Dr Shelley Godsland

Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
Head of Education, School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

Department of Modern Languages

Photograph of Dr Shelley Godsland

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Dr Shelley Godsland is Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies and joined the department in April 2007.  She previously worked at the University of Liverpool, Royal Holloway University of London, and Manchester Metropolitan University where she established and directed the Crime Fictions Research Centre and founded and managed the Crime Fictions Research Series of monographs and edited collections.


Dr Godsland is a qualified lecturer and holds a certificate in teaching adults. She has worked in Spain as a Visiting Professor at various institutions teaching at Undergraduate, MA and PhD levels. At the University of Birmingham she has designed and delivered courses on Spanish language as well as on contemporary Hispanic and Lusophone literature, and has shared her pedagogical expertise with international audiences through her delivery of papers and sessions at conferences devoted to excellence in teaching and via specialist pedagogical publications.

Courses taught

  • The Portuguese Novel (Year 4)
  • Investigating Iberia: Hispanic Detective Fictions (Year 4)
  • The Latin American Short Story (Year 2)
  • Narratives of Violence in Contemporary Spain (Year 2)
  • Gender, Culture and Society in Europe from the Twelfth to the Twentieth Century (Iberian component; year 2)
  • Hispanic Literatures (Year 1)
  • Spanish Language (Years 1, 2 and 4)
  • Dissertation supervision (Year Abroad and Year 4)

Postgraduate supervision

At postgraduate level Dr Godsland has supervised theses on Peninsular and Latin American literature.  She welcomes proposals from applicants wishing to work on contemporary narrative in Spanish or Portuguese, particularly from prospective students who want to employ a cultural studies or feminist based theoretical approach, or who would like to study detective fiction or other areas covered by Dr Godsland’s research and teaching.


Dr Godsland’s PhD thesis offered a Lacanian reading of fictions by women writers from Brazil and Argentina.  Since completing her doctorate she has continued to work on gender issues in contemporary narrative, and has published on female authors such as the Latin Americans Angélica Gorodischer, Sylvia Molloy, and Helena Parente Cunha, and contemporary Spanish and Catalan novelists, including Almudena Grandes, Corín Tellado, Dulce Chacón, Alicia Giménez-Bartlett, Isabel-Clara Simó, Maria-Antonia Oliver, and Mercè Rodoreda. 

Although this published material examines the textual articulation of female experience, Dr Godsland has also analysed male writers’ narrativisation of such issues as the female sex tourist, the aesthetics of the female body in the medical thriller, and the conjunction of the exoticised female other and the tradition of the adventure tale in authors such as Francisco Umbral, Ramón J. Sender, and Manuel Zeno Gandía. 

She has also published very extensively on crime and detective fictions from Latin America and Spain, including articles on Manuel Vázquez Montalbán.

Dr Godsland’s current research is a British Academy funded project that analyses cultural responses to gendered aggression in contemporary Spain, more particularly ‘domestic’ violence.

Dr Godsland also participates in research groups in Spain devoted to the study of the nation’s detective fiction. These have been funded by the Junta de Castilla y León and the Spanish government.

Other activities

At the University of Birmingham Dr Godsland is Director of Teaching and Learning for the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, a role within which she is able to deploy some of the skills acquired while successfully completing two Certificates in Management from the internationally recognised Institute of Leadership and Management. In this role Dr Godsland is responsible for organising the School’s annual symposium on sharing best practice in teaching and learning.

Dr Godsland is also an Honorary Research Associate at Monash University (Melbourne), where she held a Visiting Research Fellowship; Visiting Professor at Universitas Castellae (Valladolid, Spain); Visiting Lecturer on the Pós-graduação em Estudos Latino-Americanos organised by the Universidade Fernando Pessoa (Porto); and Visiting Professor for doctoral courses at the Universidad de León (Spain).

Among other roles, she has also been Spokesperson for Overseas Members within the AILCFH (Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica); International Member, Centro de Estudos Latino-Americanos, Universidade Fernando Pessoa (Porto); Series Editor of the University of Wales Press’ Detective Fiction Critical Series; and has been appointed to the editorial boards of Monash Romance Studies (Delaware University Press), Clues, the Revista de Estudos Latino-Americanos, and Cuadernos de Estudios Manuel Vázquez Montalbán. 

Additionally, she has served as a reviewer for many scholarly journals, including Clues, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, Revista de Estudos Latino-Americanos, Transcultures, Letras Femeninas, Interface, La Nueva Literatura Hispánica, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Hispania.

She has been External Examiner at several UK universities.

