Oliver did his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at St Anne’s College, Oxford, before taking up his first academic post at the University of Nottingham. In 2010, after four years there as first Postdoctoral Research Fellow and then Lecturer in Hispanic Studies, he returned to Oxford to take up his fellowship at Hertford College.
Oliver teaches all papers on the first-year Spanish course. At second and fourth-year levels, he teaches papers on Spanish/English translation (II), Spanish Golden Age literature (VII, X), and a Special Subject on the relationship between poetry and painting (XII).
Oliver teaches three Special Subjects on Spanish Golden Age culture for the MSt in European Literature (and related degrees) and supervises research students in the broad area of the Golden Age of Spain.
Oliver’s research focuses on sixteenth and seventeenth-century Spanish culture, with particular interests in the reception of classical authorities; book history and illustration; satirical and burlesque poetry; and cross-currents between literature and art in Renaissance and Baroque Spain.
Between 2007 and 2011, Oliver was the Co-Investigator on a research project funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council on the library of the Count-Duke of Olivares, first minister to Philip IV of Spain from 1621 to 1643. After organizing conferences in Nottingham (2008), Madrid (2009), and New York (2010), Oliver and his colleagues are now in the process of publishing their findings. The first of three projected volumes was published in Madrid in 2011; the second and third volumes will follow in 2012 and 2013.
In addition to this project, Oliver is currently also working on a monograph based on his DPhil thesis for OUP (provisionally titled A Tale Blazed Through Heaven: Imitation and Invention in Golden Age Spain), a volume of commentaries on the Baroque poet Góngora (co-edited with Nigel Griffin), and a study of the circulation and influence of illustrated editions of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Europe between 1480 and 1700.
(ed. with J. Andrews & J. Roe) On Art and Painting: Vicente Carducho and Baroque Spain (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2016)
A Tale Blazed Through Heaven: Imitation and Invention in the Golden Age of Spain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)
(ed. with N. Griffin) ‘A Poet for All Seasons: Eight Commentaries on Góngora’, Spanish Series, 156 (New York: Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 2013)
(ed. with J. Roe & J. Lawrance) Poder y saber: Bibliotecas y bibliofilia en la época del conde-duque de Olivares (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica, 2011)
‘A Silly Little Thing Called Love: Foolishness, Farce, and Fancy in Manuel Iborra’s La dama boba (2006)’, in Connecting Past and Present: Exploring the Influence of the Spanish Golden Age in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, ed. Aaron Kahn (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), pp. 187–209
‘“¿Desgracias anulares?”: Narrative Loops in Quevedo’s El Buscón’, in Artifice and Invention in the Spanish Golden Age, ed. by Stephen Boyd and Terence O’Reilly, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures, 3 (Oxford: Legenda, 2014), pp. 21–31
‘“Ensíllenme el asno rucio” (1585): Parody and Burlesque in a Contrafactum’, in A Poet for All Seasons (above), pp. 1–23
“Vanitas vanitatum, et omnia vanitas: Bibliotecas y bibliofilia en la literatura del Siglo de Oro”, in Poder y saber (above), pp. 277–96
“Metaphors of Anarchism: The Rhetoric of an Andalusian Post-Conflict Testimony”, in The Genre of Post-Conflict Testimonies, ed. by Cristina Demaria and Macdonald Daly (Nottingham: CCCP, 2010), pp 82–107
“Salvador Jacinto Polo de Medina: ‘A Vulcano, Venus y Marte’”, in The Spanish Ballad in the Golden Age, ed. by Nigel Griffin & others, Serie A Monografías, 264 (London: Támesis: 2008), pp. 175–221
“Re-examining Some of the Literary Sources for Velázquez’s La fragua de Vulcano”, in Latin and Vernacular in Renaissance Spain: Ovid from the Middle Ages to the Baroque, ed. by Barry Taylor and Alejandro Coroleu (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008), pp. 147–61
“Mars Recontextualised in the Golden Age of Spain: Psychological and Aesthetic Readings of Velázquez’s Marte”, in Rewriting Classical Mythology in the Hispanic Baroque, ed. by Isabel Torres, Serie A Monografías, 233 (London: Támesis, 2007), pp. 139–55