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Undergraduate courses

Professor Isabel Santaolalla

Professor Isabel Santaolalla

Professor; Director of the Hispanic Research Centre (Spanish and Film Studies)

Department of Media, Culture and Language


Isabel's teaching focuses on Hispanic cultures and societies, with special emphasis on contemporary Spanish cinema and media. She coordinates the final-year Spanish Research Project, and also Service Learning in Spanish, another final-year module in which students obtain credits through six-month work placements in voluntary organisations or educational institutions connected with the Hispanic world. Click here for a video of this module.

Research interests

Isabel's research falls within the field of cultural studies. She is interested in gender and ethnicity, migrations and diasporas, transnationalism, postcolonial theory and criticism, particularly as applied to the cinema. Her most recent publications focus mainly on contemporary Spanish cinema.

She belongs to a number of international research networks, such as the 'European Cinema Research Forum', the AHRC-funded Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe and the Centre for Research into Iberian Stage and Screen. She is part of the organising committee of the annual London Spanish Film Festival and the '6th European Psychoanalytical Film Festival' (BAFTA, London, Nov 2011). She also collaborates with the annual 'Sahara International Film Festival'.

Her current research focuses on the cinema and the Saharawi people. As part of this project, in May 2009 she coordinated a team to carry out an audiovisual workshop in Dakhla, one of the Saharawi refugee camps in South Western Algeria. The results may be seen on the project's website: You can see a mini-documentary on the project prepared by the members of the team here: For a brief TV feature on the workshop broadcast on French AFP TV click here:

Isabel is a member of the editorial board of Studies in European Cinema (Intellect), International Journal of Iberian Studies (Intellect) and Journal of English Studies.

As Director of the Hispanic Research Centre, she manages its annual series of seminars and other activities. She welcomes requests for interdisciplinary and international research collaborations from scholars worldwide, and is keen to consider applications from young graduates to spend a period of six months, assisting in the management of the Centre's activities as externally-funded interns. You can find video summaries of these activities on the Centre's website.





Journal Article. 'Inmigración y masculinidad en el cine español actual', in Mugak, 34, Jan-Mar 2006: 9-16.


Iciar Bollain. Manchester: Manchester U. Press, forthcoming. A volume in the 'Spanish and Latin American Filmmakers' Series.

The Transnational in Iberian and Latin American Cinemas (joint editor with Chris Perriam and Peter W. Evans). Guest edited volume of the Hispanic Research Journal, Vol. 8, No. 1, Feb. Also co-author of: 'The Transnational in Iberian and Latin American Cinemas: Editors' Introduction' (pp. 3-9), 2007.

Los "Otros". Etnicidad y "raza" en el cine español conemporáneo. Madrid: Ocho y Medio; Zaragoza: Prensas Universitarias, 2005.

Luis Buñuel. New Readings. (joint editor with Peter W. Evans). London: British Film Institute, 2004. Also co-author of 'Introduction. Luis Buñuel - Twenty Years After' (pp. 1-9), and author of 'Domination and Appropriation in The Young One' (pp. 97-113).

"New" Exoticisms. Changing Patterns in the Construction of Otherness. (single editor) Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 2000. Editor of volume, and author of the 'Introduction' (pp. 9-17) and chapter 'Three Colours: Black, White and ... Italian' (pp. 167-73), 2000.

'"The Harder They Come". New Sounds in Recent Spanish Immigrant Cinema', Singing Signs. Screening Songs in Hispanic and Lusophone Cinema, edited by Lisa Shaw and Rob Stone, forthcoming

'Body Matters. Immigrants in Spanish, Greek and Italian Cinemas', in European Cinema in Motion. Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe, eds. Daniela Berghahn and Claudia Sternberg. London: Palgrave, forthcoming.

'A Cinematic Refuge in the Desert. The Sahara International Film Festival', in Film Festival Yearbook 2. Film Festivals and Imagined Communities, eds. Dina Iordanova with Ruby Cheung. St Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies, 2010; pp. 139-52

'Inmigración y masculinidad en el cine español actual', in Hispanismo y cine, eds. Javier Herrera and Cristina Martínez-Carazo. Madrid: Iberoamericana; Frankfurt and Main: Vervuert, 2007; pp. 463-76. Reprint of article in Mugak, 34, Jan-Mar 2006: 9-16, requested by editors.

'Changing Nations: British and Spanish Postcolonial Film Imaginations', in The Nation across the World. Postcolonial Literary Representations, eds. Harish Trivedi, Meenakshi Mukherjee, C. Vijayasree and T. Vijay Kumar. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007; pp. 270-85.