Dr Godsland has delivered Keynote Papers and Invited Lectures at universities and conferences in Spain, the USA, Colombia, the UK, Australia, Ireland and Chile.

Dr Godsland has been interviewed about her work for many radio and TV programmes, as well as newspapers, including Televisión Castilla y León; TeleMedellín; BBC Radio 3; El adelantado de Segovia; TeleAntioquia; Colombian Radio’s ‘Página en blanco’ programme.



  • Killing Carmens. Women's Crime Fiction from Spain. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007. Sole authored monograph.
  • Writing Reflection, Reflecting on Writing. Female Identity and Lacan's Mirror in Helena Parente Cunha and Sylvia Molloy. Valladolid: Universitas Castellae, 2006. Sole authored monograph.

Edited collections and guest edited special numbers of journals

  • Mujeres Malas: Women's Detective Fiction from Spain, co-edited with Jacky Collins. Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University Press, 2005. Edited book.
  • Latin American Detective Fiction: New Readings, co-edited with Jacky Collins. Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University Press, 2004. Edited book.
  • Mulheres Más, co-edited with Ana María da Costa Toscano. Porto: Edições Universidade Fernando Pessoa, 2004. Edited book. [This book was the press' number one best-selling title for the first quarter of 2005.]
  • Reading the Popular in Contemporary Spanish Fictions, co-edited with Nickianne Moody. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2004. Edited book.
  • Interface 7 (2004). Special number: Hispanic popular culture. Guest editor.
  • Cultura Popular. Studies in Spanish and Latin American Popular Culture, co-edited with Anne M. White. Bern & Oxford: Peter Lang, 2002. Edited book.
  • Letras Femeninas XXVIII:1 (2002). Special number: Hispanic women's crime fiction. Guest editor.
  • La Nueva Literatura Hispánica 10 (2001-2003). Special number: Antonio Muñoz Molina: Intertextualidad y novela negra. Guest editor.

Journal articles and book chapters

“Approaches to Teaching Rape in the Spanish Literature Classroom: Alicia Giménez Bartlett’s Ritos de muerte”.  Teaching Gender Through Hispanic Literature and Culture, Mary Long et al. (eds), Amsterdam: Sense, 2014.  [Accepted for publication; forthcoming]

“Alicia Giménez Bartlett: Genre Fiction and Literary Success”, Revista Monográfica / Monographic Review (2013). 

“Genre Reformulation and Gender Violence in Teresa Solana’s ‘Feina feta no fa destorb’”, Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea (ALEC) 38:3 (2013): 115-37.

“Masochism and the Novela Negra: The Case of Francisco González Ledesma”, Clues 32:1 (2013).  [Accepted for publication; forthcoming]

“Allegory, Gender and Aggression in Some Recent Argentinean Novels of Violence”.  Trece formas de entender la novela negra, Gustavo Forero (ed), Bogotá: Planeta, 2012.  pp. 189-212.

“Spanish Women’s Crime Fiction: Reading Gender in the Paratextual”, co-authored with Nickianne Moody, Ámbitos feministas 2 (2012): 7-25.

“Writing the Male Abuser in Cultural Responses to Domestic Violence in Spain”, Hispania 95:1 (2012): 53-64.

“La asesina en la novela criminal femenina española: ¿respuesta literaria al control social ejercido sobre la mujer?  Novela y control social, Gustavo Forero (ed), Medellín: Universidad de Antioquia, 2012. pp. 53-73.

“Monolingual England: The Crisis in Foreign Language Enrolments from Elementary Schools through College”. Hispania 93:1 (2010): 113-118.

“Popular Genre and the Politics of the Periphery: Catalan Crime Fiction by Women”, co-authored with Anne M White, Detective Fiction and National Identity, Kate Quinn and Marieke Krajenbrink (eds), Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009. pp.43-55

“Detecting Discontent: Contemporary Crises in Manuel Vázquez Montalbán’s Los pájaros de Bangkok”, co-authored with Stewart King, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 9.1 (2008): 1-17.

“Gender and Nation in Catalan Women’s Genre Fiction”, Antípodas XVII (2007): 133-156.

“La novela detectivesca femenina española: últimas tendencias”, Mujeres, literaturas, políticas y compromisos en el Nuevo Milenio: diálogos trasatlánticos, Guadalupe Cortina (ed), Madrid: Nuevo Espacio, 2007.  pp. 175-201.

“El espejo lacaniano y la construcción de la identidad femenina: el caso de En breve cárcel (1981) de Sylvia Molloy”. Mujeres que escriben en América Latina, Sara Beatriz Guardia (ed), Lima: CEMHAL; Editorial Minerva, 2007.  pp. 307-312.

