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Durham University

Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art

Spanish Cinema


Since the 1990s Spanish Cinema has been and continues to be an important part of the teaching and research activities in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham. Although we place some emphasis on films of the democratic period, our specialists cover a wide range of periods and topics including queer cinema, erotic cinema and representations of bodies, gender, food, migrations and sexualities.


Expertise in this area includes work on regional, national and transnational cinemas of Spain, key filmmakers (Pedro Almodóvar, Bigas Luna, Icíar Bollaín, Luis Buñuel or Ventura Pons) and stars (Penélope Cruz or Javier Bardem). Spanish cinema specialists in the Centre regularly engage with local, national and international film theatres and festivals, contributing to the curation of film seasons and introducing films to diverse audiences beyond academia. Recent initiatives include ‘The Bigas Luna Tribute’ and collaborations with festivals including, in the UK, ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Festival (Manchester) and ¡Vamos! (Newcastle upon Tyne) and, internationally, MICGenero (Mexico) or the Spanish Film Festival (Australia); as well as collaborations with the national film centres of Costa Rica and Mexico or the Instituto Cervantes in Manchester, Sydney and Vienna.

Research projects on Spanish cinema have produced influential volumes in the field and have received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Universities of Melbourne and Queensland in Australia. Members of the School have collaborated in projects related to Spanish cinema with colleagues in the Universities of Autónoma Barcelona, Costa Rica, California Berkeley, Ca' Foscari Università de Venezia, Castilla la Mancha, Hofstra, Dartmouth College (through the Matariki Network), Harvard, Melbourne, Queensland, Swarthmore College, and Vienna among other prestigious institutions. Our Spanish cinema specialists also regularly presents at film studies conferences including SCMS (Society for Cinema and Media Studies) and NECS (European Network for Cinema Studies) and have had important roles in the journal Spanish and Latin American Cinemas since its launch in the early 2000s (currently as part of the editorial board). Within Durham, work on Spanish cinema has led to collaborations with the Institute of Advance Study and the research centres for Sex, Gender and Sexualities and Visual Arts and Culture.

Spanish cinema has been at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Durham uninterruptedly for the last two decades, covering a range of courses, including a popular dedicated module at Level III, Contemporary Spanish cinema. Work produced by students in this area has led to publications in a journal and an encyclopaedia of Spanish film. It is also a very popular dissertation topic at undergraduate level. Recent PhD projects in Spanish cinema at Durham have included Spanish Queer Cinema and Humour and Spanish Cinema.

For more information about Spanish cinema at the Zurbarán Centre, please contact Professor Santiago Fouz Hernández.