Sergio Rigoletto, Associate Professor of Italian and Cinema Studies, has published an essay entitled “(Un)dressing authenticity: Neorealist stardom and Anna Magnani in the postwar era (1945-48)” in the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media (Vol.6 Number 8, 2018; pp. 389-403). The essay explores Magnani’s significance as a populist icon during the postwar years and unpacks some of the meanings behind a notion that has been frequently associated with Magnani: authenticity. Focusing on the study of Magnani’s costumes in Rome Open City (Rossellini 1945) and in a number of popular comedies made between 1945 and 1948, alongside the clothes worn by the actress in her off-screen appearances, the essay reveals some of the crucial ways in which Magnani’s clothing staged several tensions which were particularlu useful to the institutional discourse of Neorealism to negotiate the transition from fascism to postwar democracy (e.g. audience recognition vs. misrecognition; historical truth vs. ideological mystification; individuality vs. collectivism). The essay proposes a way of thinking about the notion of authenticity that may allow us to move beyond a “reflectionist” framework, in which the authentic is simply a synonym for what looks real or original. Instead, through an analysis of Magnani’s star narrative and the function of clothing within this narrative, Rigoletto argues that authenticity reveals itself as a performative effect, unfolding through the opening of a space of absence in which the experience of the “inauthentic” is repeatedly confronted. Under these terms, the essay demonstrates that the category of authenticity functions as an effect of the inauthentic, rather than simply as its opposite.
To give our first-year students a chance to explore a topic of their choice and/or to express themselves in writing in a personal way, we decided to create a “bulletin” for each level and have students contribute the articles! Please enjoy perusing these first editions, and look for more to come in the future!
Send any feedback you have to Connie Dickey, the first-year French Supervisor at firstname.lastname@example.org
On May 15th and 16th, U Michigan Professor Frieda Ekotto visited the UO and gave a talk titled “Reading Aimé Césaire in the
Professor Ekotto generously gave us a copy of her latest project, a 90 min. documentary film Vibrancy of Silence: A Discussion with My Sisters, produced and filmed by Professor Ekotto and Marthe Djilo Kamga, which highlights the creative achievements of six Sub-Saharan African women in various intellectual and artistic fields (in French with English subtitles).
Stay tuned for a screening in the fall!
Two of our outstanding Romance Languages majors received impressive recognition from the awards committee. Please congratulate these students for their wonderful contributions to the UO community and their impressive academic efforts. We are very fortunate to have such inspiring undergraduate students in our department.
Sara Espinosa, RL (FR & SPAN) & Journalism (PR) major Vernon Barkhurst Sophomore Award: (THE sophomore award) This award is given to a sophomore who best exemplifies academic excellence, university service and good citizenship. This award was established in 1984 in honor of Vernon Barkhurst, who served as Director of Admissions, Associate Dean of Students, and Conduct Coordinator.
Cecelia Barajas, RL (FR & ITAL): Junior Award – Gerlinger Cup (one of only five awards given to juniors): The Gerlinger Cup, first presented in 1914, is the gift of the late Irene Gerlinger, a member of the University Board of Regents from 1914 to 1929. The cup is awarded to the outstanding junior woman selected for scholarship, leadership, and service to the university.
Congratulations, Sara and Cecelia!
The 2018 Annual Las Casas Lecture on Human Rights Thursday May 3rd 5:30-7:00 p.m. in PLC180.
This year’s speaker is Mexican priest Father Alejandro Solalinde, a candidate to the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 and a tireless fighter for migrant rights in Mexico. He is the founder of the network of shelters hermanosenelcamino.org and has been the target of death threats, harassment, as well as institutional ostracism from both church and state in Mexico. His talk The Migrant’s Path/El camino del migrants will address the ongoing humanitarian crisis of Central American refugees who cross through Mexico on their way North to the US and who become victimized by both narcos and police forces intent on charging a hefty “fee” for their passage in the form of money, but very often, psychological and physical abuse, rape, torture and in many cases death and disappearance.
