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Mr. Rhodri Sheldrake Davies

PhD Student

BA (Hons), MA (Dunelm)

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PhD Student in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures  


Current Research

I am a Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC) working on Hispanic Island Visual Cultures. My research interests include the history of Hispanic Art and Visual Cultures and theorisations of space and place and race and gender in Islenic and pre-modern contexts. I sit on the steering group for the Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures (CVAC) at Durham, in which I am involved in the organisation of the annual Visual Intersections Summer School, as well as being a member of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art.

My research is fully funded by the Wolfson Foundation’s Scholarship in the Arts and Humanities, and I was also awarded a St Cuthbert’s Society’s Postgraduate Bursary. My thesis, supervised by Dr. Francisco-J Hernández Adrián, Prof. Rosi Song, and Dr. Manolo Hijano centres on Political Cartoons, Comics, Tebeos, Visual Novels, and Caricature (Visual Print Media) in the 20th and 21st centuries. It particularly focuses upon work from the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, although it also considers production from Ceuta and Melilla, Gibraltar, and further afield in the Atlantic. I am especially interested in avant-garde visual production and fermentations of cultural iconicity in these islenic spaces, and my research considers how these are culturally mediated through archipelagic thinking and how they ‘travel’ through archipelagic networks, as well as how they relate more broadly to discourses of transition and aesthetico-cultural/aesthetico-political histories in territorial, Iberian, and transnational frames.

I have a background in Modern Languages and Cultures, having studied Hispanic and Francophone Art, Film, Poetry, and Literature during my BA and MA degrees at Durham University. My Master’s thesis examined iconic and mythic framings of Canarian artist César Manrique between 1953 and the present, re-evaluating his cultural iconicity and arguing that the functions and origins of his iconic status ought to be considered in relation to mediations between territorial, national, and transnational frames. My Undergraduate dissertation examined satirical discourses surrounding the 2017 Spanish Constitutional Crisis and Catalan Independence Referendum in the work of Canarian humourist José Luis Padilla ‘Padylla’ Morilla, considering his engagements with discourses of peripherality and marginality whilst using his work to interrogate the applicability of humour theory frameworks in contemporary Spanish political satire.

Research interests

  • Visual Cultures
  • Island Studies
  • Hispanic Studies
  • Archipelagic Thinking