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Miss Beatriz Lopez

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Member of the Department of English Studies  


I am a final year PhD candidate on the project ‘The Political Warfare Executive, Covert Propaganda and British Culture’, based in the Department of English Studies and funded by the Leverhulme Trust. My doctoral research explores the legacies of Muriel Spark’s wartime intelligence work for the Political Warfare Executive - a secret service created by Britain during the Second World War with the mission of spreading propaganda to enemy and enemy-occupied countries – on the representation of deception and rumours in her literary work. Using archival materials from the Political Warfare Executive Papers (The National Archives, UK) and the Muriel Spark Archives (National Library of Scotland, UK & McFarlin Library, University of Tulsa, USA), my project brings together history, biography and literary criticism to rethink Spark's fascination with the art of deception. I am supervised by Prof. Patricia Waugh and Prof. James Smith.

I hold an MSc in Literature and Modernity (with Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh and a 1st class BA (Hons) in English Studies from the University of Oviedo (Spain). I became interested in Scottish literature during my year abroad at the University of Glasgow and wrote my MSc dissertation on gendered monstrosity in contemporary Scottish fiction and drama. During my time in Edinburgh, I was an intern at the Scottish Review of Books, a book reviewer for The Skinny and a peer-reviewer for FORUM (University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts). Before coming to Durham, I worked in academic publishing at Bloomsbury Academic.

I teach on 'Introduction to the Novel' (UG, Level 1) and I am Research Assistant for the Centre for Modern Conflicts and Cultures. From July 2022, I am also Commissioning Editor (Politics, Maternity Cover) at Edinburgh University Press.

I welcome any enquiries about my research.

Twitter: @bealoplop

Conference Papers:

  • 'Muriel Spark’s Wireless Imagination: Propaganda Broadcasting and the Muddled Voices of Fiction', 3rd World Congress of Scottish Literatures, Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic), 22-26 June 2022
  • 'Muriel Spark and the Scrambler Telephone' (long version), Special Session: Women Writers, WWII Intelligence and Post-War British Literature, organised and chaired by Beatriz Lopez and featuring papers by Prof. Patricia Laurence (CUNY) and Dr. Natalie Ferris (University of Edinburgh), MLA 2021 (online due to Covid-19), 7-10 January 2021
  • 'Muriel Spark and the Scrambler Telephone' (short version), Telepoetics Symposium (online due to Covid-19), 27th May 2020
  • ‘‘Dangerous Dreamers of the Absolute’: The Terrorist as Psychological Warrior in Muriel Spark’s The Only Problem and Doris Lessing’s The Good Terrorist‘, The Figure of the Terrorist in Literature, Film and Media, University of Zurich (Switzerland), 8-9 November 2019
  • ‘Fabricating Deceptions: Plausibility in WWII British Black Propaganda and the Fiction of Muriel Spark’, BAMS 2019: Troublesome Modernisms, Kings’s College London, 20-22 June 2019
  • ‘Muriel Spark and the Politics of Unsentimentality’, Gen(d)eration: Gender and Construction of Subjectivity Workshop, Durham University, 10 May 2019
  • ‘Women’s Economic Inequality in Emma Tennant’s Two Women of London’, 6th International Conference SELICUP, University of Oviedo, 15-17 October 2014

Selected Awards and Grants:

  • 2022: International Association for the Study of Scottish Literatures (IASSL) Donor Bursary for participating in the 3rd World Congress of Scottish Literatures at Charles University, Prague (£100)
  • 2018–2021: Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship – The Leverhulme Trust
  • 2021: MLA Convention Grant ($55)
  • 2014: Conference Attendance Grant for 6th International SELICUP Conference (University of Oviedo) – Department of English Literature, University of Edinburgh (£250)
  • 2013: Award for Excellence in the Erasmus Mobility: Arts and Humanities – University of Oviedo (€500)
  • 2012–2013: Erasmus Exchange Grant (University of Glasgow, UK)

Research interests

  • Postwar British Literature
  • Scottish Literature
  • Cultural History of the Second World War
  • Gothic Studies


Book review

Chapter in book

  • Lopez, Beatriz (Forthcoming). 'The Psychology of Post-War Revolutionary Terrorism in Muriel Spark's The Only Problem and Doris Lessing's The Good Terrorist'. In The Figure of the Terrorist in Literature and Visual Culture. Frank, Michael C. & Flood, Maria Edinburgh University Press.

Conference Paper

  • Lopez, Beatriz (2015), 'Women’s Economic Inequality in Emma Tennant’s Two Women of London', in Perez Escudero, Jimena, Gonzalez Chacon, María del Mar & Mariño Faza, Maria eds, La Cultura Popular en los Procesos de Transformación Social. Oviedo, Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Oviedo, 31-37.

Journal Article