Dr Rhiannon McGlade

Lecturer In Hispanic Studies


Personal statement

Coupled with a deep interest in Spain and Catalonia, the idea of humour and visual culture as dissent has been at the heart of much of my research. To that end, my work engages a wide range of cultural outlets including Visual Print Media (comics, ‘zines, graphic novels and editorial cartoons); literature; film; theatre; television and the press within the broader context of 20th and 21st century Spain and Latin America.

Before joining Strathclyde in 2022 as Lecturer in Hispanic Studies, I spent six years at the University of Cambridge. First, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate of the AHRC-funded project, “Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies” and Research Associate of Queens’ College, and subsequently as Assistant Professor and Fellow in Spanish at Christ’s College and later at Robinson College. Before Cambridge, I held research and teaching positions at the Universities of Birmingham, Sheffield, UCL and Queen Mary University of London – where I was also Director of the Centre for Catalan Studies. Since 2020, I have been the General Editor of the Journal of Catalan Studies.

As a subject, humour has always fascinated me, since it's at once, universal and highly relatable, while also typically relying on very specialised frames of reference. Its power (perceived or otherwise) to influence popular opinion has been at the core of centuries of repressive legislation to control its production and consumption. Indeed, subversive humour often lies at the heart of countercultural challenges to the hegemonic order. As such, I have looked at humour as a social barometer, as well as a cultural intervention in its own right, to understand how it reflects and affects its contextual setting.

I have published and presented broadly on these themes, including my book, Catalan Cartoons: A cultural and political history, (2016, University of Wales Press) which received funding from the Ramon Llull Institute and has been reviewed in the Catalan media and in seven major journals. Some other recent collaborative projects include, the co-edited special issues, ‘Out of the Gutter: The Politics of Dissent in Spain’s Visual Print Media since 1975’ (Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies) with Bryan Cameron; and ‘(Dis)articulating Identities: Multilingual Cultures in the Catalan Countries’ (Journal of Catalan Studies) with Brad Epps.

My current book-length project, “In Visible Ink: Gender, Sexual Dissidence and Visual Print Media in Spain’s Transition (1968–1992)”, explores the significant cultural work performed by visual print media as part of the evolution of gender and sexual-identity politics during the period surrounding Spain’s so-called democratic transition. An important strand of this work is that it additionally platforms the undervalued and understudied contribution of women to the Spanish countercultural scene.

I welcome enquiries regarding PhD supervision in the following areas:

  • 20th and 21st Century Spain 
  • Catalan cultural and political history 
  • Visual Print Media and Ephemera: Comics; Cartoons; Graphic Novels; ‘Zines; Caricature 
  • Humour Studies 
  • Gender Studies
  • Visual Cultural Studies 

Current PhD student(s):

Raquel Martínez Martin: “Spanish Crisis Cinema: Stasis, Stillness and Immobility (2008-2018)”


Catalan Cartoons : A Cultural and Political History
McGlade Rhiannon
Iberian and Latin American Studies Iberian and Latin American Studies (2016)
Beyond carpanta : humour in the plays of Josep Escobar
McGlade Rhiannon
Acting Funny on the Catalan Stage El teatre còmic en català (1900–2016) (2022) (2022)
Multilingual mirth on the Iberian page
McGlade Rhiannon
The Journal of Catalan Studies Vol 1, pp. 82–112 (2022)
(Dis)articulating identities : multilingualism in the Catalan countries
McGlade Rhiannon, Epps Brad
The Journal of Catalan Studies Vol 1, pp. 1–14 (2022)
Laughing on the other side : humour in the exile narrative of Avel·lí Artís Gener, Tísner
McGlade Rhiannon
Catalan Narrative 1875–2015 (2020) (2020)
Dissenting voices? Controlling comics under Franco
McGlade Rhiannon
Spanish Comics Historical and Cultural Perspectives (2020) (2020)

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