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Dr Tilmann Altenberg

Dr Tilmann Altenberg

Reader in Hispanic Studies

School of Modern Languages

+44 (0)29 2087 4584
1.14, 66a Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3AS
Available for postgraduate supervision


I have a distinguished track record of research in a range of areas. In particular, I have built a reputation for my work on Cuban-Mexican poet José María Heredia, the picaresque novel, adaptations of Don Quijote, Juan Valera's novels, as well as Spanish-American writers Alejo Carpentier and Roberto Bolaño.

As Founding Director and curator of the Santander Collection of Hispanic Comics and Graphic Literature, since its inception in 2011 I have grown this externally funded special collec­tion into a university asset that has raised Cardiff’s profile as a hub for research on comics and graphic novels.


Career overview

  • 2017 - present: Reader in Hispanic Studies, Cardiff University
  • 2008 - 2017: Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies, Cardiff University
  • 2006 - 2008: Lecturer in Hispanic Studies, Cardiff University
  • 1999 - 2005: Assistant Professor of Hispanic Literature, Universität Hamburg (Germany)
  • 1996 - 1999: Research and Teaching Assistant, Universität Hamburg (Germany)

Education and qualifications

  • 2003: Postgraduate Diploma: Teaching in Higher Education – Universität Hamburg (Germany)
  • 1999: Dr phil in Hispanic Literature – Universität Hamburg (Germany) (summa cum laude)
  • 1995: State Exam for Teaching in Secondary Education: Spanish, German, Pedagogy – Universität Hamburg (Germany)
  • 1991: University Diploma: Teaching German as a Second Language – Universität Bonn (Germany)
  • 1989 - 1995: Undergraduate studies at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn (Germany), Universidad de Chile (Santiago de Chile), Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal) and Universität Hamburg (Germany)

Honours and awards

  • 2016: Nomination for ‘Most Inspiring Teacher’ award (School of Modern Languages)

Professional memberships

  • Comics Studies Society (Founding Member)
  • Asociación Cultural Tebeosfera (ACT)
  • European Society for Periodical Research (ESPRit)
  • Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (AHGBI)
  • Modern Language Association of America (MLA)
  • German Association of Hispanists (DHV)

Speaking engagements

(Since 2014)

  • 2017: Constructions of War Heroism in Times of Peace, Interdisciplinary Research Workshop: Militarization of Everyday Life in Europe: Past Practices and Future Challenges (Swansea University)
  • 2017: Our Kind of Hero? Reflections on War Heroism in Times of Peace, Research paper (Swansea University) [by invitation]
  • 2017: Argentine Comics of the Falklands War, Conference: Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (Cardiff University)
  • 2016: Comics Adaptations of Don Quijote, Cervantes Institute Colloquium: Cervantes – Global, genial, intermedial, virtual (Berlin) [by invitation]
  • 2016: Don Quixote in the Gutter, Interdisciplinary Research Workshop: New Directions in Comics and Graphic Fiction (Cardiff University)
  • 2016: Annotating Argentine Comics of the Falklands War, Symposium: Interdisciplinary Comics Research (Bremen University, Germany) [by invitation]
  • 2016: The Argentine Military and the Falklands War, Workshop: Conflict, Reconstruction and Memory (Swansea University)
  • 2016: Justicia poética by Pablo de Santis and Frank Arbelo: Revenge as Art and Therapy, Conference: Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (Northumbria University)
  • 2016: Framing Memory in Argentine Comics of the Falklands War, Workshop: Narratives of Conflict and Disaster (Cardiff University)
  • 2015: Crossing Borders: Hispanic Comics in the University Classroom, Presentation: Lakes International Comic Art Festival (Kendal) [by invitation]
  • 2015: Embracing Defeat? The Falklands War in Argentine Comics, International Conference: War and Conflict in Sequential Art (Oslo University)
  • 2015: The Adventures of Alonso Quijano in Germany: Flix’s Graphic Novel Don Quijote (2012) and its Spanish Translation (2014), Conference: Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (University of Exeter)
  • 2014: «Buena será la ley, mas no sublime, si a la vez que castiga, no redime»: Negotiating Juvenile Delinquency in 19th-Century Spain, British Library Conference: Wrongdoing in Spain 1800 –1936: Reactions and Interactions (London) [by invitation]

