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February 22, 2016

Epple publishes article on Microfiction in the US

Revista Quimera 2Professor Emeritus of Spanish Juan Epple has just published the article “El microcuento en los Estados Unidos” (microfiction in the United States) in the journal Quimera 386, Barcelona, January 2016. This article describes the evolution of US microfiction from nineteenth century writers Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Kate Chopin to modern and contemporary authors Ernest Hemingway, Patricia Highsmith and Lydia Davis

Sepúlveda publishes book on Latin American poets in historical context

poets on the edgeBrown Walker Press just published Poets on the Edge: Vicente Huidobro, César Vallejo, Juan Luis Martínez, and Néstor Perlongher by Senior instructor Jesús Sepúlveda in a 200-page edition on January 2016 with cover art by Chilean artist Ivo Vergara.

Poets on the Edge critically explores the relationship between poetry and its context through the work of four Latin American poets: Chilean Vicente Huidobro (1898-1948), Peruvian César Vallejo (1893-1938), Chilean Juan Luis Martínez (1943-1993), and Argentine Néstor Perlongher (1949-1992). While Huidobro and Vallejo establish their poetics on the edge in the context of worldwide conflagrations and the emergence of the historical avant-garde during the first half of the twentieth century, Martínez and Perlongher produce their work in the context of the Chilean and Argentine dictatorships respectively, developing different strategies to overcome the panoptic societies of control installed throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. Martínez recreates the avant-garde tradition in a playful manner to avoid censorship and also proposes a philosophical poetics to stage a utopian project oriented toward redesigning the house of civilization that has fallen apart. Perlongher unfolds his peculiar Neobaroque sensitivity in order to reshape the complex Latin American identities, culminating his poetic project with two collections written under the influence of ayahuasca-based ceremonies. Poets on the Edge offers the reader a new understanding of the hybrid and edgy nature of Latin American poetics and subjectivity as well as of the evolution of poetry written in Spanish during the twentieth century.

The book is available at the UO bookstore, Amazon, as well as at the publishing house website. Stay tuned for a book party!

For more information, see http://www.brownwalker.com/book/1627345760

February 9, 2016

Arabic texts provide key to understanding early Spanish fiction

El Libro del Caballero Zifar Paris BN MS Espagnol 36 f32r. Source: Wikipedia

El Libro del Caballero Zifar Paris BN MS Espagnol 36 f32r. Source: Wikipedia

Professor of Spanish David Wacks has published “Popular Andalusi Literature and Castilian Fiction: Ziyad Ibn ‘Amir Al-Kinani, 101 Nights, and Caballero Zifar” in Revista de Poética Medieval 29 (2015): 311–335. A self-archived postprint is available at: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/19484

As it turns out, the popular literature of Muslim Spain was an important influence on early Spanish fiction. There is very little manuscript evidence of the popular (non-courtly) literature of al-Andalus (Muslim Spain). For this reason it is difficult to assess its importance for the development of Spanish literature. Two recently discovered Arabic texts written in Muslim Spain, Ziyad ibn ‘Amir al-Kinani (Granada, ca. 1250) and the 101 Nights (Granada, 1234) are two examples of popular Arabic fiction that provide important information for our understanding of works of early Spanish fiction such as the Libro del Caballero Zifar (ca. 1300). The two Arabic works provide evidence of a bilingual culture of storytelling that nourished both Arabic and Spanish literary texts. In particular, the inclusion of themes from the medieval legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in Ziyad that predates the earliest translations of Arthurian texts into Spanish forces us to rethink both the sources of Zifar as well as the Iberian adaptation of Arthurian material in general.

Hadith Ziyad ibn Amir al-Kinani, Escorial MS Arabe 1876 f1v-2r

Hadith Ziyad ibn Amir al-Kinani, Escorial MS Arabe 1876 f1v-2r

January 13, 2016

Wacks wins National Jewish Book Award

Professor of Spanish David Wacks has been selected to receive the National Jewish Book Award in the category of Sephardic Culture for his 2015 book publication, Double Diaspora in Sephardic Literature: Jewish Cultural Production Before and After 1492 (Indiana University Press).

From the publisher’s website:

The year 1492 has long divided the study of Sephardic culture into two distinct periods, before and after the expulsion of Jews from Spain. David A. Wacks examines the works of Sephardic writers from the 13th to the 16th centuries and shows that this literature was shaped by two interwoven experiences of diaspora: first from the Biblical homeland Zion and later from the ancestral hostland, Sefarad. Jewish in Spain and Spanish abroad, these writers negotiated Jewish, Spanish, and diasporic idioms to produce a uniquely Sephardic perspective. Wacks brings Diaspora Studies into dialogue with medieval and early modern Sephardic literature for the first time.

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January 11, 2016

Herrmann Awarded NEH Fellowship for book project on Spanish Civil War

Associate Professor of Spanish Gina Herrmann has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for her book project, Voices of the Vanquished: Spanish Women on the Left between Franco and Hitler.

Voices of the Vanquished is a book about Spanish and Catalan women’s oral histories that recount and grapple with their participation in anti-fascist movements in Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), their fight against the dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939-1975), their involvement in the French Resistance during World War II (1940-45), and for some, their survival of Nazism.

