This essay examines Girolamo Graziani’s well-received epic poem, Il Conquisto di Granata (The Conquest of Granada, 1650), as a compelling piece of an Italian genealogy of New World Italian epic poetry, to which corpus the Conquisto belongs, despite its title. Indeed, in a convenient reworking of the historical timeline, the Columbus of this work returns to Spain from his first voyage to the Americas in time to fight the Moors of Granada, and he plays a decisive role in their defeat. The poetic project of the Conquisto incorporates three main aims: to address and remedy criticisms leveled against earlier Italian epic poetry about the New World, to establish Columbus as the narrative and ideological link between Conquest and Reconquest and, more broadly, to maintain the international status of Italian letters at a time when deeds and facts—expansion, colonialism—come to define the prestige of European proto-nations.
Hester, Nathalie. “Baroque Italian Epic from Granada to the New World: Columbus Conquers the Moors.” The Discovery of the New World in Early Modern Italy: Encounters with the Americas in the 16th-18th Centuries. Eds. Elizabeth Horodowich and Lia Markey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2017. 270-287.
Astucias por heredar, un sobrino a un tío (1789) by Fermín de Reygadas has recently come out as an e-book available on different electronic formats. It is a critical, annotated, edition with a detailed introduction to the context, the author, and the provenance of this comedy. According to the oral and written sources surrounding its donation to the Bancroft collection (which forms the basis for UC Berkeley’s Library) by Californio historian Guadalupe Vallejo, Astucias was “the first drama performed in California after its foundation” as a Spanish colony in 1769.
García-Caro’s groundbreaking research has located the source of the play in Mexico, including the censorship files which had banned it from the Mexican stage in 1790, and has traced the likely place of its performance, in the secular Villa de Branciforte, in what is now Eastern Santa Cruz. This play is a Neoclassic comedy which clearly draws heavily from French and Italian sources but is profoundly familiar with Spanish literary traditions as well and completely adapted for a Hispano-Mexican audience. The fact that it remained in manuscript form and has never before been printed or published has meant that the text remained uncensored with all its original lines, which include a large number of improprieties that could have otherwise been lost along the way.
It is a rare find as we have relatively scant information and little textual evidence of the kind of cultural production that secular Hispanic settlers engaged in or brought with them as they populated the emerging network of villas and pueblos in what is now the US South West in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The play is now available through Arte Público Press, the preeminent publisher of contemporary Latino and Recovered US Hispanic Literature. Teatro Milagro in Portland took up Prof. García-Caro’s proposal to stage this original play and shows run February 9th to March 3rd in Spanish with English superscripts. Early reviews of the production are raving about the currency of the topics and the humorous exchanges, as well as the vibrancy of the language. The troupe of actors at Teatro Milagro comes from a diverse set of backgrounds from all over the Spanish-speaking Americas, and is working under the direction of commedia dell’arte expert Robi Arce, from Puerto Rico. Prof. García-Caro and theatre Director Robi Arce participated on February 16th in a roundtable at Portland State University, a recording is available here.
Watch Latino Network TV news on the play!
The National Endowment for the Arts announced that Amalia Gladhart will receive an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship
The National Endowment for the Arts announced that Amalia Gladhart will receive an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship of $12,500. Gladhart is one of 22 Literature Translation Fellows for fiscal year 2018. In total, the NEA is recommending $300,000 in grants this round to support the new translation of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry from 15 different languages into English.
The author of 30 novels, short story collections, and essays, Angélica Gorodischer (b. 1928) is known for her science fiction, fantasy, crime, and feminist writing. She is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement previously won by such writers as Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Stephen King. Published in 2005, Jaguars’ Tomb is a 218-page novel of 3 distinct parts that addresses the difficulty of representing absence, including those absences left by the abductions and disappearances that occurred during the military dictatorship in Argentina’s “Dirty War” of 1976-83. Each of the sections repeats images from the others and circles a central space that, though it serves different functions in each section, always has a sense of loss at its center.
Amalia Gladhart is a translator and professor of Spanish at the University of Oregon and Head of the Department of Romance Languages. She has written widely on contemporary Latin American literature and performance. Her translations include The Potbellied Virgin and Beyond the Islands, both by Alicia Yánez Cossío; and Trafalgar, by Angélica Gorodischer. Her collection of prose poems, Detours, was published by Burnside Review Press. Her short fiction appears in Saranac Review, The Fantasist, Atticus Review, Eleven Eleven, and elsewhere.
Prof. Sergio Rigoletto has published an essay titled ‘Against the Telelological Preseumption: Notes on Queer Visibility in Contemporary Italian Film’ in The Italianist 37: 2, 2017. The essay is concerned with some of the problems involved in the task of narrating the queer self. At a time in which positive queer representations have become increasingly common in Italian cinema and other media, it is worth asking what conditions underpin the present regime of queer visibility and what alternative queer experiences have been either obscured or marginalized. The first half of the essay explores the recent popularity of the coming out narrative in the Italian context. The essay asks what epistemological assumptions underlie the metaphor of coming out and how such assumptions have come to affect the terms under which queerness appears now visible in Italian cinema and other media. The second section of the essay focuses on several recent Italian documentaries including La bocca del lupo (Marcello: 2009), Felice chi è diverso (Amelio: 2013) and Le coccinelle. Sceneggiata transessuale (Pirelli: 2011). The essay shows the complex ways in which these films deploy their dissident strategies of queer self-revelation and configurations of social legibility.
