Dr Rhian Davies

School of Languages and Cultures

Senior Lecturer

SLC Rhian Davies
Profile picture of SLC Rhian Davies
+44 114 222 0551

Full contact details

Dr Rhian Davies
School of Languages and Cultures
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

I came to Sheffield in 1996 to take up the 4-year post as HEFCE/AHRB Institutional Fellow for the Galdós Editions Project, following a 2-year post as Laming Junior Fellow at The Queen's College, University of Oxford. I was offered a permanent post as Lecturer in 2000 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2005.

I became the Director of the Galdós Editions Project in 2003 and have worked on three projects funded by CILASS (Centre for Inquiry Based Learning on the Arts and Social Sciences). The first involved creating an electronic learning package to complement my electronic edition of Torquemada en la hoguera, the second was a grammar package for Level 2 (Post A-level) students and I was the Programme Leader for the School of Languages’ Interactive Year abroad Project from 2007-11.

During my time at Sheffield I have undertaken numerous administrative roles, including Director of Learning and Teaching and Year Abroad Coordinator for Hispanic Studies. I was Head of the Department of Hispanic Studies from 2013-2016 and the Deputy Director of Learning and Teaching for the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC) and the Programme Level Approach (PLA) Lead from 2017-2020. I am currently SLC’s Director of Postgraduate Research (2020-).

I have served on various interview panels and committees both inside and outside the University, including the University’s Equality and Diversity Board, the Faculty of Arts’ Graduate Research Committee, the LLAS Subject Centre’s Advisory Board, and the AHGBI Executive Committee. I was a member of Review group of the QAA Benchmark Statement for Languages and Related Studies in 2007 and 2014. 

I have taught on a wide range of modules covering the nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Literature is my main passion (especially nineteenth-century novels and contemporary Canarian literature) and I also immensely enjoy teaching film, which I regard as an important ‘route into reading’. (See the ‘Teaching’ section for more information). I love ‘all things Canarian’, particularly the novels of Miguel Aguerralde (1978-) and the artworks of Sherezade Morales (1984-). I would relish the opportunity to supervise theses on topics related to my interests in the fin de siglo and to learn more, particularly about Canarian literature and culture.


BA Joint Honours (French and Spanish), MA, DPhil (Oxon) (Spanish at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford)

Research interests

My research interests include nineteenth-century Spanish culture and literature (particularly Galdós), the role of journalism during the fin de siglo and the uses of IT in producing electronic indexes and editions of novels. My research projects include 'From the Window of the Motherland', which looks at perspectives on Spanish America in the cultural review La España Moderna, the Torquemada novels and Galdós's work as a journalist. My latest passion is contemporary Canarian literature and culture, especially the novels of Miguel Aguerralde (see http://miguelaguerralde.blogspot.com/) and the artworks of Sherezade Morales (see https://sherezademorales.com/).

I have been invited to speak and have delivered papers at numerous conferences/ institutions in the UK (e.g. Bristol, Liverpool, London, Manchester), Spain (e.g. Madrid [Universidad Autónoma], Las Palmas [Gran Canaria], Cádiz, the University of Palma Mallorca and Valencia) and the USA (Brown University). I have attended many of the AHGBI conferences and have delivered papers at every Congreso Internacional Galdosiano that has taken place since my arrival in Sheffield in 1996). I have also chaired panels/ acted as Secretaria de mesa on many occasions.

As can be seen below, I have supervised theses on a range of topics and I would welcome the opportunity to supervise on nineteenth or twentieth-century Spanish literature/culture or contemporary Canarian literature.

Supervision experience:


(2005-07): Dr María Ascensión Ruiz (Postdoctoral Research Fellow sponsored by Spain's Ministry of Education) working on the reception of Galdós’s work in the UK

(2002-3) Support for Dr Rodrigo Varela (Postdoctoral Research Fellow) working on Galdós’s El doctor Centeno

(PhD – all supervised to successful completion)

(2017) Inma Ridao Carlini: ‘Wealth, Poverty and Social Mobility in Restoration Spain: A Critique of Liberal Society in the Novelas contemporáneas of Benito Pérez Galdós’. Winner of the Peter Bly Prize. Published as Rich and Poor in Nineteenth-Century Spain: A Critique of Liberal Society in the Later Novels of Benito Pérez Galdós (Tamesis, 2018)

(2016) Morgane Guinard for ‘La Parabole du Savoir Interdit, ou les Interdits philosophiques et religieux sur la connaissance en France au XVIIIe siècle’

