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Professor Isabel Torres

Professor Isabel Torres
Professor Isabel Torres

Head of Spanish and Portuguese Studies


Isabel Torres completed a BA (Latin and Spanish) at Queen’s University in 1988, obtaining a PhD in Spanish in 1994. She was appointed to a lectureship in Golden Age Studies at Queen’s in 1991 and has been Head of the Subject Area of Spanish and Portuguese Studies since 1997. She is currently a member of the Tamesis International Advisory Board, an executive committee member of the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry, and a member of the AHRC Peer Review College. She is an active member of the Association of Hispanics of Great Britain and Ireland (executive committee member 2004-2009 and now convenor of the Golden Age conference panels) and a member of various other subject-specific professional organisations (including the AIH and AISO).


She is a member of the REF 2014 subpanel 28, Modern Languages and Linguistics.


Isabel’s broad subject area is the literature and culture of early modern Spain (1492-1650). Within that her research and teaching relates primarily to:

(a) Renaissance and Baroque poetics, interrogated within the context of Renaissance theories of imitation and emulation; informed by sensitivity to the role of Classical theoretical and literary models; and taking into account modern theories (for instance, of transvaluation, lyric subjectivity, self-fashioning, reader-response) as/when appropriate.

(b) Baroque drama; viewed as aesthetic response to the contradictory currents of containment and subversion (the crises of authority and control) which characterised the socio-historical and religious context of counter-Reformation Spain.


Current research projects :

Isabel is preparing an article-length study of Góngora’s Soledad Primera for publication in a special issue of the Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 2013 and is co-editing a volume of essays entitled Spanish Golden Age Poetry in Motion.


Publications (2000-present):

Authored Books

Eros, Eris and Empire: Love Poetry in The Spanish Golden Age (Tamesis, forthcoming 2013)

The Polyphemus Complex: Rereading the Baroque Mythological Fable, Monograph Issue, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Liverpool University Press, 2006)


Edited Books/Special Issues

Ars Eloquentiae. Essays on Early Modern Poetry and Art, co-edited with B. Taylor. Monograph Issue, BHS (Liverpool University Press, 2009)

Rewriting Classical Mythology in the Hispanic Baroque, ed. Isabel Torres (Tamesis, 2007)



‘Sites of Speculation: Water/Mirror Poetics in Garcilaso de la Vega, Eclogue II’, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Special Issue, eds Taylor and Torres, 86.6 (2009), 877-92

“Interloping Lope de Vega: Transformation and Tomé de Burguillos”, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, LXXXV, 3 (2008), 273-288

‘Lope de Vega’s La Gatomaquia and positive parody’, Calíope, 14.1 (2008), 5-22

“Neo-Parkerism: An Approach to Reading Garcilaso de la Vega Eclogue 1”, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, LXXXV. 6 (2008), 93-105

“Outside In: The Subject(s) at Play in Las rimas humanas y divinas de Tomé de Burguillos”, in A Companion to Lope de Vega, eds Alexander Samson and Jonathan Thacker (Tamesis, 2008), pp. 91-106

“Transfiguration and Transvaluation: Apollo, Daphne and the ‘I’ of the Beholder” in Latin and the Vernacular in Renaissance Iberia  III,  Ovid From the Middle Ages to the Baroque, eds. A. Coroleu and B. Taylor, Manchester Spanish and Portuguese Studies (Manchester University Press, 2008), pp.  201 -14

Con pretensión de Fenix’ in Rewriting Classical Mythology in the Hispanic Baroque, ed. Isabel Torres (Woodbridge: Tamesis, 2007), pp. 1-16

‘Galatea Descending…Rereading Góngora’s Polifemo Stanzas 13-23’, in Rewriting Classical Mythology in the Hispanic Baroque, ed. Isabel Torres (Woodbridge: Tamesis, 2007), pp. 55-70

“The Estranged Reader: Ironies of aemulatio in Bocángel’s Sonetos a Filis”, in Latin and Vernacular II, edited by A. Coroleu and B. Taylor, Cañada Blanch Monographs, 8, Manchester Spanish and Portuguese Studies (Manchester U. P., 2006), pp. 171-190

“The Dynamics of Doubling in Cervantes’ La española inglesa”, in Companion to Cervantes’s Novelas Ejemplares, ed. by Stephen Boyd (London: Tamesis, 2005), pp. 115-132

'“Pues no entiendo tus palabras/y tus bofetones siento”: Linguistic Subversion in Lope de Vega’s El perro del hortelano', Journal of Hispanic Research, 5.3 (2004), 197-212

'Epic Echoes in Juan de Jáuregui’s Orfeo', in Essays on Spanish Poetry of the Golden Age, eds Stephen Boyd and Jo Richardson, Manchester Spanish and Portuguese Studies, 12 (Manchester University Press, 2002), pp. 145 - 162

'A Great Mythological Cop-Out? Hero and Leander on the Verge of Significance', Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Glasgow), LXXVII (2000), 305-327


Research Supervision

Isabel has supervised 5 Phds to successful completion in the last 10 years across a range of topics; most recently on Cervantes’s drama (Melanie Henry, 2011) and on pastoral poetry (Anne Holloway, 2008). She is currently supervising a project on counter discourses in the late poetry of Luis de Góngora and Lope de Vega. She is  also actively involved in Postgraduate Training and participates in the University Skills Training Programme. Her course Preparing and Delivering a Conference Paper is offered twice annually.


Teaching (UG and PGT):

Isabel is committed to research-led teaching and offers undergraduate courses on all the major genres of the early modern period – poetry, drama and prose (the Picaresque novel, Cervantes’ novelas ejemplares and Don Quijote). Specialist optional courses include: World as Stage (level 2) and Rewriting Love in the Renaissance (level 3). She also enjoys and is active in language class delivery, and over the course of her career has taught language from ab initio through to final year.

At postgraduate level she is involved in team-taught modules with colleagues from Spanish and Portuguese Studies including “Imitation, Influence and the Reception of Literature” and “Advanced Spanish Language” and contributes a module on early modern Spanish drama to the Reconceiving the Renaissance MA programme co-ordinated by colleagues in the School of English. She has supervised MA dissertations on a range of topics relating to Golden Age literature and culture.


Isabel has been external examiner (UG/PGT) in the University of Nottingham, King’s College London and is currently external at University College Cork.


Isabel was privileged to receive a Queen's University Teaching Award in 2011 in the category of ‘Sustained Excellence'.