Staff in the Department of Hispanic Studies
Go to the MLAC staff pages.
Professor Andrew Beresford, BA, MA, PhD London
Andy Beresford’s research is on early Spanish literature and art, focusing on hagiography and religious subjects more broadly, as well as the relationship between corporeality and identity. This work has two interrelated strands: the first is gender-based, and interrogates the sexualization of male/female subjects and the function of the body as a semiotic sign system, while the second is broader, and explores developments in signification occasioned by modifications to the body’s external appearance or challenges to the integrity of its borders, particularly when they are transgressed and it becomes impossible to maintain clearly demarcated distinctions between internal/external, subject/object, or self/other. This approach is interdisciplinary and combines traditional approaches to palaeography and codicology (which have made previously inaccessible materials available for scrutiny), with theoretical approaches informed by the work of critics such Homi K. Bhabha, Judith Butler, Sigmund Freud, Julia Kristeva, and Jacques Lacan.
Andy’s work to date has engaged with a variety of texts, from body-and-soul debates to Celestina, but has paid particular attention to the vernacular reception of Latin hagiography in Spain, looking at the dissemination of Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda aurea. This has produced books on Saints Agnes (2007a), Thaïs and Pelagia (2007b), and most recently, Agatha and Lucy (2010).
More recent projects have focused on the sexualization and significance of saintly identity, the invasion of the cadaver by the burrowing worm and the queering of the self/other relationship, and the expression of prejudice in relation to epidermal transformations experienced under the searing heat of the sun.
Andy is currently engaged in a number of extended research projects, including work on the reception of the legends of the desert ascetics in Spain, the ideology of martyrdom, and the relationship between visual and verbal representations of suffering and pain.
Andy regularly reviews for a number of journals and his work has appeared in: Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Journal of Theological Studies, La Corónica, Speculum, Medium Aevum, and Modern Language Review.
Andy is able to supervise most topics dealing with Spanish literature and art to 1700, but is particularly interested in projects that intersect with his research interests in hagiography, gender, and the visual arts. Topics he has supervised or is currently supervising at doctoral level include: Military Martyrs in Medieval Castilian Prose, Anomalous Women in Fifteenth-Century Spanish Poetry, the Saintly Widow in Medieval Castilian Literature, and Representations of Martyrdom.
Andy is a founding member of Durham's Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) and has contributed to its seminar series and MA programme, which he directed from 2008 to 2011. He is also a member of Durham’s Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures and is currently working on a major public-facing initiative to promote County Durham’s surprisingly extensive holdings in Spanish art (from the fifteenth-century Torralba master, through to household names such as El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, and Goya) in conjunction with colleagues from the Bowes Museum and Auckland Castle.
Andy is a member of the Ibero-Medieval Association of North America, the Senior Editorial Board of Papers of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar (Queen Mary, London), the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, and the international research Group Coordinación de la Edición de la Hagiografía Castellana.
- 2010 The Severed Breast: The Legends of Saints Agatha and Lucy in Medieval Castilian Literature, Juan de la Cuesta, 272 pp.
- 2007 The Legend of Saint Agnes in Medieval Castilian Literature, Department of Hispanic Studies, Queen Mary, University of London, 103 pp.
- 2007 The Legends of the Holy Harlots: Thaïs and Pelagia in Medieval Spanish Literature, Tamesis, 165 pp.
- 2014 (co-edited with Clare Baron) Spanish Art in County Durham, Bishop Auckland: Auckland Castle, Bowes Museum, and Durham University.
- 2013 (co-edited with Louise M. Haywood & Julian Weiss) Medieval Hispanic Studies in Memory of Alan Deyermond, Woodbridge: Tamesis.
- 2013 (co-edited with Lesley K. Twomey) Critical Cluster: 'Visions of Hagiography', La Corónica 42.1 (Fall): 101-348.
Essays in edited volumes
- 2014 (co-authored with Clare Baron) 'Auckland Castle: Zurbarán’s Jacob and his Twelve Sons', in Clare Baron & Andrew M. Beresford (eds.), Spanish Art in County Durham, Bishop Auckland: Auckland Castle Trust, The Bowes Museum, & Durham University, pp. 26-43
- 2014 (co-authored with Gemma Lewis & Christopher Ferguson) 'Durham Castle and Cathedral: Two Sets of Spanish Apostles', in Clare Baron & Andrew M. Beresford (eds.), Spanish Art in County Durham, Bishop Auckland: Auckland Castle Trust, The Bowes Museum, & Durham University, pp. 112–21
- 2014 'Durham Cathedral: The Galilee Chapel Altarpiece', in Clare Baron & Andrew M. Beresford (eds.), Spanish Art in County Durham, Bishop Auckland: Auckland Castle Trust, The Bowes Museum, & Durham University, pp. 102–11
- 2014 'Postscript: The Legacy of Spanish Golden Age Art', in Clare Baron & Andrew M. Beresford (eds.), Spanish Art in County Durham, Bishop Auckland: Auckland Castle Trust, The Bowes Museum, & Durham University, pp. 132–41
- 2014 (co-authored with Howard Coutts & Clare Baron) 'Stately Homes in County Durham: Some Collectors of Spanish Paintings in County Durham', in Clare Baron & Andrew M Beresford (eds.), Bishop Auckland: Auckland Castle Trust, The Bowes Museum, & Durham University, pp. 92–101
- 2013 'Sanctity and prejudice in Medieval Castilian Hagiography: The Legend of Saint Moses the Ethiopian', in Beresford, Andrew, Haywood, Louise & Weiss, Julian (eds.), Medieval Hispanic Studies in Memory of Alan Deyermond, Tamesis, pp. 11-38
- 2011 'From Virgin Martyr to Holy Harlot: Female Saints in the Middle Ages and the Problem of Classification', in Xon de Ros & Geraldine Coates (eds.), A Companion to Spanish Women's Studies, Woodbridge: Tamesis, pp. 77-93
Journal papers: academic
- 2016 'From Scopophilia to Abjection: Vision and Blindness in the Monja que se arrancó los ojos', Miríada Hispánica 12, pp. 111-27
- 2015 'Postcolonial Theory and the Traditional Castilian Lyric: The Morenita as Epidermal Stereotype', Hispanic Research Journal 16, pp. 471–88
- 2015 'Torture, Identity, and the Corporeality of Female Sanctity: The Body as Locus of Meaning in the Legend of St Margaret of Antioch', Medievalia 18, pp. 179-210
- 2014 'Abjection, Marriage, and the Burrowing Worm: The Body as Bounded System in the Dança General de la Muerte', Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 91, pp. 965-80.
- 2014 'Dreams of Death in Medieval Castilian Hagiography: Martyrdom and Ideology in the Gran flos sanctorum', La Corónica 42.1 (Fall), pp. 105-31
- 2013 'Reformulating Identity in Medieval Castilian Hagiography: Visions, Dreams, and the Ascetic Imperative', Medium Aevum 82, pp. 293-313
- 2013 (co-authored with Lesley K. Twomey) 'Visions of Hagiography: From the Gaze to Spiritual Vision in Medieval Lives of Saints', La Corónica 42.1 (Fall), pp. 72-104
- 2010 'A Sermon for the Feast of Saint Julian the Martyr', Revista de Poetica Medieval 24, pp. 49-75
- 2010 'Rereading Jerome in Spain in the Middle Ages: The Vida de Sant Paulo and the Legend of Saint Paul of Thebes', Mediaeval Studies 72, pp. 1-37
- 2009: British Academy Overseas Conference Grant
- 2007: AHRC Research Leave Award
- 2005: AHRC Research Leave Award