Le coccinelle. Transsexual Melodrama (Pirelli: 2011)
Leonardo García-Pabón, Professor of Spanish, has published a book entitled El cuento sentimental romántico en Bolivia (siglo XIX) (La Paz, Bolivia: Plural Ediciones, 2017). This book is a 400 pages anthology of short stories of the romantic period in Bolivia (19th century). The anthology is preceded by an extensive introductory study (100 pages) that analyses the articulations of love, nation building, and narratives in the short stories. This anthology recuperates six representative short stories of the so-called sentimental romantic mode, which had been thus far overlooked by scholars and historians. These texts were originally published in journals, magazines, and newspapers in Bolivia and Peru, and this is their first modern edition.
In the introduction, Professor García-Pabón proposes a new classification of Bolivian narrative of the 19th century, separating short stories from novels (and other narratives). Moreover, his study examines each one of the six short stories in the anthology, showing the historical shift from romantic idealism predominant in the middle of the century to social realism being prevalent at the end of the century. His reading also highlights the different notions of nation, gender, love, and subjectivities that appear in these texts.
“Mongo Beti and his Critic” derives from Djiffack’s three-volume edition published by Gallimard, ‘Mongo Beti: Le Rebelle I, II and III (2007, 2008), an anthology of Beti’s non-fiction writing. This two-volume book involves the compilation, annotation and editing of texts responding to Mongo Beti. This publication aims to serve as reference book for scholars interested in more comprehensive and contrasted views on colonial and postcolonial studies, gender issues and democracy, African studies and ethnicity, third-world problems and international studies, cultural identities and poverty in Africa.”Mongo Beti and his Critic” is a unique data base for a sound analysis of Mongo Beti, both as a writer and an activist. Thanks to Editions CLE (Yaounde), this sum of responses to Beti’s provocative ideas is currently available as a whole body of texts, and, Djiffack hopes, will stimulate new thinking in the field of colonial and postcolonial studies.
Professor of Spanish David Wacks has published an essay entitled “An Interstitial History of Medieval Iberian poetry” in The Routledge Companion to Iberian Studies Companion to Iberian Studies. (Javier Muñoz-Basols, Laura Lonsdale, and Manuel Delgado, London: Routledge, 2017)
Medieval Iberian literature shows us a poetic culture that drew on several linguistic and regional traditions, and that was characterized far more by bilingualism, diglossia, and artistic crossings than by anything approaching a monolingual sense of national culture. In this essay Wacks examines the interstices of these crossings in a series of examples of the poetic cultures of medieval Iberia: the adaptation of popular Romance and colloquial Andalusi Arabic lyric by poets working in Classical Arabic and Hebrew (10th-13th c.), the adaptation of classical Arabic poetics by Andalusi Hebrew poets (10th-14th c.), the diffusion of Provençal and Galician-Portuguese poetics throughout the Peninsula (12th-13th c.), Jewish authors’ adaptations of Romance language poetics (14th-15th c.), and the phenomenon of Aljamiado poetry, Ibero-Romance verses written in Arabic characters by crypto-Muslim writers in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The essay is available Open Acess here.
Prof. Amalia Gladhart has published “Teaching Latin American Migrations Through Theatre” in Latin American Theatre Review 50.1 (Winter 2016. The article examines how the concept of migration offers a useful organizing principle for an introduction to Latin American theatre, as it encompasses multiple theatre styles and practices. Issues of migration are often in the news (in Latin America and beyond), thereby offering a point of entry for students who may not have studied theatre in the past. Migration in its multiple forms (immigration, emigration, exile, return) has a long history in the theaters of the Americas, including not only contemporary plays set on the US-Mexico border but also Puerto Rican and Argentine theater from the first half of the twentieth century and recent theater from Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina. As a liminal space, the stage offers unique possibilities for the representation of migration. The theatre is a privileged space for the consideration of the migrant’s experience of displacement, an intrinsically provisional space, continually redefined. Theatrical techniques used to evoke the displacements of immigration, exile, and return include: narrative and temporal disruption; multiple characters played by a single actor; the mixing of languages, with and without translation; the evocation of the absent or the disappeared; and satirical or grotesque exaggeration.
Leah Middlebrook’s most recent essay, “Poetry and the Persiles: Cervantes’ Orphic Mode” appears in the most recent issue of the journal eHumanista (eHumanista/Cervantes (5). 2016. Ed. María Mercedes Alcalá Galán). Over the past number of years, she has been exploring intersections and divergences between poetry and genre; this new essay makes the case for considering Cervantes’ prose romance _Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda_ through the lens of the twenty-first century poet William Carlos Williams. Middlebrook is wrapping up her term as President of the MLA Forum on 16th and 17th century Spanish and Iberian Poetry and Prose, and she was elected to the Executive Council of the Cervantes Society of America this past Fall, for a two-year term (2017-2019).