Xavier Dapena

Assistant Professor of Spanish and World Film Studies


Dept:World Languages And Cultures
Office:3234 Pearson

Area of expertise: Visual Culture in Contemporary Spain

Topics of interest: Digital Humanities, Gender Studies, Iberian Cultural Studies, Migration and Diaspora Studies, New Social Movements and Political Imagination, Resistance Studies, Spanish Graphic Narrative Films and Literature


Xavier Dapena joined Iowa State’s faculty as an assistant professor in 2021, after receiving his Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies and Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. For the academic year 2019-2020, Dapena was selected as a Mellon Research Fellow by the Wolf Humanities Center. Based on his dissertation, he received the Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation Research Award from the University of Pennsylvania and the international grant, the Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award, from The Ohio State University. His research projects have inspired several peer-reviewed articles published in journals and edited volumes, and also guest lectures in different universities such as Princeton and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Currently, he is co-editing a volume titled The Political Imagination in Spanish Graphic Narrative and working on his first book project, “Nobody expects the Spanish Revolution”: Graphic Narrative in Contemporary Spain.

Grants and Awards


  • 2019-2020 Mellon Research Seminar Graduate Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania.

  • 2019 Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation Award, University of Pennsylvania

  • 2018 Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award, The Ohio State University

  • 2018 North East Modern Language Association Research Fellowship

  • 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, University of Pennsylvania

  • 2017 Penn Provost Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students, University of Pennsylvania (Nominee)


  • 2019 Cinema and Media Studies Research Grant, University of Pennsylvania

  • 2019 & 2018 Dean's Travel Grant, School of Arts and Science, University of Pennsylvania

  • 2019 & 2018 Summer Research Grant, University of Pennsylvania

  • 2018 Modern Languages Association Travel Grant

Recent / Major Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

  • “No nos representan”: Political Imagination in Gran Hotel Abismo by Marcos Prior and David Rubín, Bulletin of Contemporary Hispanic Studies, 1 (2019): 133-154. Print.

  • "Ese fantasma es el capitalismo": poéticas e imaginarios de la crisis en Fagocitosis y Lo que (me) está pasando". 452oF: Revista de Teoría de la Literatura y Literatura Comparada 15 (2016): 93-111. Universitat de Barcelona, Print.

  • "Nobody Expects The Spanish Revolution": memoria indignada e imaginarios de la historia en la narrativa gráfica española contemporánea.” Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos 40.1 (2015): 79–107. Print.

Selected Book Chapters

  • The Post-15M Condition: Liminality and Multitude in Spanish Graphic Narratives, Richter, D. and McKinney, C. (Eds.), Graphic Spain: Recent Developments in Spanish Graphic Narratives. Págs. 285-301. Palgrave Macmillan.

  • "No culpables": Imaginarios de la crisis y precarización en Presas Fáciles (2016) de Miguelanxo Prado, Alarcón, E. (Ed.), Muerte y Crisis en el Mundo Hispano: Respuestas Culturales , Págs. 101-120. Peter Lang.

  • “Shadows Have No Voice”: Democratic Memory in Hernández Cava and Federico del Barrio’s El artefacto perverso (1996) and Francisco & Miguel Gallardo’s Un largo silencio (1997), Amago, S. and Marr, M. Consequential Art: Comics Culture in Contemporary Spain. Págs. 100-136. University of Toronto Press.