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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages


Dr Stuart Davis Awarded a 2018 Pilkington Prize

Stuart Davis

We are delighted to announce the award of a 2018 Pilkington prize for teaching excellence to Dr Stuart Davis, Senior Lecturer in Spanish at Girton College.  

I am honoured to have been singled out for a Pilkington Teaching Prize. I have always aimed to engage and inspire my audience with exciting ideas and material and to provide them with a comfortable, safe space to 'think aloud', never taking for granted what might seem obvious, whether that audience is made up of the Cambridge students I see regularly, or prospective applicants to the university and teachers of Spanish widening and reinforcing their own knowledge. 

It is a privilege to have such dedicated and able students, as well as wonderfully supportive colleagues in my college and faculty - standing at the front of a lecture room or leading a supervision may throw the spotlight on the individual, but it's the wider community in the background that makes it a success."

  In recent years students have found Stuart “an engaging and inventive teacher” whose academic breadth has impressed over “an extremely wide array of scheduled papers.” In their view, “all of Dr Davis’ lectures combine original, independent scholarship with informed engagement of existing critical bibliographies, in many cases in ways that widen the scope of an existing paper, particularly with reference to visual materials from the 21st century that go beyond the more common focus on cinema.”  

Assessors for the prize were impressed in turn by “the critical, interactive" aspects of Dr Davis’s approach to teaching which mark his lectures and, especially, his supervisions, many of which allow for comparative, cross-cultural analysis. His seminar on nudity and costume in CS5, for example, brings together paintings by Frida Kahlo, poetry by Cristina Peri Rossi and images of Beyoncé, threaded together by a concern with exposure, creativity and female cultural production. In other seminars he has introduced students to the installation work of Félix González Torres in relation to the narrative fiction of Juan Goytisolo.

The high marks Stuart achieves in evaluations of both his lectures and his supervisions attest the excellence of his contribution.  

Professor Brad Epps and Dominic Keown, Head of the Spanish & Portuguese Section, reflect on the award:

Dr Davis’s gifts as an educator dovetail into a long-standing intellectual interest in the relationship between pedagogy and literature, which constitutes a notable strand of his research. His surveys of texts, for example, were conveyed to the qualifications bodies reforming A-level Spanish courses and have been influential with respect to curricular development at other UK universities.

Dedicated to his subject, his colleagues and his students Stuart Davis has played a vibrant and critical role in the Faculty and College. Generous, conscientious, dedicated and inventive, he is a most worthy recipient of a Pilkington Prize." 






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