Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Dr Melanie Henry, BA, MA, PhD QUB

(email at melanie.henry@durham.ac.uk)


Before my appointment at Durham University in 2013 I completed my doctoral studies at Queen's University Belfast. At Durham I lecture in early modern Spanish literature and culture.

My research interests particularly lie in the drama of Miguel de Cervantes. My 2013 monograph explores Cervantes's Ocho comedias as a counter-perspective to established dramatic convention and as an antagonistic response to the ideological infrastructure of Counter-Reformation Spain. At the heart of my work is the recuperation of Cervantes's theatre as a significant part of the Cervantine, and Golden Age, canon. I am also interested in the theatrical and performative elements of Cervantine prose; chiefly within Don Quijote and the Novelas ejemplares

My approach to Cervantine and Golden Age theatre principally engages with issues of freedom and selfhood; particularly taking into account the complex and difficult relationship between the individual and the early modern Spanish world. I am currently beginning to investigate Cervantes’s representation of subjectivity across all of his dramatic canon.

I am a member of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (AHGBI) and the Cervantes Society of America.


Presently at level 1 I teach modules on the Novelas ejemplares and Picaresque fiction. At level 2 I teach Spanish Golden Age theatre. I also deliver a Cervantes based final year module 'Tilting at Windmills: Cervantes in Context'. I contribute seminars on early modern Spanish theatre to the MA in Medieval & Early Modern Studies.

In 2015 I was privileged to receive the 'Inspirational Lecturer' award from Durham Students' Union.

Indicators of Esteem

  • : Editorial Advisory Board: Peter Lang Spanish Golden Age Studies series

Research Interests

  • Cervantes
  • Early modern comedia
  • Golden Age literary and cultural studies
  • Relationship between modern/postmodern theoretical models and early modern literature
  • Theories of reception; issues of performativity and theatricality

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

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