Professor Francis Lough MA (Glasgow), PhD (Salford), PGCE (Cardiff)

Department of Modern Languages
Professor of Hispanic Studies

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My main teaching and research interests are in 20th and 21th century Spanish literature and cinema, although I have also an interest in the works of Jose Saramago, Felisberto Hernandez and the Spanish philosopher María Zambrano. Currently I am working on the literature of the Spanish Civil War, including graphic novels. 


  • MA (Hons.) (Glasgow)
  • PhD (Salford)
  • PGCE (Cardiff


I studied for my undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow before moving on to take my PhD at the University of Salford. I spent 9 years teaching Spanish in a tertiary college in Wales before taking up a post as Lecturer in Spanish at the University of Kent in 1990 where I was Head of Spanish until 2000. From 2000- 2004 I was Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Kent. I moved to Birmingham in January 2005, where I have been Head of Department and Head of School. I have worked closely with Centro de Estudios Senderianos in Huesca and Grupo de Estudios del Exilio Literario in Barcelona.
In 2008, a group of colleagues from the Department of Hispanic Studies and I set up a Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile. In the same year we ran a very successful international conference on Spanish Republican Exile Geographies. I also organised a colloquium and exhibition entitled ‘The United Kingdom in the Life and works of Camilo José Cela’ in association with the Fundación Cela. This was in recognition of the University of Birmingham being one of the first to offer Spain’s Nobel Prize winning novelist with an Honarary Doctorate in 1976.


Modules Taught

  • Spanish Cinema
  • Spanish Civil War Literature
  • Modernism
  • I also contribute to teaching on a range of other modules European Studies and European Film Studies, including European Cinema

Postgraduate supervision

I would be delighted to supervise students in a variety of areas relating to Spanish literature and culture of the XX and XXI centuries, in particular the literature of the avant-garde, Spanish Republican Exile and the Spanish Civil War.


My main research interests are in 20th century Hispanic narrative, in particular the avant-garde novel of the 1920's, the social novel of the 1930's, and the literature of the Republican exiles. In these areas I have published work on Benjamín Jarnés, Ramón J. Sender, Manuel Andújar and, more recently, the philosopher María Zambrano. I have also published articles on the Uruguayan writer Felisberto Hernández and the Portuguese novelist José Saramago. and the film La lengua de las mariposas. My current interests centre around the literature of the Spanish Civil War, and I have recently become interested in graphic novels published on this conflict. I have delivered papers at conferences in the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, USA, New Zealand and Mexico.

Other activities

Prof. Lough is Director of the Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile created in 2007. He is also director of theCentro de Estudos Galegos and since 2007 has been editor of the journal Galician Review.
He is currently working with Peter Lang Press as editor of a new book series titled Iberian and Latin American Studies: The Arts, Literature and Identity.



  • Politics and Philosophy in the Early Novels of Ramón J. Sender. The Impossible Revolution. Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, 1996, (218 pp.).
  • Spanish translation:La revolución imposible. Política y filosofía en las primeras novelas de Ramón J. Sender (1930-1936), (translated by Gregoria E. Cabrejas Ovejero), Huesca, Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses, 2001, (337 pp.).

Edited Book

  • Hacia la novela nueva. Essays on the Spanish Avant-Garde Novel. Peter Lang, Bern, 2000 (220 pp). Includes an Introduction (pp. 11-18 ) and a chapter (See below for details).

Critical Edition

  • Ramón J. Sender, La esfera(Edición, Introducción y Notas). Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza / Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses / Instituto de Estudios Turolenses / Depte. de Educación, Cultura y Deporte del Gobierno de Aragón, 2010.


