Over the past three summers Associate Professor Professor of French Fabienne Moore has been researching the early illustrated albums of 19th century French artist Gustave Doré in his native city of Strasbourg, France. The Bibliothèque des Musées holds all first editions of Doré’s work, as well as periodicals in which he published his first drawings. In the rare book room of the Bibliothèque Universitaire, Moore was also able to hold an engraved printing block used for his illustrations of the Aventures du Baron de Munchausen. But while Doré is best known for his illustrations of the masterpieces of world literature, he began his career with four innovative sequential graphic narratives, one of which is the focus of Moore’s article titled “Gustave Doré’s Histoire de la Sainte Russie (1854): The Invention of Graphic Rhetoric, or the Artist At War.” Published in Dix-Neuf, the online Journal of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes, the article contains thirty illustrations and examines Doré’s tour de force in addressing the violence of war via a caricatural history of Russia in ways that anticipates modern bande dessinée tackling twentieth-century warfare.
It was a chance encounter with a facsimile of Doré’s album on the shelves of the UO Knight Library several years ago that spurred Moore to teach and write about Doré’s 1854 Histoire de la Sainte Russie. Here was an “unidentified literary object” as Moore likes to put it to her students. About Russian history, triggered by the Crimean War, written in French, with over 500 sequential drawings and irreverent captions full of double entendre and literary references, whose reception so bitterly disappointed Doré that he never referred to it again, the book occupies an in-between that has kept it mostly out of sight of art historians and literary critics. Interpreted with the multidisciplinary lens of comic studies and highlighted for its modernity, Doré’s early work finally finds the attention and audience it craved back in 1854.
This research was made possible by the College of Arts and Sciences Summer Stipend for the Humanities and a Summer Research Award from the Office of the Vice-President for Research.
Analyzes parallel developments in post–Cold War literature and film from Cuba and Angola to trace a shared history of revolutionary enthusiasm, disappointment, and solidarity.
In Forms of Disappointment, Lanie Millar traces the legacies of anti-imperial solidarity in Cuban and Angolan novels and films after 1989. Cuba’s intervention in Angola’s post-independence civil war from 1976 to 1991 was its longest and most engaged internationalist project and left a profound mark on the culture of both nations. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Millar argues, Cuban and Angolan writers and filmmakers responded to this collective history and adapted to new postsocialist realities in analogous ways, developing what she characterizes as works of disappointment. Revamping and riffing on earlier texts and forms of revolutionary enthusiasm, works of disappointment lay bare the aesthetic and political fragmentation of the public sphere while continuing to register the promise of leftist political projects. Pushing past the binaries that tend to dominate histories of the Cold War and its aftermath, Millar gives priority to the perspectives of artists in the Global South, illuminating networks of anticolonial and racial solidarity and showing how their works not only reflect shared feelings of disappointment but also call for ethical gestures of empathy and reconciliation.
“Forms of Disappointment offers an insightful and unique comparative analysis of a body of works produced in the post–Cold War period. By focusing on the Global South, instead of the customary north-south relationship favored by Cuba experts, the book contributes significantly to the fields of Cuban, African, and Latin American Studies; and more broadly to ‘affect theory’ and postcolonial studies. It is remarkably well written with elegant and clear prose.” — Marta Hernández Salván, author of Mínima Cuba: Heretical Poetics and Power in Post-Soviet Cuba
Lanie Millar, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, has published a Spanish translation of the poem “Monangamba” by Angolan poet António Jacinto. The translation appears in the journal CAL: Revista de poesía (Huelva, Spain) in a special issue on Portuguese-language poetry, co-edited by former RL graduate student Rafael Núñez Rodríguez. António Jacinto (1924-1991) was one of Angola’s most important poets of the independence generation. He co-founded the Angolan Writers’ Union in 1975, and served as Minister of Culture from 1975-1978. He was awarded Angola’s National Prize for Literature in 1987.
In ITAL 399: Mediterranean Foodways, Assistant Professor of Italian Diana Garvin’s students produced their own cooking shows in Italian. They prepared 19thand 20th recipes for tortellini and minestrone, and explained the historical context that determined ingredient choices and preparation methods. In doing so, students learned how to analyze primary sources and navigate digital archives, thus launching their Italian studies at UO into the wider world.