'La "hispanización" del cine español', in Miradas "glocales". Cine español en el cambio de milenio, eds. Burkhard Pohl and Jörg Türschmann. Frankfurt/M.: Vervuert, 2007; pp. 109-21. [Chapter requested by editors, reworking ideas published in different sections of Los "Otros". Etnicidad y "raza" en el cine español contemporáneo, 2005]

'Los últimos de Filipinas/Last Stand in the Philippines', in 24 Frames. Spain and Portugal, ed. Alberto Mira. London: Wallflower Press, 2005; pp. 50-59

'Domination and Appropriation in The Young One' in Luis Buñuel. New Readings, edited by Peter W. Evans and Isabel Santaolalla. London: British Film Institute, 2004; pp. 97-113.

'Behold the Man! Masculinity and Ethnicity in Bwana (1996) and En la puta calle (1998)', in European Cinema: Inside Out. Images of the Self and the Other in Postcolonial European Cinema, eds. Guido Rings & Rikki Morgan - Tamosunas. Universitätsverlag Winter Heidelberg, 2003; pp. 153-63.

'Racial/Ethnic Configurations in Contemporary Spanish Culture' in Constructing Identity in Twentieth Century Spain: Theoretical Debates and Cultural Practice, edited by Jo Labanyi, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002; pp. 55-71.

'Figuring It Out. The Australian-Spanish (Mis)Connection' in New Directions in Australian Studies, ed. By Cynthia vanden Driesen and Adrian Mitchell. New Delhi: Prestige Books, 2000; pp. 456-68.

'Introduction. What Is "New" about "New" Exoticisms?', in "New" Exoticisms. Changing Patterns in the Construction of Otherness, ed. Isabel Santaolalla. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 2000; pp. 9-17.

'Three Colours: Black, White and ... Italian', in "New" Exoticisms. Changing Patterns in the Construction of Otherness, ed. Isabel Santaolalla. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 2000; pp. 167-73

'Cinematic Journeys to Insular England' in Shifting Continents/Colliding Cultures. Diaspora Writing of the Indian Subcontinent, edited by Ralph J. Crane and Radhika Mohanram, Atlanta2, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000; pp. 217-24.

'Close Encounters: Racial Otherness in Imanol Uribe's Bwana', in Sound on Vision. Studies on Spanish Cinema, edited by R. Fiddian and I. Michael (Special Issue BHS LXXVI, No 1). Oxfordshire: Carfax, 1999; pp. 113-24.

'Julio Medem's Vacas: Historicizing the Forest', in Spanish Cinema: the Auteurist Tradition, edited by P. W. Evans. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999; pp. 310-24.

'Some Like It Hot. Racial and Ethnic Discourse in Recent British Cinema', in Writing (and) Race in Contemporary Britain, edited by Fernando Galván and Mercedes Bengoechea. Alcalá de Henares: Servicio de Publicaciones de UAH, 1999; pp. 33-43.

'The Fever and the Itch. Matching Plots in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever', in Terms of Endearment: Hollywood Romantic Comedies of the 1980s and 1990s, edited by C. Deleyto and P. Evans, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998; pp. 148-6.

'This Island's—Also—Mine New (Cinematic) Expressions of a New Britishness', in Nationalism vs. Internationalism. (Inter) National Dimensions of Literatures in English (Studies in English and Comparative Literature), edited by Wolfgang Zach and Ken Goodwin. Tübingen, Germany: Stauffenburg Verlag, 1996; pp. 159-67.

'The Representation/Construction of Racial and Ethnic Subjectivities in the Cinema', in Culture and Power, ed. Felicity Hand. Barcelona: Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 1995; pp. 153-67.

'A Fictitious Return to the Past: Saleem Sinai's Autobiographical Journey', in 'Return' in Post-Colonial Writing. A Cultural Labyrinth, ed. Vera Mihailovich-Dickman. Amsterdam, Atlanta: Rodopi, 1994; pp. 163-70.

'"A Fine Soft Day in the Spring It Was": Myth and Comedy in John Ford's The Quiet Man', in Flashbacks: Re-Reading the Classical Hollywood Cinema, ed. Celestino Deleyto. Zaragoza: Prensas Universitarias, 1992; pp. 39-75.

'Tiempo, memoria y mito en The End of the Road, de John Barth', in Del mito a la ciencia: la novela norteamericana contemporánea, ed. Francisco Collado. Zaragoza: Prensas Universitarias, 1992; pp. 111-26.


Research Database on 'Cinema and the Saharawi People', available on the Hispanic Research Centre's site: WSAV database .

Full-length film audio-commentary. On Luis Buñuel's The Young One for Lionsgate USA DVD release (with Peter W. Evans, 2007)

Luis Buñuel's Tristana - sleeve notes for the BFI DVD release, 2005.

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