  • Memory and the Cycle of Violence in José Antonio Labordeta’s  En el remolino (2007). Bulletin of Spanish Studies,90, 2013, 1121-1138.
  • ‘History and Fiction in Míster Witt en el Cantón’,Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea, 16, 1991, 275-290.
  • ‘La escritura como compromiso: en busca de la identidad en El caballo perdido’,Fragmentos. Revista de Língua e Literatura Extranjeiras, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil), 6, 1, Sept. 1996, 69-80. (Number devoted to Uruguayan Literature).
  • ‘El profesor inútil and the Ethical Aesthetics of Benjamín Jarnés’ Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, LXXV, 4 (1998), 469-589.
  • ‘A Lesson in Tolerance. Benjamín Jarnés’s Su línea de fuego’,Letras Peninsulares, 11, 1 (1998), 309-324.
  • ‘La función de la escritura en Las dos historias de Felisberto Hernández’, Río de la Plata, 19 (1998), 265-274.
  • ‘Arte y vida en Benjamín Jarnés’.Ínsula646, octubre de 2000, pp. 19-21.
  • ‘National Identity and Historiography in José Saramago’s A Jangada de Pedra’, Tesserae. Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, vol. 8, no. 2, 2002, pp. 153-163.
  • ‘El exilio filosófico en Diótima de Mantinea de María Zambrano’, Ojáncano (University of Georgia), 31, 2007, pp. 83-95.
  • La lengua de las mariposas: Symbolic Structures in Social and Ideological Contexts’.The Journal of Symbolism. An International Annual of Critical Aesthetics(Special Section: Cinema,Symbolism, and the Contemporary Subject. Ed. Roy Boyne), Vol. 7, 2007, 149-168.
  • 'Aesthetics and the "Other" in Contemporary Novels of the Spanish Civil War', Bulletin of Spanish Studies, LXXXIX, 2, 2012, 233-252.
  • 'Memory and the Cycle of Violence In José Antonio Labordeta’s En el remolino', Bulletin of Spanish Studies 2013 IN PRESS.

