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Dr Ryan Prout

Reader in Hispanic Studies

School of Modern Languages

Email
proutr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6258
Campuses
2.03, 66a Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3AS

Overview

My research interests centre on film and writing from Latin America and Spain. I am particularly interested in exploring through visual cultures and literary narrative the signs of Spain’s re-emergence as a crucible of diverse cultures. My current research activities and publications fall across four main areas:

  • Visual Cultures
  • Disability and Illness Narratives
  • Spanish and Latin American Film and Literature
  • LGBT Studies

My teaching covers the spectrum of undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research) courses offered in the School. I have taught language and content modules at all levels and developed content modules for year 2 students on Spanish and Latin American film and for year 4 students on minority voices in the cultures of Spain and Latin America. I also supervise the completion of dissertations by Spanish single honours students.

I am MLANG’s Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and have worked as a representative of LGBT+ staff in Higher Education in the University and College Union’s NEC.

Biography

I studied Spanish, English Language and Literature, French, and Human Biology at Totton Sixth Form College.

As an undergraduate I read linguistics under Dr Sándor Hervey and Prof. Yasir Suleiman, and Spanish under Prof. Douglas Gifford. Prof. Catherine Davies, Prof. Alan Paterson, and Bernard Bentley.

My PhD thesis was on the work of Spanish novelist Juan Goytisolo. I completed this at the University of Cambridge where I joined Trinity Hall as a postgraduate. At Cambridge I worked in the Alumni Development and Alumni Relations Office.

I completed postdoctoral work at the University of Oxford where I was a Junior Research Follow at Christ Church.

Since 2019 I have been Reader in Spanish Philology and Visual Cultures at Cardiff’s School of Modern Languages.

I am currently MLANG’s Director of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. Among roles I have previously held are Head of Hispanic Studies and Admissions Officer for Spanish. I have been a member of the University Equality Committee and an elected member of the Academic Standards and Quality Committee, and an elected member of the University Senate.

In 2019 and 2020 I was a visiting Teaching and Research Fellow at Passau University, in Germany. I also held a Visiting Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of London.

For four years (2016-2020) I was the elected representative for LGBT+ staff in Higher Education on UCU’s National Executive Committee. I served on several of the union’s committees including the Education Committee, the International Working Group, the Strategy and Finance Committee, the Recruitment, Organizing and Campaigning Committee, and the Equality Committee.

I chaired the LGBT+ Members’ Standing Committee and co-chaired the Anti-Stress and Bullying Working Group. I have been an elected member of the TUC’s LGBT Committee and also represented the TUC through networks such as the LGBT Diplomatic Initiative.

I have served in various roles on the Executive Committee for the Cardiff University branch of UCU, including Equality Officer, Chair, President, and, currently, Secretary.

Honours and awards

  • Award for Leader in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, given by Cardiff University Students' Union (2018)
  • Enriching Student Life Award, given by Cardiff University Students' Union (2018)
  • Outstanding Contribution Award, MLANG (2014)
  • Alec Hunter Memorial Prize

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Association of Hispanists of Britain and Ireland
  • Lay Member, British Pain Society
  • Member of the Modern Language Association
  • Member of ReDiArtXXI (Network of scholars researching images of disabilty in the performing arts)

Speaking engagements

Keynote/Speaker Invitations

  • Invited Keynote Speaker, UCL, SELCS, Animals and Visual Hispanism Conference, 2016
  • Invited Keynote Speaker, University of Munich, Disability and Hispanism Panel, 2017
  • Invited Speaker, Colloquium on Functional Diversity and Gender, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, 2020
  • Invited Speaker, Between the Frames: Visual Print Media in Spain Since 1975 Conference, Cambridge University, 2018 

Committees and reviewing

Reviewing

  • Peer reviewer, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies
  • Peer reviewer, Bulletin of Spanish Studies
  • Peer reviewer, Bulletin of Hispanic Visual Studies
  • Peer reviewer, New Readings
  • Peer reviewer, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies
  • Peer reviewer, Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinema
  • Peer reviewer, Daimon Revista Internacional de Filosofía
  • Peer reviewer, Abriu: estudos de textualidade do Brasil, Galicia e Portugal
  • Peer reviewer, Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies
  • Advisory Board, Film Matters

