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Rhodri Sheldrake Davies

PhD Student

PhD Student in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures


Current Research

I am a Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC), specializing in Hispanic Island Visual Cultures. My research interests encompass the history of Hispanic Art and Visual Cultures, as well as the exploration of notions of space, place, race, and gender within Medieval & Early Modern and Contemporary insular contexts.

My research is fully funded by the Wolfson Foundation’s Scholarship in the Arts and Humanities, and I was also awarded a St Cuthbert’s Society’s Postgraduate Bursary. My thesis, supervised by Dr. Francisco-J Hernández Adrián, Prof. Rosi Song, and Dr. Manolo Hijano centres on Political Cartoons, Comics, Tebeos, Visual Novels, and Caricature (Visual Print Media) in the 20th and 21st centuries. It particularly focuses upon work from the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, although it also considers production from Ceuta and Melilla, Gibraltar, and the Phillipines.

I am especially interested in avant-garde visual production and fermentations of cultural iconicity in insular spaces. My research considers how such phenomena are culturally mediated through archipelagic thinking. I particularly explore the broader implications of these dynamics within the context of discourses related to transitions and the complex interplay between aesthetico-cultural/aesthetico-political histories across territorial, Iberian, and transnational frames.

I have a background in Modern Languages and Cultures, having worked with Hispanic and Francophone Art, Film, Poetry, and Literature during my BA and MA degrees at Durham University. My Master's thesis critically examined iconic and mythic framings of Canarian artist César Manrique between 1953 and the present, re-evaluating his cultural iconicity and arguing that the functions and origins of his iconic status ought to be considered in relation to mediations between territorial, national, and transnational frames. My undergraduate dissertation analysed satirical discourses surrounding the 2017 Spanish Constitutional Crisis and Catalan Independence Referendum in the work of Canarian graphic humourist José Luis Padilla ‘Padylla’ Morilla, considering his engagements with discourses of peripherality and marginality whilst using his work to interrogate the applicability of humour theory frameworks in contemporary Spanish political satire.

Research Projects & Memberships
  • I am a member of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, through which I have acted as a Research Associate on the Spanish Art in County Durham Impact Project.
  • I have previously sat on the Steering Group and Coordinating Committee for the Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures (CVAC) at Durham, in which I have been involved in the organisation of the annual Visual Intersections VI and VII Summer School. 
  • I am also a member of the Asociación Internacional de Galdosistas and associate of the ARTES – Iberian & Latin American Visual Culture Group.
Speaking Arrangements and Upcoming Publications

      June 2022, Lloyd Sheldrake Davies, R, “Perspectivas Insulares sobre el Legado de Galdós en el Centenario de su Muerte”, XII Congreso Internacional de Estudios Galdosianos, Casa Museo Pérez Galdós, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. (Publication upcoming 2023 in Actas del Congreso Internacional de Estudios Galdosianos).

      July 2022, Lloyd Sheldrake Davies, R., "Bounding Artistic Movements and Techniques in the case of Martín Chirino and Manolo Millares: Isleño fermentations of Visual Modernity in mid-20th Century Spain", Transgression and Liminality in Iberian and Latin American Art: Emerging Researchers Symposium, Zurbarán Centre, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom.

      September 2022, Lloyd Sheldrake Davies, R., "Investigation on Comics and Graphic Novels from the Iberian Cultural Area", iCON-MICs Training School, iCON-MICs E-COST Action, Newcatle, United Kingdom.

      May 2023, Lloyd Sheldrake Davies, R., Keynote: "Narrating the Archipelago: Researching the Graphic Art of Spain's Island Regions", Comics and Graphic Novels for Researchers Day, Durham University Centre for Academic Development, Durham, United Kingdom.

      May 2023, Lloyd Sheldrake Davies, R., Keynote: "Genealogies of Dissent? Comparing Spanish Island Graphic Art pre-1968 and post-1975", Visual Media as Dissent Roundtable, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Research interests

  • Archipelagic Thinking
  • Hispanic Studies
  • Island Studies
  • Visual Cultures