Chapters in Books / Collected Volumes

  • Violencia y responsabilidad en ¡Ay! de Raúl Guerra Garrido. In:ASCUNCE, J. A. & RODRÍGUEZ, A. (eds.) «Haz lo que tema». La novelística de Raúl Guerra Garrido.Bilbao: Universidad de Deusto,2011, 35-50.
  • Eloísa y la filosofía exílica de María Zambrano. In:BUFFERY, H., LOUGH, F., MARCER, E. & SÁNCHEZ, A. (eds.) Spanish Republican Exile Geographies / Geografías del exilio republicano español.Birmingham: Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile, University of Birmingham,2013, 67-75.
  • Memory and History in Ana María Matute’s Los soldados lloran de noche. In:LEGGOTT, S. & WOODS, R. (eds.) Memory and Trauma in the Postwar Spanish Novel. Revisiting the Past.Maryland: Bucknell University Press,2014, 55-68.
  • ‘Self-Study, Student Autonomy and IT’, in Gabrielle Parker and Catherine Reuben (eds.),Languages for the International Scientist. London: Association for French Language Studies and CILT, 1994, pp. 143-159.
  • ‘¡Escúchame! – Spanish Listening Comprehension in PC Guide’, in W. Strang, V.B. Simpson, D. Slater (eds.), Hypermedia at Work: Practice and Theory in Higher Education. University of Kent, 1995, 207-213.
  • ‘Visible and Invisible Worlds in the Novels of Benjamín Jarnés’, in Derek Harris (ed.),Changing Times in Hispanic Culture,University of Aberdeen Press, 1996, pp. 71-82.
  • ‘Ramón J. Sender y la revolución española’, in Juan Carlos Ara Torralba and Fermín Gil Encabo (eds.),El lugar de Sender: Actas del Primer Congreso Internacional sobre Ramón J. Sender.
  • Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses / Institución Fernando el Católico, Zaragoza, 1997, 303-314
  • ‘Huida y regreso: paradigma narrativo de las primeras novelas de exilio de Ramón J. Sender’, in El Exilio Literario de 1939. Actas del Primer Congreso Internacional. Gexel, Barcelona, 1998, vol. 2, 151-160.
  • “Narrator Versus Plot in Saramago’s Jangada de Pedra.” Raízes, Rotas, Reflexões 1498-1998. Eds. Bruce Babington, Bernard McGuirk e Marina Heck. São Paulo, Fundação Memorial da América Latina, 1998.
  • ‘Writing out the Hero. Benjamín Jarnés’s Locura y muerte de nadie’, in Francis Lough (ed.), Hacia la novela nueva. Essays on the Spanish Avant-Garde Novel. Peter Lang, Bern, 2000, pp. 93-112.
  • ‘Discurso poético y testimonio histórico en St Cyprien, Plage... Campo de concentraciónde Manuel Andújar’, in Manuel Aznar Soler (ed.), Sesenta años después. Las literaturas del exilio republicano de 1939. Actas del segundo congreso internacional, Barcelona, Associació d’Idees-GEXEL, 2000, vol. 2, 339-347.
  • ‘Mímesis y experimentación en la novela de avanzada: el caso de Sender’, in José Domingo Dueñas Lorente (ed.), Sender y su tiempo. Crónica de un siglo. Actas del segundo congreso sobre Ramón J. Sender, Huesca, Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses, 2001, 111-129.
  • ‘Sender, el novelista y las masas’, in Anthony Trippett (ed.), Sender 2001. Actas del congreso centenario celebrado en Sheffield, Bristol, University of Bristol, 2002, pp. 1-24.
  • ‘Política y estética en una novela de avanzada’. Introduction to Ramón J. Sender, Siete Domingos rojos, edited by José Miguel Oltra Tomás, Zaragoza / Huesca, Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza / Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses / Depto. de Educación Cultura y Deporte del Gobierno de Aragón, 2004, ix-lvii. 
  • ‘Jarnés y el cine’, in Mechthild Albert (ed.), Vanguardia española e intermedialidad. Arte escénicas, cine y radio, Madrid / Frankfurt am Main, Iberoamericana / Verveurt, 2005, pp. 407-422.
    ‘Ramón J Sender’ (co-authored with Prof. Stephen Hart, University College, London), in Marta E. Altisent & Cristina Martínez-Carazo (eds.),Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 322. Twentieth Century Spanish Fiction Writers, Thomson Gale, New York, 2006, 315-327.
  • ‘Sender, Zambrano, y la filosofía mística del exilio’,Escritores, Editoriales y Revistas del Exilio Republicano de 1939, Ed. Manuel Aznar Soler, Sevilla, Renacimiento, 2006, pp. 789-797.
  • ‘Exilio, mito e identidad nacional en María Zambrano’,España en la encrucijada de 1939: exilios, cultura e identidades, Eds: M. Jato, J.A. Ascunce y M. San Miguel, Bilbao, Universidad de Deusto, 2007, pp. 69-88.
  • ‘El arte y la literatura al servicio de la humanidad’ (65%. Co-authored with María Angeles Sud [25%] and Pilar Mingote [10%]), in Carlos Mingote Adán and Miguel Requena (eds.),El malestar juvenil: Raíces, contextos y experiencias, Madrid, Editorial Díaz de Santos, 2007, 461-491.
  • ‘La literatura del exilio y la cultura europea e internacional’, in José Angel Ascunce (ed.), El exilio. Debate para la historia y la cultura, Editorial Saturraran, San Sebastián, 2008, 115-131.
  • ‘El exilio de María Zambrano: un camino órfico hacia una vida nueva’, in  Mónica Jato, Sharon Keefe Ugalde, Janet Pérez (eds.), Mujer, creación, exilio (España 1939-1975), Barcelona, Icaria, 2009.


Modern Spanish Literature and Cinema; Spanish Civil War Literature;  Spanish Republican Exile; The Spanish Novel;  Spanish Avant-Garde Literature