(2016) Carla Almanza Gálvez: ‘Utopian Narrative in 18th-century Spain: Generic Frameworks and Social Reformism’. Winner of the AHGBI Publication Prize. Published as Form and Reform in Eighteenth-Century Spain: Utopian Narratives and Socio-Political Debate (Legenda 2018)

(2013) Michelle Hunt: ‘Literary and Social Aspects of El Pensador: An Essay-Periodical of Social Reform in Eighteenth-Century Spain’

(2009) Anna Homan: 'Education and Genesis in Galdós's El doctor Centeno' (funded by a University Project Studentship)

(2004) Patricia Scott: 'Women in the novels of Eça de Queiroz and Benito Pérez Galdós'


MPhil (2005) Clare Skirrey for 'The Natural World in the Short Stories of Leopoldo Alas'

I have supervised numerous students on the MA in Hispanic Studies programme and on the MA Applied Languages Programme (2011-2018), plus a Mundus student.

I have also chaired numerous upgrade panels/ confirmation reviews in SLC (on theses relating to French, German, History and Spanish)

Teaching activities

I have taught Undergraduate modules at all levels, focussing primarily on the Spanish nineteenth century, but also on twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and culture and some Latin American authors. I have also taught Spanish language at Levels 2 and 3.

My literature modules (notably HSS 3000) have often been commended by External Examiners for their innovative approach and my teaching methods have been regarded as examples of good practice both within and outside Sheffield, and served as case studies for TEL events.

I have published articles on my teaching experiences, including:

‘New Ways of Teaching Literature’, commissioned and peer-reviewed by the LLAS Subject Centre (2006). See https://www.llas.ac.uk//resources/gpg/2593

'Teaching Students to Read: The Uses of IT in Studying the Novels of Benito Pérez Galdós', Languages and Linguistics and Area Studies Subject Centre C&IT Supplement, ed. Janet Bartle (Southampton: CILT, 2002), pp.12-14

'The Pérez Galdós Editions Project: Creating Electronic Scholarly Editions', Teaching European Literature and Culture with Communication and Information Technologies: Selected Papers, ed. Sarah Porter & Stuart Sutherland (Oxford: CTI Centre for Textual Studies, 1999), pp.24-26 (see http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ctitext2/publish/occas/eurolit/davies.html )

Details of the modules I have taught:

HSS130/1: Literature Tutorial groups (in connection with the ‘Texts’ component of the core course) & a series of lectures on Torquemada en la hoguera

Level 1 

MDL105: ‘Introduction to the Social and Political History of Iberia and Latin America’

Level 1

MDL 106: ‘Understanding Spanish and Latin American Culture’

Level 1

HSS227: ‘Tradition, Transition and Modernity’

Level 2

HSS251: ‘Hispanic Fiction’

Level 2 

HSS234: ‘Issues & Ideologies in the Modern Hispanic World’

Level 2

HSS260: 'Spanish-American literature'

Level 2

HSS264: 'The Novels of Benito Pérez Galdós' 

Level 2

MDL217: ‘Hispanic Spaces’

Level 2

MDL226: ‘Reality and Fantasy in Spain and Latin America’

Level 2

HSS335: ‘Genesis and Genre: From Novel to Play to Screen: Galdós Today’

Level 3

HSS369: 'The Politics and Fiction of Crisis: 1868-98'

Level 3

HSS371: ‘Dissidence and Debate’

Level 3

HSS3000: ‘Adaptations and Transformations’

Level 3

HSS3015 ‘The Media in Spain’

Level 3

MDL338: ‘Questioning Spain’ (formerly HSS3014)

Level 3

I have also taught Level 2 Spanish at both Beginners’ level and Post A-level (HSS 230/1 and HSS 270/1), final-year Spanish language (HSS 330/1 and HSS 338/9) and MA Directed reading modules.

Professional activities and memberships

Examination-related activities:

(2016-20) External Examiner for Hispanic Studies at Cardiff University

(2012-14) External Examiner for the MA in Translation & Interpreting/ MA in Professional Translation degrees at Swansea University

(2009-14) External Examiner for Hispanic Studies at Swansea University

I have also examined MA and PhD theses at Sheffield and the University of Leeds

Advisory work:

(2014 and 2007) QAA Benchmark Statement for Languages and Related Studies Review Group

(2007-11) LLAS Subject Centre’s Advisory Board

(2007-11) AHGBI Executive Committee

(2008-11) LLAS Subject Centre’s ‘3 Es’ Advisory group

(2006) Sheffield’s SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) Special Interest Group

(2003-11) LLAS’s Special Interest Group on the ‘Teaching of Literature and Culture’

I have acted as referee/ reader for the following:


Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Liverpool), Bulletin of Spanish Studies (Glasgow), Hispanic Research Journal (London), Hispanic Review (Pennsylvania, USA), Letras Femeninas (Arizona, USA), Letras Hispanas (Texas, USA), Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos (Ottawa, Canada)


Legenda and the University of Wales Press

Liaison with External bodies:

(2006-17) Organization of the Annual Galdós Lecture series, sponsored by the Oficina Cultural of the Spanish Embassy

(2008) Co-organised (with the LLAS Subject Centre) the ‘Texts in Translation’ event

(2008) Local Conference Secretary for the AHGBI conference (Sheffield)


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Member of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (AHGBI)

Member of the Asociación Internacional de Galdosistas (AIG)

Member of the XIX Red de Hispanistas


Books/ edited works (inc. electronic edition of Torquemada en la hoguera)

  • The Place of Argument: Essays in Honour of Nicholas G. Round, ed. with Anny Brooksbank Jones (London: Tamesis books, 2007) 264pp.
  • Electronic edition of Torquemada en la hoguera, ed. Rhian Davies (Sheffield: HriOnline, 2005) https://www.dhi.ac.uk/galdos/
  • Galdós y Lázaro: una breve y fructífera colaboración (1889-91) (Madrid: Fundación Lázaro Galdiano/Ollero y Ramos, 2002) 165pp.
  • La España Moderna and Regeneración: A Cultural Review in Restoration Spain (1889-1914) (Manchester: Cañada-Blanch Publications, 2000) xii + 212pp.

Journal articles

Conference proceedings

  • ‘¿«En busca del «hombre nuevo»? Retratos de la masculinidad en las Novelas de Torquemada (1889-95)’, In La hora de Galdos. Actas del XI Congreso Internacional de estudios galdosianos, ed. Yolanda Arencibia et al (Las Palmas: Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria, 2019), pp.893-914 https://mdc.ulpgc.es/s/mdc/item/213072 
  • ‘El mundo del siglo XIX en la obra novelística y periodística de Galdós’, in Actas del X Congreso Internacional de estudios galdosianos (Las Palmas: Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria, 2015), pp.167-73 https://mdc.ulpgc.es/s/mdc/item/212840 
  • ‘«La Ciudad Imperial»: Toledo en la obra periodística y novelística de Galdós’, in Actas del IX Congreso Internacional de estudios galdosianos (Las Palmas: Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria, 2011), pp.571-83 https://mdc.ulpgc.es/s/mdc/item/212722 
  • Galdós y la prensa: hacia una revisión crítica de la mina inagotable’, in Actas del VIII Congreso Internacional de estudios galdosianos (Las Palmas: Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria, 2009), pp.509-19 https://mdc.ulpgc.es/s/mdc/item/212588 
  • (With Nicholas Round) 'Hacia una nueva lectura de las novelas contemporáneas de Galdós: la nueva tecnología y el Pérez Galdós Editions Project', Actas del VII Congreso Internacional de estudios galdosianos (Las Palmas: Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria, 2005), pp.885-89
  • 'Towards the Modern Reader: The Uses of IT in Editing the Novels of Galdós', in Digital Evidence: Selected Papers from DRH 2000, ed. Michael Fraser, Nigel Williamson & Marilyn Deegan, OHC 14 (London: Offices for Humanities Communication, 2001), pp.169-78

Book chapters

  • ‘How To Be A Writer for the Press – and How to Write about It’, in Spain in the Nineteenth Century: New Essays on Experiences of Culture and Society, eds Andrew Ginger & Geraldine Lawless (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018), pp.174-90
  • ‘Las escritoras en La España Moderna (1889-1914)’, in Escritoras españolas en los medios de prensa (1868-1936), ed. Carmen Servén and Margherita Bernard (Madrid: Editorial Renacimiento, 2014), pp.61-94
  • Civilization and Barbarity in the Torquemada Novels’, in Studies in Honor of Vernon Chamberlin, ed. Mark Harpring (Newark: Juan de la Cuesta-Hispanic Monographs, 2011), pp.49-64
  • La España Moderna y la literatura hispanoamericana’, in Literatura hispánica y prensa periódica (1875-1931), ed. Javier Serrano Alonso et al (Santiago: USC, 2010), pp. 727-43
  • Regeneración and Philosophy in the Torquemada Novels’, in The Place of Argument: Essays in Honour of Nicholas G. Round, ed. Rhian Davies and Anny Brooksbank Jones (Woodbridge: Tamesis books, 2007), pp.86-102
  • 'The Manuscript of Torquemada en la Cruz: A Stage in a Creative Process', in New Galdós Studies, ed. Nicholas Round (London: Tamesis, 2003), pp.43-58


