Dr Helena Miguélez-Carballeira

Helena Miguélez-Carballeira
Deputy Director of Research and Director of Graduate School, College of Arts and Humanities, and Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
01248 382041 (2041 internal)
Room 451, New Arts Building

I am a Senior lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Bangor University where I have taught since 2005, with promotion to Senior Lecturer in 2013. I have a BA in English Studies (University of Vigo, Galicia, Spain), an MSc in Translation Studies from The University of Edinburgh (2002) and a PhD in Hispanic Studies from The University of Edinburgh (2005).

I have published extensively on post-1850 Iberian cultures and Translation Studies. My first monograph on the history of the trope of Galician Celtic sentimentality (Galicia, a Sentimental Nation: Gender, Culture, Politics) came out with University of Wales Press in 2013, was translated into Galician-Portuguese in 2014 (Através Editora) and received the 2015 Award for Best Essay in Galician by the Association of Writers in Galician (AELG). I co-edited the Special Issue ‘Critical Approaches to the Nation in Galician Studies’ (Bulletin of Hispanic Studies) with Kirsty Hooper in 2009 and ‘Translation in Wales: History, Theory and Approaches’ (Translation Studies) with Angharad Price and Judith Kaufmann in 2016.

I edited the collection A Companion to Galician Studies for Tamesis in 2014. Among other current projects, I am writing a monograph on the different discourses of coloniality in Spain (Contested Colonialities in the Long Spanish Twentieth Century: Empire, Nation Independence; under contract with Palgrave), preparing an edited collection on postcolonial approaches to contemporary Spanish culture (following the organisation of the international conference ‘Postcolonial Spain? Contexts, Politics, Cultural Practices’, Bangor University, 2017), and writing a Galician-language book on cultural reactions to environmental violence in present-day Galicia. Since 2006 I have been Director of the Centre for Galician Studies in Wales, a world-leading research-led centre in its field supported by a permanent grant by the Xunta de Galicia Government. Current and previous research grant awards include the Dorothy Sherman-Severin Scholarship (2006), AHRC Research Network (Translation in Wales project, 2012), AHRC Fellowship (Gender and Galician National Identity project, 2013) and British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (Postcolonial Spain project, 2015–2016).

I was founding co-editor of Galicia 21: Journal of Contemporary Galician Studies (2009-2014) and regularly review proposals and manuscripts for subject journals and publishers including Liverpool University Press, Palgrave and Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures, University of Wales Press and Punctum (Catalonia). I have been a member of the selection panel for the Manuel Murguía national essay award (Deputación d’A Coruña, 2017) and serve on the AHRC Peer Review College since 2017. I am external examiner for the MSc in Translation Studies at the University of Edinburgh (2017–2020) and have been external examiner for PhD and MA by Research theses at the University of Warwick, Oxford, Exeter, Vigo, Auckland, Santiago de Compostela, Vic (Catalonia) and the University of the Basque Country.

I have been invited to present as keynote speaker at public and academic events, including the Asociación Internacional de Estudos Galegos triannual conference (Buenos Aires, 2015), the Semana da Filosofía (Pontevedra, 2016), the Forum for Iberian Studies and the Basque Fellowship Conference at St Antony’s College (Oxford, 2016) and the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo (2017). In March 2017 I was invited to deliver the postgraduate course ‘Elegías sin consuelo: Poéticas del territorio, lengua y conflicto en la cultura gallega contemporánea’ at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. In the period after the Catalan Referendum on self-determination, held on the 1 October 2017, I was a regular commentator on BBC Wales and BBC World Service.

In Bangor, I have served as Director of Research for the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (2014-2018) and hold a series of posts in research and impact directorship at the College of Arts and Humanities, including Deputy Director of Research, Impact Lead for REF2021 Unit of Assessment 28 (in Modern Languages and Linguistics) and Director of Postgraduate Studies.

Year 2

  • Spanish Language: Grammar Component of LZS2020 and LZS2040.
  • Galician/Spanish cultural history since the nineteenth-century as part of the module LXS2036 Reading Rosalía de Castro

Year 4


PhD Supervision

I have extensive experience in postgraduate supervision across a range of disciplines, including Galician Studies, Hispanic Studies and Translation Studies. I welcome applications from PhD students in any of my areas of interest, especially the following:

  • Discourses of coloniality in contemporary Spain
  • Galician cultural studies (especially gender studies, contemporary literature, Rosalía de Castro, ecocriticism, cultural approaches to rurality, trauma)
  • Translation and minority across cultures

My previous PhD students include:

  • Tegau Andrews (awarded 2011): ‘Websites and the Translation of Minority Languages: A Case Study in the Welsh Context’
  • David Miranda-Barreiro (awarded 2012): ‘Gender, Nation and Otherness in Spanish New York Narratives’. Awarded AHGBI Best Thesis 2012.
  • Adam Pearce (awarded 2014): ‘Translating the Welsh Canon: The Translations of Daniel Owen’s Novels into English’
  • Maria Cristina Seccia (awarded 2014): ‘Italo-Canadian Writing and Cultural Translation: Translating Caterina Edwards’ The Lion’s Mouth into Italian’

I currently supervise or co-supervise the following PhD theses in a variety of disciplines:

  • Antigoni Bazani: ‘Translation, mediation and the global citizen: The changing role of translation in foreign language teaching’
  • Lorena López-López: ‘Galician women-authored fiction and the canon’
  • Belén Iglesias-Arbor: ‘Translating the Spanish Best-Seller: María Dueñas, Arturo Pérez-Reverte and Carlos Ruiz Zafón’
  • Philip Constantine: ‘Approaching post-Celticity in Galicia: landscape, culture and society’
  • Changjing Liu (as co-supervisor): ‘Chinese avant-garde fiction in translation’
  • Jinquan Yu (as co-supervisor): ‘Dylan Thomas in Chinese translation: a sociological analysis’
  • Yujuan Zhou (as co-supervisor): ‘An analysis of place in David Hawkes’ translations of The Story of the Stone
  • Chunli Shen (as co-supervisor): ‘Translating the novels of Yan Lianke into English’

Research Interests

I approach the study of present-day politics and cultures in Spain, including the cultures of Galicia, Catalonia and the Basque Country, as marked by enduring post-imperial tensions. Placing forms of material and symbolic violence at the core of such approach, providing nuanced national contextualisation and interrogating multiculturalist approaches to post-Francoist Spain, my work has provided novel understandings of a range of topical themes for present-day Spain: the historical formation of national identity discourses, the dynamics of competitive masculinities nationalisms, or the cultural representation of the legacies of violence in the Basque Country after ETA.

My work has interrogated the canon (for example, by offering new ways of reading and teaching Rosalía de Castro and Emilia Pardo Bazán) as well as engaging with little-studied contexts and practices (musical satire in Galicia, fictionalised torture testimonials and ephemeral exhibitions in the Basque Country). Since my doctoral studies, I have remained an active researcher in the field of Translation Studies, with a particular interest in gender and non-state nations. In this area, I have published on the English translations of Catalan writer Mercé Rodoreda’s classic La plaça del Diamant and have lead a pioneering research project on translation in Wales, culminating in the Special Issue ‘Translation in Wales: History Theory and Approaches’ of the journal Translation Studies.  
Following from the award of a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (2015–2016), my current research seeks to transform understandings of national conflict in Spain by applying postcolonial theories. In particular, it innovatively engages forms of postcolonial enquiry (independence, perpetrator studies, testimonial life narratives, migrant connectivity practices, post-conflict reconciliation, para-colonial aesthetics, orientalisms) with a critique of imperial reason in late nineteenth-, twentieth-century and contemporary Spain. I am currently preparing two publications as part of this research strand: a monograph, Contested Colonialities in the Long Spanish Twentieth-Century: Empire, Nation, Independence (under contract with Palgrave), which connects the ongoing inflections of Spain’s internal national conflict with the legacies of imperial violence inscribed in Spanish democratic modernity; and an edited volume with selected studies following from the organisation of the international conference ‘Postcolonial Spain? Contexts, Politics and Cultural Practices’ (Bangor, 2017).

I am also currently developing new research on how contemporary Galician culture has registered the disappearance of autochthonous rural life in the last three decades, combining my long-standing interests in postcolonial theory with aspects of ecocriticism, trauma and animal studies. This strand of my current research forms the basis of my graduate seminar ‘Elegies without consolation: poetics of territory and conflict in contemporary Galician Culture’, which I delivered at The Graduate Center of CUNY (2018).