In February, Leah Middlebrook spoke at a panel on Why Read Don Quijote Now? as part of the U.C. Berkeley Designated Emphasis on Renaissance and Early Modern Studies’ series “Why Read…?” Her short talk, titled “Knight + Duenna as a Way of Life,” took a twenty-first century look at the theme of friendship in the novel.
The Center for Open Educational Resources for Language Learning has given the RL a Badge as “OER Master Creators”
The Empowering Learners of Spanish project is published by the Center for Open Educational Resources for Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas at Austin and funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Using a critical pedagogical approach, these activities teach sociolinguistics and critical inquiry into language ideologies. This collection reach over 250 students per year at institutions like the UO and Western Illinois University in addition to K-12 teaching workshops in Oregon, Texas, and Illinois.
The ELS project developers are,
Claudia Holguín Mendoza (Romance Languages, University of Oregon)
Robert L. Davis (Romance Languages, University of Oregon)
Julie Weise (History, University of Oregon)
Kelley León Howarth (Romance Languages, University of Oregon)
Munia Cabal Jiménez (Western Illinois University)
UO Spanish professor Amalia Gladhart has several book recommendations she wants to share to help deepen people’s understanding of world literature — if only they weren’t written in Spanish.
But some of Gladhart’s favorite texts are written in that romance language. So about a decade ago she started translating published writing from Spanish to English because she wants to make those books and other written work more accessible to a broader audience.
Her newest project is to translate Argentine writer Angélica Gorodischer’s “Jaguar’s Tomb,” a 218-page novel that explores the difficulty of representing loss and grief in literature. Gladhart was awarded a prestigious 2018 National Endowment for the Arts literature translation fellowship to complete the work.
“I think it’s important to translate books like ‘Jaguar’s Tomb’ because I want to broaden and complicate people’s ideas about Latin American literature,” Gladhart said. “In some ways, this novel will meet reader’s expectations of Argentine literature. But in other ways, it will interrupt and challenge their expectations.”
The National Endowment for the Arts funds translation projects like Gladhart’s because the organization shares her desire to make more fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry available to an English-speaking audience.
“Jaguar’s Tomb” will be the second novel of Gorodischer’s that Gladhart has translated. She first met the author while she was teaching at a study abroad program in Argentina and searching for a new translation project. The site director facilitated an introduction with Gorodischer and Gladhart was immediately captivated by the author and her writing, which she lauds as being thought-provoking, funny and engaging.
“Angélica Gorodischer is such an interesting author to translate because she pushes the edge of many genres,” Gladhart said.
She describes Gorodischer as a prolific writer who has published a diverse body of work, including short stories, science fiction, novels, feminist commentary and a regular newspaper column that covers the gamut from politics to culture. The author is pushing 90 years of age and is still actively writing and offering support to emerging female authors.
Gladhart was drawn to “Jaguar’s Tomb” because she’s interested in probing the central problem of the book: the expression of absence. Gorodischer uses a trio of different narrators to explore the difficulty of representing absence, including absences related to the abductions and disappearances that occurred during the military dictatorship in Argentina’s “dirty war” of 1976-83.
To read the novel as a citizen of Argentina in 2005 would be a very different experience from reading the translation in the United States in 2018, Gladhart points out. This contextual difference is one of many considerations that she will take into account as she translates the book and aims to uphold the intricacies of the story and the questions it raises.
The English words that she selects for the translation are obviously another factor Gladhart will need to consider — one that is not as simple as just exchanging Spanish words for their English counterparts.
“Every single word is different in translation,” Gladhart said. “Each Spanish word has a constellation of words it might connect to. And while an English word might share its definition in the dictionary, it has an entirely different constellation of words attached to it.”
Gladhart finds that dichotomy adds an enjoyable complexity to translation work. She sees an appealing challenge in trying to remake the story using different tools and word connotations. She’s discovered that she’s drawn to work that involves a generous amount of word play and puzzles to solve.