Academia Barilla’s Gastronomic Library provided the course’s digital research site. Students perused historical cookbooks from the Italian Unification, like Pellegrino Artusi’s “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well” (1891) and from the Fascist period, like F.T. Marinetti’s “The Futurist Cookbook” (1932).Then they selected an original recipe, and got cooking. In their shows, Sofia Deiro and Ashley Gray brilliantly connected decreasing cooking times and increased meat consumption with evolving gender roles across Southern Europe. Cristian Jobe and Gabriel Barnatan thoughtfully observed how regional dishes later transformed into national cuisine. Bi-weekly media labs examined filmic techniques of Italian cooking shows from Gambero Rosso and Giallo Zafferano to teach basic film techniques, ultimately preparing ITAL 399 students to serve up a new kind of cooking show with a taste for Italian history.
Thanks to the research support of the Center for the Study of Women, Professor Garvin will continue to develop new materials for ITAL 399, to be taught again in Winter 2020, as an extension of her book project, “Feeding Fascism: Tabletop Politics in Italy, 1922-1945.”
See some of the students’ work here:
Gabriel and Cristian: https://youtu.be/ahVNJKLao10
Ashley and Sofia: https://youtu.be/XgIPbneCnfI
Grammon identifies three pillars of his research interests: sociolinguists, language contact, and language learning. His research revolves around questions of what it means to know a language or to be a speaker of a language, which is linked to a broader platform of combating inequality and making linguistics and language learning more accessible to more people. He describes his interests as arising out of reflections on his own experience as a person who learned Spanish in high school and has lived and traveled in Peru, Bolivia and Mexico. He’s done extensive research on language contact between Quechua and Spanish in Cuzco, Peru.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently digging deep into a set of interrelated questions that revolve around the theoretical construct of sociolinguistic competence, which is about the ability to use language in ways that are socially and culturally appropriate. What is the nature of sociolinguistic knowledge and how do we implement it? How do we determine what is appropriate and for whom? What metrics do we use? These issues relate to my dissertation research and several articles I’m working on about language learning, study abroad, and heritage tourism in Cuzco. Lately, I’ve been rereading work by Oregonian sociolinguist Dell Hymes from the 1970s on ‘communicative competence’ that has helped me to problematize a lot of settled knowledge in both second/foreign language education and contact linguistics. So much of what we traditionally thought about second language learning rests on assumptions that don’t really match the reality we’re living with in 21stcentury. Globalization, mobility, and technology all play a part. People increasingly learn and use language in ways that don’t sit well with the idea of the ‘native speaker’ and bounded languages that reside in the brain. Through my work, I imagine what sociolinguistics might look like if we move away from essentialist views of language and society and ask who benefits from viewing language and competence in particular ways. I feel encouraged to engage those lines of inquiry here at UO.
How did you come to be interested in sociolinguistics?
I got interested in sociolinguistics through studying Spanish. I took Spanish on a whim in high school, as one of several options to fulfill a requirement; I didn’t think about it too hard—it was something new and different. I grew up in small towns, where those kinds of classes weren’t really offered; in high school, we moved to Cañon City, Colorado, a town of 12,000 people. That was the first time I had the opportunity to take a class in another language.
The first two weeks in Spanish, I was completely lost, just really overwhelmed, and then it started to click. What made me push through?I couldn’t easily get out of the class. But more than that, the intense process where you feel vulnerable, and make connections with other students and the teacher. This interpersonal dimension was a big reason I kept taking Spanish. And once you start to get it, it’s sort of addictive, it builds its own momentum. A process of self-discovery gets bound up in language learning. I never thought that it would be something I would do as a career; it was an interest, an add-on. Even in college, I didn’t take Spanish right away, but when I did, I really liked it. I was going to be a Spanish minor. When I was almost finished with the minor, another student and I were in the library speaking in Spanish, and I was showing her photos from my study abroad program in Mexico. A student across from us got really upset, cursed as he called us foreigners, threw a stapler, and told me to leave the country. I was in total shock. It was another moment of deep introspection; confronted with my own privilege in a lot of ways, it made me want to continue, take the next step and become a Spanish major.
What other languages to do you speak or read, even a little?
After Spanish, the two languages I know best are Quechua and Portuguese because I studied them for many years. I conducted research on/in Quechua during my 18 months of fieldwork in Peru. I’m most familiar with the Cuzco-Qollaw dialect of Southern Quechua, which is spoken in Southern Peru, Bolivia, and parts of Northern Argentina. My Portuguese is rusty, but I can read it really well; I would have considered myself close to fluent at one point. I have also studied French (family ancestry) and taken Catalan. I’ve done a bit of research into Aymara, and other major indigenous languages of the Americas (Nahuatl, Maya), in order to understand some of the complexities of language contact situations.
