1991 …2019

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests lie in the intellectual history and literature of the Spanish long eighteenth century as well as the connections between Spain and England in the Napoleonic period and beyond, with a particular focus on the life and writings of Elizabeth Vassall Fox, Lady Holland. My most recent major publication is a scholarly edition of Leandro Moratín's La mojigata (Barcelona: Castalia, 2015), which is based on a manuscript of the play presented by the author himself to Elizabeth, Lady Holland in August 1804, three months after the appearance of the first printed edition of the play in a substantially reduced and altered form. It is the first and currently only edition of Moratín’s play about education and religious hypocrisy to be published in full, without the cuts and alterations that the work suffered as it made the journey from manuscript to printed text. My introduction explores the complex history of the play’s genesis and early transmission in manuscript form and the issues behind the self-censorship that Moratín felt it necessary to exercise in order to bring the play to print in a society still heavily controlled by state and church censorship. It reveals that the full version of the play offers a much more direct critique of contemporary religious observance and rejection of the religious life as a sterile living death, as well as developing all the characters into more nuanced and complex individuals.

Other recent work includes a chapter in the Routledge Companion to the Hispanic Enlightenment (projected for 2019) that explores the transnational practices of cultural sociability and exchange of Lord Henry Holland, his wife Elizabeth Vassall Fox, Lady Holland, and their close friend and companion Dr John Allen, with Hispanic culture and politics in the period of late Enlightenment. Using their journals, correspondence, and other varied documents that form part of the Holland House collection at the British Library, it foregrounds their role as mediators supporting multidirectional communicative practices and processes of cultural transfer in the diffusion, exchange, and transformation of Enlightenment ideas in relation to Spain and Spanish America, over more than 4 decades from 1793-1845.

My current project is a new biography of Elizabeth Vassall Fox, Lady Holland (1771-1845) that seeks to explore and understand her activities and beliefs using her own words in the form of her many and varied life-writings, including journals and letters, located within the extensive Holland House collection at the British Library. These varied resources cover the whole of her life, from her earliest years during her first unhappy arranged marriage at age 15 to the 38-year-old Sir Godfrey Webster, through the long period in which, following a difficult divorce, she was married to Henry Richard Fox, third Lord Holland (1796-1840) to the final years of her widowhood and death in 1845. They offer us access to her own thoughts, beliefs and opinions on the social, cultural and political events of her day and allow us to trace the development of her ideas as well as offering us a unique perspective on them, that of a woman who exerted power and influence right at the heart of the British establishment during this extensive period of change in Europe. The aim is to contribute to an increased understanding of what Linda Colley has called ‘the changing contours of female ideological engagement and participation in political culture […in] the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries’ (Britons: forging the nation 1707-1837, 2009, 50).

Postgraduate supervision 

I have supervised postgraduate research on ‘Unamuno and Socialism’ (Rhîan Williams, PhD, 2009),  'When the mountains speak: the voices of rural landscape in the short stories of Miguel Torga and Han Shaogong' (Gustavo Infante, PhD, 2014) and 'The Experience of Colour in the Theatre of Federico García Lorca' (Jade Boyd, PhD, 2019). I would welcome enquiries in the research areas outlined above and on the theatre of Lorca.


I teach on a variety of units, including as unit director:

HISP20082 The Masks of Don Juan: Representations of the Legendary Figure in Spain, 1630-1930

HISP20083 El siglo de las luces: Literature and Society inSpain, 1700-1814

MODL23014 Catalan Language (Elementary)

HISP30029 The Theatre of Federico García Lorca

HISP31027 Gender and Identity in the Spanish Theatre: From the Golden Age to Romanticism

MODL30011 Catalan Language (Follow-On)

I also contribute to:

AFAC10006 What Does it Mean to be Human? II: From Modern to Ancient

HISP10014 The Making of the Hispanic World

HISP10010 Critical Concepts in the Study of the Hispanic World

MODL23021 Theatre and Performance

HISP30101 Spanish Language

MODLM2042 Constructing Identities

I coordinate and oversee Catalan Studies at Bristol, both within Modern Language degrees and in terms of units available to students across the University, working with the Catalan Government-funded Language Tutor. I maintain both a professional and a personal interest in, and knowledge of, the current socio-political situation in Catalonia, and I have the expertise to explore it within both the Catalan and Spanish historical contexts.

Bristol Futures

Together with my colleague Gloria Visintini, I planned, developed and created the FutureLearn Online Course on Global Citizenship (https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/global-citizenship) that forms part of the Bristol Futures Unleash Your Potential skills development programme (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/bristol-futures/). The course runs 3 times a year and is free to anyone who wishes to take part. 

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Research Output

Leandro Fernández de Moratín, La mojigata

Kitts, S-A., Apr 2015, Clásicos Castalia ed. Barcelona: Castalia. 416 p.

Research output: Book/ReportScholarly edition

‘Spain and Habermas’ Public Sphere: A Revisionist View’

Kitts, S-A., Jun 2019, The Configuration of the Public Sphere: from the Enlightenment to the indignados. Villamediana González, L. & Jiménez Torres, D. (eds.). New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books, p. 25-43 21 p. (Studies in Latin American and Spanish History).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

The role of Holland House in the diffusion, exchange and transformation of Spanish enlightened ideas, 1793-1845

Kitts, S-A., Oct 2019, The Routledge Companion to the Hispanic Enlightenment. Bolufer Peruga, M., Jaffe, C. & Franklin Lewis, E. (eds.). Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY.: Routledge, p. 243-257 15 p. (Routledge Companions to Hispanic and Latin American Studies).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Supervised Work

The Experience of Colour in the Theatre of Federico García Lorca

Author: Boyd, J., 23 Jan 2020

Supervisor: Harrow, S. (Supervisor) & Kitts, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)