Central to my approach is collaborating regularly with other researchers, cultural practitioners, politicians and social movements. Examples of recent and current collaborations include:

  • Organiser and speaker, with Hywel Wiliams (MP, Plaid Cymru, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia), of the event ‘Understanding independence in contemporary Spain: notes on the Catalan referendum’, Bangor, 27 October 2017.
  • Collaboration with Catalan feminist direct action group ‘Gatamaula’ for the publication of multi-authored volume Terra de Ningú: Perspectives feministes sobre la indepenència (2017).
  • Participation in research network ‘Contested Identities: Cultural Dialogues between Small Nations’ (led by Professor Willy Maley, University of Glasgow, funded by The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2015–2017).
  • Participation in research network ‘La experiencia de la sociedad moderna en España: Emociones, relaciones de género y subjetividades (siglos XIX y XX)’ (led by Professor Nerea Aresti, University of the Basque Country, funded by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad, Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional, 2017–2019).
  • Participation in research network ‘Unha análise da obra narrativa de Rosalía de Castro: Fundamentos teóricos e metodolóxicos’ (led by Dr María do Cebreiro Rábade Villar, University of Santiago de Compostela, funded by the Xunta de Galicia Government, 2010–2012).

Main publications


  • In preparation: Contested Colonialities in the Long Spanish Twentieth Century: Empire, Nation, Independence (Palgrave)
  • 2013: Galicia, a Sentimental Nation: Gender, Culture, Politics, Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • 2014: Galicia, um povo sentimental? Género, cultura e política no imaginário nacional galego. Santiago de Compostela: Através Editoria.

Co-edited Volumes

Book Chapters

  • 'Teaching Pardo Bazán from a Postcolonial and Transatlantic Perspective', in Margot Versteeg and Susan Walter (eds) Approaches to Teaching Emilia Pardo Bazán, New York: Modern Languages Association, pp. 86-92.
  • 2016: 'Sentimentality as Consensus: Imagining Galicia in the Democratic Period', in Luisa Elena Delgado, Pura Fernández and Jo Labanyi (eds), Engaging the Emotions in Spanish Culture and History, Nashville: Vandelbilt University Press, pp. 210-224.
  • 2014: ‘Rosalía de Castro: Life, Text and Afterlife’, in Helena Miguélez-Carballeira, (ed) A Companion to Galician Culture, Woodbridge: Tamesis, pp. 175–193.
  • 2012: ‘¿Por qué Rosalía de Castro tenía razón? El caballero de las botas azules como texto antisistema', in María do Cebreiro Rábade Villar and Helena González (eds) Canon y subversión: La obra narrativa de Rosalía de Castro, Barcelona: Icaria, 121–138.
  •  2010: ‘Of Nouns and Adjectives: Women’s Narrative and Literary Criticism in Galicia’, in Manuela Palacios and María Xesús Nogueira Pereira (2010) (eds.), Creation, Publishing and Criticism: The Emergence of Women’s Writing. Oxford & Bern: Peter Lang, 119–131.
  • 2008: ‘Stuck with the Label: the Problematical Rapport between Peninsular Women Writers and Anglo-American Feminist Hispanists’, in Par Kumaraswami, Claire Williams and Ann Davies (eds) Making Waves: Women in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures, Cambridge Scholars Press, 8–24 

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals

  • 2017: “The Imperial within: Discourses of Masculinity and Empire in the Twentieth-century Spanish and Catalan National Imagination”, Cuadernos de historia contemporánea 39: 105–128.
  • 2017: ‘Ocho apellidos vascos and the Poetics of Post-ETA Spain’, International Journal of Iberian Studies 30(3): 165–182.
  • 2012: ‘La literatura es eso: literatura: The Rhetoric of Empty Culture in Francoist and Neo-Francoist Discourses’, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 13(2): 189–203.
  • 2012: ‘From Sentimentality to Masculine Excess in Galician National Discourse: Approaching Ricardo Carvalho Calero’s Literary History’, Men and Masculinities 15(4): 367–387.
  • 2009: ‘Alternative Values: From the National to the Sentimental in Galician Literary History’, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 86(2): 271–292.
  • 2008: ‘Inaugurar, reanudar, renovar: A escrita de Teresa Moure no contexto da narrativa feminista contemporánea’, Anuario de Estudos Galegos 2006, 72–87.
  • 2007: ‘Perpetuating Asymmetries: The Interdisciplinary Encounter between Translation Studies and Hispanic Studies’, published as a Feature Article in Hispanic Research Journal, 8(4): 359–374.
  • 2007: ‘Throwing Stones at Our Own Roof: Approaching Metacritical Concern in Anglo-American Hispanism, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 84(2) (2007), 161–178.
  • 2005: ‘Gender-related Issues in the English Translations of Esther Tusquets and Rosa Montero: Discrepancies between Critical and Translational Figurations", New Voices in Translation Studies 1: 43–55.
  • 2003: ‘Language and Characterization in Mercè Rodoreda’s La plaça del Diamant: Towards a Third Translation into English’, The Translator 9(1): 101–124.

Translation and Critical Editions

  • María do Cebreiro (2010) I am Not from Here, Exeter: Shearsman Books.