Committee memberships

  • Lay Member, The Patient Voice Committee, British Pain Society
  • MLANG People Committee (chair) (2021-)
  • MLANG Teaching and Learning Committee
  • MLANG Research Committee
  • MLANG School Board
  • Cardiff University Academic Standards and Quality Committee (2018-2020)
  • Cardiff University Senate (2017-2019)
  • Cardiff University UCU Executive Committee
  • UCU National Executive Committee (2016-2020)
  • UCU Anti-Stress and Bullying Working Group (co-chair, 2016-2020)
  • UCU LGBT+ Members' Standing Committee (Chair/Co-chair 2018-2020)
  • UCU Equality Committee (2016-2020)
  • UCU International Working Group (2018-2020)
  • UCU Recruitment, Organizing, and Campaigns Committee (2016-2020)
  • UCU Education Committee (2018-2020)
  • TUC LGBT Committee (2014-2016) 

 

 

 

Publications

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1993

Teaching

I designed and currently teach a portmanteau course for final year students on Marginal Voices from Spain and Latin America. In this course students examine cultural production from Mexico, Peru, Cuba and Spain. Organized thematically, the content covers:

  • Exile identity and the Cuban diaspora
  • Environmental justice and activism in Mexico and Peru
  • Cinematic representation of indigenous communities
  • Transnational adoption in Spain
  • Neurodiversity in Spanish language comics and film
  • Domestic politics in Spanish language cinema
  • LGBT oppression and liberation in Cuba

I contribute to UG and PGT team-taught modules:

  • Cultures in Context (Year 2 Spanish Content)
  • Translation from Spanish to English (Year 2 Spanish Language)
  • Final Year Dissertation in Spanish, English or Welsh (co-convenor)
  • Year Abroad Work Placement
  • Intercalary Semester Abroad
  • Sandwich Year Project
  • Culture, Creativity, and Globalisation (MA in Global Cultures) (co-convenor)
  • Translation as Creative Practice (MA in Translation)

I have taught Spanish language and content courses at all levels in MLANG’s UG programme and also designed and taught Cine Britannia, a course on British cinema and society in which all incoming Erasmus students were enrolled.

I contribute teaching to the A-level workshops MLANG offers for visiting students and have led sessions on Volver and La casa de Bernarda Alba.

 As a visiting fellow at Passau University I taught two courses:

  • The Marginal and the Censored
  • Hispanic Cultures at the Margins

My research centers on the literary and visual cultures of Spain, Cuba, and Mexico. I study comics, films, and literary texts with a focus on what they tell us about disability, questions of LGBT+ experience and gender, ethology, and marginalization.

Disability

I began researching and writing about disability in film and literature in 2008 when I published a disability studies informed article on Spanish cinema spanning the transition between dictatorship and democracy: ‘Cryptic Triptych: (Re)Reading Disabilility in Spanish Film.’

In addition to reinterpreting films from the 1960s and from the late Francoist period that had not previously been analyzed in terms of their representation of people with disabilities, the article proposed that the meanings and values associated with physical impairments in Spain have been singularly nuanced by the pathologisation of the dictatorship period as one marked by paralysis and disability. 

I continue to publish work traversing Hispanic cultural and disability studies, with a focus on autism and Alzheimer’s; on neurodiversity in Mexican cinema; disability epistemology in Cuban film; and on pain as an aspect of disability in Spanish cinema.

In 2016 I coproduced content centered on Spain for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival (LICAF) and invited Paco Roca—the author of Arrugas, a ground breaking graphic novel about disability and social care—to the event as a keynote speaker. Following the festival I translated the colloquium I organized with Roca, the first extended interview with the artist published in English

In 2017 I was an invited keynote speaker at the first symposium on disability to be held as part of the German Hispanists’ biennial conference. In the same year I organised an international panel of disability studies scholars for the annual convention of British Hispanists. This was the first time in the association’s history that the program included content dedicated to disability in the arts.  

