanities – University of Oviedo, Spain (2013)

Research Interests

  • Postwar British Literature
  • Scottish Literature
  • Cultural History of the Second World War
  • Gothic Studies


Journal Article

Book review

Conference Paper

  • Lopez, Beatriz (2015), 'Women’s Economic Inequality in Emma Tennant’s Two Women of London', in Perez Escudero, Jimena, Gonzalez Chacon, María del Mar & Mariño Faza, Maria eds, La Cultura Popular en los Procesos de Transformación Social. Oviedo, Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Oviedo, 31-37.

Is supervised by