“Francisco Umbral’s ‘Lady’ Tourists: a fictional view of early female visitors to Spain”, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos 30:2 (2006): 225-248.

“Crimes Present, Motives Past: A Function of National History in the Contemporary Spanish Detective Novel”, co-authored with Stewart King, Clues 25:3 (2006): 30-40.

“History and Memory, Detection and Nostalgia.  The Case of Dulce Chacón’s Cielos de barro”, Hispanic Research Journal 6:3 (2005): 253-264.

“Verdugas, victimarias, viciosas: Angélica Gorodischer y la re-escritura de la criminalidad femenina”, Mujeres y Cambio desde la Letra, Asunción Horno-Delgado & Janet N. Gold (eds), Santo Domingo: Secretaría de Estado de La Mujer, 2005.  227-241.

“Últimas tendencias de la literatura criminal hispánica escrita por mujeres: la reformulación femenina de un género popular”, Interface 7 (2004): 33-43.

“The Importance of Being Esbelta: Fatness, Food and Fornication in Almudena Grandes’ “Modelos de mujer””, Reading the Popular in Contemporary Spanish Fictions, Shelley Godsland and Nickianne Moody (eds), Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2004.  pp. 59-73.

“The Romance Novel, or, the Generalísimo’s Control of the Popular Imagination”, co-authored with Salvador Faura & Nickianne Moody, Reading the Popular in Contemporary Spanish Fictions, Shelley Godsland and Nickianne Moody (eds), Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2004.  pp. 46-58.

“Enajenadas, endiabladas, envidiosas: la mujer delincuente en los cuentos de Angélica Gorodischer”, Alba de América 22:41-42 (2003): 263-275.

“From Feminism to Postfeminism in Spanish Women’s Crime Fiction: The Case of Maria-Antònia Oliver and Alicia Giménez-Bartlett”, Letras Femeninas XXVIII:1 (2002): 84-99.

“Maria-Antònia Oliver: la reescritura femenina / feminista de la novela negra”, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 79:3 (2002): 337-352.

“Re-writing Eve: Contesting the Female Function in Original Sin Through Gendered Deviance in Women’s Crime Fiction from Spain”, Revista Monográfica XVIII (2002): 161-175.

“Mujeres que matan: violencia femenina y transgresión social en la novela criminal femenina española”, España Contemporánea 15:2 (2002): 7-22.

“Sun, Sex and Servitude: Francisco Umbral’s View of Spanish Tourism Development in Las europeas”, Cultura Popular.  Studies in Spanish and Latin American Popular Culture, Shelley Godsland and Anne M White (eds), Bern: Peter Lang, 2002.  pp. 175-190.

“Exilio frustrado: cultura y sexo en La tesis de Nancy”, Sender 2001, Anthony Trippett (ed), Bristol: HiPLAM, 2002.  pp. 121-141.

“Las mulatas de Manuel: significados y funciones del cuerpo mulato en la novelística de Manuel Zeno Gandía”, Las representaciones de la mujer en la cultura hispánica, K M Sibbald and Ricardo de la Fuente Ballesteros (eds), Valladolid: Universitas Castellae, 2002.  pp. 161-168.

Mujeres ‘malas’: The Representation of the Female Criminal in Spanish Women’s Crime Fiction as a Response to Discourses of Gendered Violence”, Violence and Patriarchy in Literature and the Arts: Perspectives for the New Millennium, Fernando de Diego & Agatha Schwartz (eds), Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2002.  pp. 199-210.

“La enfermedad como impedimento a la formación nacional en Crónicas de un mundo enfermo de Manuel Zeno Gandía”, Siglo XIX 7 (2001): 161-169.

“Investigating Fictions of Identity: Contemporary Catalan Crime Fiction by Women”, co-authored with Anne M. White, Crime Scenes.  Detective Narratives in European Culture since 1945, Anne Mullen and Emer O’Beirne (eds), Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000.  pp. 219-227.

“Piadosa en la urbe: la visión zenogandiana de Nueva York”, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos XXVI:1 (1999): 3-13.

“Writing as Therapy: Textualising Abuse and Survival in Sylvia Molloy's En breve cárcel”, Journal of the Australasian Universities Modern Languages Association 91 (1999): 67-82.

“Medical Machismo: Gender, Power, and Discourse in David Sharon’s Spanish Med-tech Thrillers”, Medical Fictions, N Moody and J Hallam (eds), Liverpool: John Moores University Press, 1998.  pp. 130-144

Back to top