Isabel Cawthorn

Isabel Cawthorn

Department of Modern Languages
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD Title: Remembering the Future: the (re-)construction of memory, the past, and the future in the nineteenth-century Spanish short story 
Supervisors: Dr Monica Jato and Professor Alison Ribeiro de Menezes
PhD Hispanic Studies


  • BA French and Hispanic Studies, University of Sheffield
  • MA Hispanic Studies, University of Sheffield


I completed both my BA and MA at the University of Sheffield. During my undergraduate studies, I formed an interest in nineteenth-century Spanish literature following a semester studying at Universidad de Oviedo, the birthplace of Leopoldo Alas. I gained the Fernando Moragas Prize for spoken Spanish and the Herbet Hughes Memorial Prize for my performance in final year Spanish language exams.

At MA level, I specialised in nineteenth-century literature, specifically the works of Alas, Galdós, and Pardo Bazán. My dissertation focused on the role of space and place in Alas’ La Regenta. During my MA study, I also gained a research grant to carry out manuscript work at the Casa-Museo Pérez Galdós in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.


My thesis explores memory in the nineteenth-century Spanish short story (1850-1899), namely works by Leopoldo Alas (1852-1901) whose reputation as a prolific short story writer has been largely neglected by scholars, leaving many highly experimental works undiscovered. The project offers an innovative perspective of nineteenth-century Spain, drawing upon theoretical frameworks from the interdisciplinary field of memory studies to analyse how concepts of temporality, the future, and memory are expressed in the short story form. Building on a broader critical reassessment of the nineteenth-century Spanish short story, the project will revise dichotomous examinations of intrinsically complex questions. It will argue that particular understandings of memory help to articulate a vision of change, or stagnation, and will contribute insights into the intersections of time and space. In so doing, my project interrogates the ways in which debates have been historically framed around memory in the nineteenth century, examining the level of historical consciousness and continual reflection on recurrent violence and conflict.

Other activities


  • Memory in Nineteenth-Century Spain: The appearance of death in selected works of Leopoldo Alas, 6-7 February 2021, LCIR Spatiality and Temporality Conference, Online


• AHGBI (The Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland)
• International Network of Nineteenth-Century Hispanists