Journal reviews

  • Review of Approaches to Teaching the Writings of Emilia Pardo Bazán, ed. by Margot Versteeg and Susan Walter. New York: Modern Language Association of America, for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 96(4) (2019) 712-13
  • Review of La novela ideológica (1875–1880): la literatura de ideas en la España de la Restauración, by Ignacio Javier López, Madrid, Ediciones de la Torre, for the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, 20(1-2), 175-76
  • Review of Olga Guadalupe Mella, Epistolaridad y Realismo: La correspondencia privada y literaria de Juan Valera, Emilia Pardo Bazán y Benito Pérez Galdós. Santiago de Compostela: Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, 2016, for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 95(6) (2018) 735-36
  • Review of Christine Arkinstall, Spanish Female Writers and the Freethinking Press 1879-1926, for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 94 (2017), 10-12
  • Review of Benito Pérez Galdós Correspondencia, ed. Alan Smith, María Ángeles Rodríguez Sánchez and Laurie Lomask. Madrid: Cátedra, for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies in 2016
  • Review of Mark Gant, The Spanish Writer and Publisher Carlos Frontaura (1834-1910): A Study of His Social Influence and Ideology (Lewiston/ Queenston/ Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 2012), for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, XCII, 6 (2015), 1027-28
  • Review of Antonio Prado, Matrimonio, familia y estado: Escritoras anarco-feministas en La Revista Blanca (1898-1936) (Madrid: Fundación de Estudios Libertarios Anselmo Lorenzo, 2011), for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, XC, 8 (2013), 1385-86
  • Review of Margot Versteeg, Jornaleros de la pluma: La (re)definición del papel del escritor-periodista en la revista Madrid Cómico (Vervuert: Iberoamericana, 2011), for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, XC, 7 (2013), 1208-09
  • Review of Traducción y cultura: La literatura traducida en la prensa hispánica (1868-98), ed. Marta Giné & Solange Hibbs (Bern: Peter Lang), for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, LXXXIX, 5 (2012), 812-13
  • Ignacio Javier López, Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (Prensa, política, novela de tesis), for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, LXXXVIII, 3 (2011), 426-27
  • John H. Sinnigen, Benito Pérez Galdós en el cine mexicano: literatura y cine, for the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 88.1 (2011), 125-25
  • Charnon-Deutsch, Lou, Hold That Pose: Visual Culture in the Late-Nineteenth-Century Spanish Periodical (Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006), for the Modern Language Review, 106.1 (2011), 270-272
  • Bacon, Kathy, Negotiating Sainthood: Distinction, Cursilería, and Saintliness in Spanish Novels (London: Legenda, 2007), for the Modern Language Review, 106.1 (2011), 269-70
  • Cávia, Mariano de, Azotes y Galeras, ed. María Ángulo Egea & Mª del Rosario Leal Bonmati (Zaragoza: Asociación de la Prensa de Aragón, 2008), for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, LXXXVII (2010), 271-72
  • McGovern, Timothy, Galdós Beyond Realism: Reading and the Creation of Magical Worlds (Newark: Juan de la Cuesta, 2004), for the MLR (July 2007), 868-69
  • Smith, Alan E., Galdós y la imaginación mitológica (Madrid: Cátedra, 2005), for the Revista de Estudios Hispánicos , XLI.1 (2007), 148-150
  • Benito Pérez Galdós, Prosa crítica, intro. and ed. by José-Carlos Mainer; notes by Juan Carlos Ara Torralba (Madrid: Espasa, Biblioteca de Literatura Universal, 2004), for the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Liverpool), 83(1) (2006), 125
  • John Sinnigen, Benito Pérez Galdós en la prensa mejicana de su tiempo (México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2005), for the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies
  • Benito Pérez Galdós, El doctor Centeno, ed. José-Carlos Mainer, for the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Liverpool), 82(2) (2005), 260-61
  • Vernon A. Chamberlin, 'The Perils of Interpreting Fortunata's Dream' and Other Studies in Galdós: 1961-2002, for the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Liverpool), 82(2) (2005), 261-62
  • Monteagudo, 3a. época, no. 7 ('Revistas literarias y literatura del siglo XX'), ed. Francisco Javier Díez de Revenga, for the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Liverpool), 82(2) (2005), 267-68
  • James Whiston, Creatividad textual e intertextual en Galdós, for the Modern Language Review, 98:3 (2003), 743-44
  • Luisa Elena Delgado, La imagen elusiva, for the Bulletin of Spanish Studies (Glasgow), LXXVIII (2001), 428-29