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Durham University

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Dr Melanie Henry, BA, MA, PhD QUB

Assistant Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42360
Room number: 236

(email at


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.

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

Indicators of Esteem

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

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Show all publications