Committees and reviewing

External committees

  • 2014 - 2016: Member of the Board of Trustess of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland
  • 2012 - 2016: Member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (Treasurer)

Appointments as External Examiner

  • 2015 - present: BA Latin American and Hispanic Studies & MRes Hispanic Studies – University of Liverpool
  • 2014 - present: BA Spanish & MA Translation – Swansea University

Other outward facing roles

Administrative, management & leadership roles (internal)

  • 2017 - present: Director of Postgraduate Research
  • 2017 - present: Investigating Officer (Student Cases)
  • 2013 - 2016: School Examination Officer
  • 2013 - 2015: Examination Liaison Officer for Spanish
  • 2010 - 2012: Spanish Programme Director
  • 2008 - present: School Liaison for the Santander Universities Programme
  • 2008 - 2009: Widening Access Officer
  • 2007 - 2010: Member of the Library, Equipment and Resources Committee
  • 2007 - 2009: Year Abroad Co-ordinator for Spanish
















  • Altenberg, T. 2003. La epistolaridad de Pepita Jiménez de Juan Valera. In: Stenzel, H. and Wolfzettel, F. eds. Estrategias narrativas y construcciones de una 'realidad': Lecturas de las 'Novelas contemporáneas' de Galdós y otras novelas de la época.. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Ediciones del Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria, pp. 227-248.





Since 1999 I have been teaching a wide range of modules to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and supervised research projects at both MA and PhD level.

Contributions to team-taught modules:

  • 1968 student revolt in Latin America
  • Magical Realism
  • Narratology
  • Study skills

Modules I have divised and delivered:

  • Introduction to the Study of Hispanic Literature
  • The Spanish American novela testimonio (Ricardo Pozas, Miguel Barnet, Gabriel García Márquez)
  • Slaveholder Societies in the 19th-Century Spanish American Novel (Cirilo Villaverde: Cecilia Valdés and Jorge Isaacs: María)
  • Spanish Golden Age Poetry
  • Fernando de Rojas: La Celestina
  • Emilia Pardo Bazán: Los Pazos de Ulloa and La madre Naturaleza
  • The Short Fiction of Leopoldo Alas «Clarín»
  • Juan Valera: Pepita Jiménez and Genio y figura
  • Editing Poetry: José María Heredia
  • The Spanish American novela de la tierra and the Novel of the Mexican Revolution
  • Textual and Visual Representations of the Mexican Revolution
  • Inventing Latin America in Literature, Film and Popular Culture
  • Don Quijote: Novel and Films
  • Spanish-American Poetry
  • Spanish-American Short Stories
  • Interlingual Subtitling of Fiction Film

Enquiries from prospective research students are particularly welcome in the following topic areas:

  • Any aspect of Hispanic comics
  • Comics narratology and aesthetics
  • Comics translation
  • Comics adaptations of literary texts
  • The Falklands War / Guerra de las Malvinas
  • Representations of the Mexican Revolution
  • Spanish-American poetry, in particular Nicanor Parra's antipoesía
  • The picaresque novel
  • 19th- and 20th-century Latin American literature

My current research focuses on the following areas:

  • The conscience in Hispanic culture (and more widely)
  • The Falklands War in Argentine culture, with a special focus on comics
  • Comics adaptations of Don Quijote
  • Latin American 'national poets'


I am interested in supervising PhD students working in the following areas:

  • Falklands War / Guerra de las Malvinas
  • Mexican Revolution
  • Spanish American poetry, in particular Nicanor Parra's antipoesía
  • Picaresque novel
  • 19th- and 20th-century Latin American literature
  • Audiovisual translation involving Spanish
  • Hispanic comics
  • Comics narratology and aesthetics
  • Comics translation
  • Comics adaptation