Annabel Rowntree

Research 

I completed a BA in Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at Durham University before coming to Oxford, where I completed the MSt in Modern Languages (Spanish). 

My research interests lie in the Spanish Golden Age. My DPhil, funded by the Santander DPhil Scholarship for Spanish Studies, looks at the figure of the privado, or court favourite, in Golden Age drama. It looks at the development of this genre- the comedia de privanza- as it first appears and then grows in sophistication during the reign of Philip III (1598-1621). His reign saw an explosion in representation of privado and valido characters in the comedia, as the Duke of Lerma became the first valido for over a century to enjoy such far-reaching influence over a reigning monarch. The project’s argument follows two main strands: firstly, on a literary level, it seeks to define the genre, arguing that there are certain features that comedias de privanza have in common, with a particular emphasis on the arbitrary nature of fortune. However, it argues that as the reign progresses, it becomes an increasingly political genre, where these characteristics become vehicles for political commentary, not just on the privado, but also on the king. Secondly, and in light of this, it will attempt to show that the playwrights under scrutiny in the thesis were responding directly to their political context. In other words, we can understand these plays best with a keen eye to history, and we can see historical events reflected in the comedia de privanza as it develops. 

I am a member of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

Teaching

I am a Stipendiary Lecturer at St Anne’s College, where I teach most aspects of the Prelims course, as well as Golden Age papers (VII and X) and Translation for FHS. 

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