Historical details and literary devices and contextual clues also must be taken into account. She explains that she spends hours researching references that might contain a deeper meaning: Is there a reason the author incorporated a specific type of food or plant or location? If so, Gladhart tries to honor that symbolism in her translation.
“I aim to present my fullest expression of my understanding of the text through my translation,” she said. “There are so many different ways that one can read and understand something. Translating stories is really a mix of the scholarly and creative.”
The fellowship will give Gladhart more time to fully immerse herself in the work and word play of translating “Jaguar’s Tomb.” Once the project is complete in 2019, it probably won’t be long before she finds another text to tackle so she can share even more writing with a larger audience.
“There are so many exciting and odd and interesting stories in the world that we wouldn’t get to read without translations,” she said.
—By Emily Halnon, University Communications
Homage to Nicanor Parra: Poetry Readings by Jesús Sepúlveda, from Cartagena to Santiago and Wallmapu
RL Spanish Creative Writing Instructor Jesús Sepúlveda did not have a chance to say goodbye to his mentor Nicanor Parra who just passed away on January 23, but his legacy was very much present when Sepúlveda gave a poetry reading at the Sociedad de Escritores de Chile (SECH) in Santiago, Chile on December 21, 2017. Organized and led by SECH president Carmen Berenguer, the reading began with five contemporary Chilean poets, then featured Sepúlveda’s forthcoming poetry collection, Espejo de los detalles, coming out in fall 2018 with Cuarto Propio. In her introduction, Carmen Berenguer drew the arc of Sepúlveda’s poetic evolution from his first collection, Lugar de origen (1987), which began the lifelong friendship with Parra, to the current volume. The reading was particularly moving and a great honor for Sepúlveda, whose last reading at the SECH dated from 1988, the year of the Chilean national plebiscite that marked the end of the dictatorship.
Sepúlveda also visited a coastal Mapuche community or lafkenche, in Wallmapu on the shore of Lago Budi, some 500 miles south of Santiago. As the largest saltwater lake in South America, the site boasts a rich ecosystem and deep cultural and agricultural practices. He shared his poems during a trawün (assembly) that took place inside a ruka, the traditional thatched dwelling. The community listened without applauding, sometimes commenting between poems. At the very end, an enthusiastic afafán resonated—the traditional vocal crescendo of approval. The head of the community (el werkén del lof) shared two sung poems or ül in Mapudungun. The trip also included visits to the community-run school; a greenhouse propagating native plants; an organic farm; and a women-run handicraft workshop. The visit took place under the auspices of Maple, a micro-development organization based in Eugene, whose Chilean delegates (Viviana Calfuqueo Canuinir, Fernando Quilaqueo, UO alumnus Ignacio A Krell, and Alison Guzman) came to the UO in fall 2017.
Prior to his visit to his native Santiago, Sepúlveda was invited to the 21st International Poetry Festival of Cartagena, Colombia, on December 1-4, 2017. Festival organizer Martín Salas brought the participants to a wonderful array of venues and in front of receptive audiences across the city: Sepúlveda and fellow poets from Spain and Uruguay read to the faculty and students/performers of a philharmonic orchestra in a suburban high school, the Escuela de Música de Comfenalco; they, in turn, gave a spirited and memorable performance of Duke Ellington’s greatest hits. The following morning, readings took place in the library of the Universidad de Cartagena. Next came “transpoesía:” during rush hour the travelling poets read in a crowded commuter bus to the surprise and amusement of passengers. The closing grand gala took place in the historic Teatro Adolfo Mejía.
Back in the classroom, Sepúlveda shares with his UO students a practice of writing (academic and creative Spanish) rooted in these poetic experiences and encounters, often tapping his network of international fellow poets for skype sessions or to recount personal memories. This quarter, Nicanor Para passed away the very day that his poems had been assigned reading in SPAN 410 and SPAN 311.