What courses have you most enjoyed teaching—or most look forward to teaching—at the UO?
I have really enjoyed teaching Spanish in the US (SPAN 428). It’s interesting to me because, even though my research is not on Spanish in the US per se, I was already very familiar with that literature; many aspects of the situation of Spanish in US make me reflect on the situation of indigenous languages in Latin America. What’s been exciting about that class is that it has given me and the students a space to explore issues, myths, discourses, and ideologies surrounding the past, present, and future of Spanish.
Next quarter, I’m really looking forward to Language Contact in Latin America and Spain (SPAN 420/520). The course will focus a lot on social and cultural dimensions of language contact, looking at questions of linguistic diversity in the Spanish-speaking world. Looking at Rapa Nui on Easter Island, for example, will allow students to make a lot of connections to the situation in the US with Spanglish. We’ll look at more historic cases as well, such as varieties of Italian in Buenos Aires at the turn of the 20thcentury.
Did anything surprise you about UO or Eugene?
The biggest surprise was just that I was coming here to join you! At times it’s been overwhelming, a big transition between grad school and starting a job on the tenure track. Students seem very familiar, easy to connect to. I’ve been struck many times at their level of preparation.
If anything has surprised me, it’s the extent to which I feel really at home here, in all respects. I get up in the morning, and I can’t wait to come in and get to work. And on the weekends, I can’t wait to go explore.
Eugenia Lollini, who graduated with majors in Romance Languages and Anthropology, has published an article, “Before the Spectacle: Shaping Gender and Class in Beirut’s Beauty Salons,” in the Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal’s Winter 2019 issue. Read the article here: https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/handle/1794/24439). The Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal is an open access journal that publishes outstanding research by undergraduate students across the disciplines. Lollini’s field research and writing were supported in part by a Humanities Undergraduate Research Fellowship ( https://urop.uoregon.edu/hurf). Lollini is now a Research Consultant at UN Women in Beirut, Lebanon.
Assistant Professor of Spanish Sociolinguistics Devin Grammon has been named a 2019-20 Sustainability Faculty Fellow. The fellowship will aid in the development of Grammon’s combined research and pedagogical project on the linguistic landscape and public use of Spanish in Eugene, focused on issues of sustainability. This fellowship comes with financial and programmatic support in conjunction with a three day workshop in June that will provide Grammon with opportunities to initiate ongoing community partnerships and develop community-engaged learning activities.
Inventing America in Baroque Italyexamines the ways in which, at a time when most of the Italian peninsula was a colony of Spain, seventeenth-century Italian poets represent Italy’s role in the exploration and conquest of the Americas. Taking as its corpus eleven epic poems written in the Italian vernacular between 1596 and 1650, Hester’s bookconsiders the relationship between baroque epic poetry and local politics; between Italian poems about the Americas and Spanish colonialism; and between literary production and emerging notions of Italian identity. A principal argument of this study is that the heated debates about representing Columbus and Vespucci as epic heroes inevitably point to concerns about Europe’s global expansion and Italy’s role in that expansion. This project sheds light on texts that have not received adequate attention in studies of early modern European colonialism and in scholarship on the reception of the Americas in seventeenth-century Italy.
Congratulations, Dr. Hester!
Pedro García-Caro, Associate Professor of Spanish, has published an article, “A Play for Branciforte: Early California and the Survival of Astucias por heredar un sobrino a un tío, a Banned Comedia from Bourbon New Spain,” in the latest issue of Early American Literature (Vol. 53, Number 3, 2018: pp. 773-884). The article traces the provenance of a recently recovered literary manuscript from the Bancroft Library in California: Astucias por heredar un sobrino a un tío. This original text written in Spanish by Fermín de Reygadas is considered to be the earliest secular play performed in a European language in California. Authored in 1789 by a Spanish colonist in Mexico, and banned from the stage by the censor’s office in the spring of 1790, this satirical family drama was never printed, and was only performed (circa 1797) in the newly settled secular town of Branciforte (East Santa Cruz). It was preserved there in private archives, and then briefly rescued by Guadalupe Vallejo and Hubert H. Bancroft to be stored away again, having thus received almost no critical or scholarly attention until now. García-Caro considers some aspects of the textual origins as well as recent performances of the play.
As Tricks to Inherit (translated, adapted, and directed by Olga Sanchez Saltveit), the play was performed at the UO in spring of 2018.