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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Michael Thompson, BA Dunelm, PhD Bristol

Deputy Executive Dean (Undergraduate) in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43436
Room number: 248
Associate Professor / Deputy Executive Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Room number: Elvet Riverside

(email at


My research focuses primarily on theatre in Spain since the early 20th century, especially the work of Antonio Buero Vallejo, José María Rodríguez Méndez and Paloma Pedrero. I have a particular interest in historical theatre and in cinematic adaptations of history plays. Since 2000, I have been carrying out research on theatre censorship in Spain during the Second Republic and the Franco dictatorship. These investigations gave rise to a collaborative project with Dr Catherine O'Leary (formerly at National University of Ireland Maynooth, now at the University of St Andrews) and Dr Diego Santos Sánchez (formerly Research Associate at Durham, now at Universidad de Alcalá) to analyse the overall impact of censorship on theatre in Spain during the 20th century (funded by an AHRC Research Grant, 2008-2011). The most recent output of the project, a collection of essays by academic researchers and theatremakers, expands the scope to compare theatre censorship in various countries: Global Insights on Theatre Censorship (Routledge, 2016).

 I also have an interest in translation: I have translated plays by Buero Vallejo and Paloma Pedrero, and in 2009 published the revised edition of the well-established textbook Thinking Spanish Translation (Routledge) with Louise Haywood.

I am able to supervise research students in the following fields: modern and contemporary Spanish theatre and literature; censorship of theatre and literature; connections between theatre, literature and film; translation, especially for the theatre. I teach on the MA in Translation Studies.

I am a member of the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture and the Centre for Modern Conflicts and Cultures.

I teach 20th- and 21st-century Spanish culture, especially theatre and literature, and Spanish-English translation.

Research Interests

  • Modern Spanish culture
  • Modern Spanish theatre
  • Theatre censorship
  • Translation

Teaching Areas

  • MA in Translation Studies
  • Modern Spanish Literature
  • Spanish Translation

Selected Publications

Authored book

Edited book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Translated Book

Translated Chapter in Book

  • Thompson, Michael (trans.) (2016). Arrabal, Fernando, 'The dictator’s gift of censorship '. In Global Insights on Theatre Censorship. O'Leary, Catherine, Santos Sánchez, Diego & Thompson, Michael (ed.). New York: Routledge. 35-42

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Foreign Literature & Language: Spanish theatre
  • Foreign Literature & Language: Spanish language
  • International: Language, literature, culture: Theatre censorship
  • Foreign Literature & Language: Modern/contemporary Spanish literature


Selected Grants

  • 2008: THEATRE CENSORSHIP IN SPAIN (1931-1985) (£234821.00 from Arts and Humanities Research Council)
  • 2005: British Academy Small Research Grant
  • 2005: THEATRE CENSORSHIP IN SPAIN, 1939-1978 (£2860.00 from The British Academy)
  • 2004: British Academy Overseas Conference Grant
  • 2004: UNED CONFERENCE, MADRID 2004 (£160.00 from The British Academy)
  • 2003: AHRC Research Leave Award
  • 2003: THE THEATRE OF RODRIGUEZ MENDEZ (£9026.00 from Arts & Humanities Research Board)
  • 2001: British Academy Small Research Grant
  • 2001: THE THEATRE OF RODRIGUEZ MENDEZ (£2200.00 from The British Academy)