I worked with comics writers and artists to develop All is Not Well, a project that uses newly commissioned graphic narratives to highlight the social contribution made by care givers. In 2021 I  successfully applied for funding through the Innovation for All scheme in Wales to extend this project. All is Not Well 2.0 will commission ten new stories representative of the experiences of the unhoused and of those who supported them during the pandemic. I am working collaboratively on this project with Cardiff-based comics writer and co-editor of To End All Wars,  Jonathan Clode.

In the quarantine circumstances of 2020-21 I wrote articles on disability in the work of Graham Greene and Thomas Hardy. Forthcoming publications include a contributed chapter on ageing and disability in Spanish language film, and on disability and humour in Danish cinema.

Visual Cultures

In the field of visual cultures I have written about Pedro Almodóvar’s cinema and looked at the director’s use of organ donation to represent social networks in Todo sobre mi madre and at the significance of Catholic imagery in Entre tinieblas. This work informs the workshops on Volver which I have offered in MLANG for students studying Spanish at A-level at local colleges. In more recent projects I combined ethology and gender studies to re-read kinship in Solas and La criatura. I was an invited keynote speaker at the first conference on Animal Studies in Hispanism, held at UCL.  

I wrote the first scholarly article on Asha Miró whose autoethnography and documentary film query what it means to be Spanish from the perspective of transnational adoption. In my research on Cuban film I looked at baseball, popular music, and dissent in the longstanding collaboration between director Ian Padrón and musicians Buena Fe.

Comics and Graphic Novels

I have contributed numerous articles to the journal of record in comics studies, the International Journal of Comic Art. In addition to articles on comics about disability I have also written on Uncle Bill, a graphic novel about William Burroughs, as seen from the perspective of straight edge punk in Mexico. My research on housing in comics allowed me to juxtapose Paco Roca’s La casa with the sequential art created by one of Spain’s greatest comics artists, Francisco Ibáñez, and to publish the first article in English on the Spanish graphic novelist Aleix Saló.

 LGBT Studies

My research in this area includes a study of Eloy de la Iglesias’s El diputado and contributions to several reference works on LGBT+ History. I contributed articles on film and literature to the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, including an interview with novelist Edmund White. With the encouragement of Richard Raskin and Cynthia Felando I have been doing research on short films since 2011 and have contributed articles on Spanish and European film to Short Film Studies. My most recent publication in the journal (2021) analyses the function of the musical score and of gated reverb in David Wagner’s film Trade Queen. In my research on films made by Spanish director Juan Pinzás I looked at the correlation between coming out as gay and coming out as a speaker of a minority language.

I have followed the Cardiff Iris Prize Festival since its inception and published one of the first reviews of the event in Film International, to which I also contributed delegate reports from festivals in Banja Luka, Madeira, and Leipzig. I have also interviewed Iris Prize filmmakers, including Till Kleinert. 

Supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Visual cultures of Spain and Latin America
  • Spanish and Latin American Literature
  • Spanish and Latin American Film and Television
  • LGBT Studies
  • Disability studies
  • Translation studies
  • Spanish and Latin American Film and Television
  • Intangible cultures
  • Cultural and social histories of festivals

I am currently the lead supervisor for:

  • Rachel Beaney who is completing a PhD on orphanhood and agency in Spanish film
  • Javier Cortés Ortuño, who is completing a PhD on the colonial aesthetic of the north in twentieth century Chilean nitrate literature

Past projects

I was the lead supervisor for

I was the co-supervisor for

I have worked with many PGT students on MA dissertations, including Katie Brown, now Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies at the University of Exeter, and Mark Taylor, now Associate Professor in English Literature at HSE University, Moscow.

I have been the dissertation/translation project supervisor for many of the students on the taught MA programmes offered by the School, including Michael Giner (Javier Cercas), Alexandra Baines (Javier Cercas),  Vasililki Chandrinou (Dina Rubina),  Gwenllian Jones (Julia Novarro), and Manon Davies (Disability in a Trans-European Film Context)

Through the UG dissertation option I have supervised students working on a range of subjects, from postmodern Spanish architecture , to cine del destape, and the territorial rights of indigenous communities in Chile and Argentina.