 

Tití (L) y Neus Catalá (R) After their Liberation from the Nazi Camp at Ravensbruck

Tití (L) y Neus Catalá (R) After their Liberation from the Nazi Camp at Ravensbruck

 

Herrmann will take her fellowship in the 2017-18 academic year.

January 6, 2016

Wacks writes on Spanish romance of conversion

Professor of Spanish David Wacks has published “Romance, Conversion, and Internal Orientalism in Crónica de Flores y Blancaflor (ca. 1290)” in Narrative Culture 2.2 (270-288). A Self-archived postprint is available at http://hdl.handle.net/1794/19479

Crónica de Flores y Blancaflor is a medieval romance interpolated into a thirteenth-century account of the struggles of the kings of Asturias (eighth–ninth centuries) with the Umayyad Caliphate in Cordova. In this essay Wacks demonstrates how the chronicler mapped political concerns onto courtly adventure narrative in order to promote ideologies of conquest and conversion. Flores’s conversion to Christianity in the context of his lifelong love relationship with Blancaflor is a metaphor for the Christian dream of the conquest of al-Andalus and the conversion of Iberian Muslims and Jews.

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June 1, 2015

Wacks publishes book on Sephardic literature

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from publisher website: 

Double Diaspora in Sephardic Literature: Jewish Cultural Production Before and After 1492. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015.

The year 1492 has long divided the study of Sephardic culture into two distinct periods, before and after the expulsion of Jews from Spain. David A. Wacks examines the works of Sephardic writers from the 13th to the 16th centuries and shows that this literature was shaped by two interwoven experiences of diaspora: first from the Biblical homeland Zion and later from the ancestral hostland, Sefarad. Jewish in Spain and Spanish abroad, these writers negotiated Jewish, Spanish, and diasporic idioms to produce a uniquely Sephardic perspective. Wacks brings Diaspora Studies into dialogue with medieval and early modern Sephardic literature for the first time.

David Wacks’s study is groundbreaking for its pioneering scope and poignant analysis. Through the critical lens of a ‘double diaspora’ Wacks sheds new light on the themes of expulsion and redemption in works by some of the most important medieval Spanish Jewish authors in the post-Zion Iberian exile such as Moses Maimonides and Judah Halevi. Wacks also leads the field of Sephardic Studies in a new direction by casting his critical eye on texts by lesser known Jewish writers, including the kabbalist Joseph Karo, living in a second exile from post-1492 Spain. —Gregory B. Kaplan, University of Tennessee

David Wacks’s elegant monograph bridges the divide between Hebraists and Hispanists, medievalists and early modernists, with conceptual sophistication and substantive insights. It makes, indeed, a compelling case for the analytic viability of “double diaspora” in the literary history of Sephardic Jews and the inscription of Hispano-Jewish literature in the Weltliteratur canon. An important contribution and a superb read. —Luis M. Girón Negrón, Harvard University

April 23, 2015

Enjuto Rangel publishes on women poets across Atlantic

Julia de Burgos (1914-1953) Source: Wikipedia

Julia de Burgos (1914-1953) Source: Wikipedia

Associate Professor of Spanish Cecilia Enjuto Rangel has published an article entitled “Weaving National and Gender Politics: A Transatlantic Reading of Rosalía de Castro and Julia de Burgos’s
Poetic Projects” in CENTRO: Journal of the Center of Puerto Rican Studies (26.2): 2014, a special issue on Julia de Burgos, edited by
Lena Burgos.

Enjuto Rangel summarizes the essay in her abstract:

Rosalía de Castro and Julia de Burgos are not usually read together. However, both Castro (1837-1885), a Galician poet from the nineteenth century, and Burgos (1914-1953), a Puerto Rican poet from the twentieth, became icons in their national literary pantheons. In this essay, I intend to read two of their books, Castro’s En las orillas del Sar (1884) and Burgos’s Poema en veinte surcos (1938), to discuss how these poets defy both hegemonic culture and gender roles in their own terms and within their respective historical and national contexts. Their poetic projects, rather than upholding a normative and homogenous vision of the patria, practice diverse forms of discursive resistance. Due to their status as mythical cultural icons, they have often been misunderstood until the last couple of decades, and I argue that a Transatlantic reading of their poetic projects stresses how their representations of gender can serve to both weave and undo the fabric of Galician and Puerto Rican nationalist discourses.

centro

April 19, 2015

García-Pabón publishes edition and study of 19th-century Bolivian poet

La Creación Tapa-1Professor of Spanish Leonardo García-Pabón recently published an edition of La creación, y otros poemas by Bolivian poet Manuel José Tovar (1831-1869). “La creación” is one of the most important works of Bolivian 19th-century romantic poetry. A rewriting of the biblical Genesis, this long poem is an exalted description of nature at the beginning of time. It also shows the discussion between defenders of ideas of creationism and defenders of materialism in national education during the first decades after Bolivian independence (1825) .
This edition contains a sixty-page introduction by García-Pabón that places the book in its literary and historical context.

 

March 31, 2015

Wacks on Hebrew translation of Amadís de Gaula

medAssociate Professor of Spanish David Wacks has published an essay titled “Reading Amadís in Constantinople: Imperial Spanish Fiction in the Key of Diaspora,” pp. 183-207 in In and Of the Mediterranean: Medieval and Early Modern Iberian Studies, eds. Núria Silleras-Fernández and Michelle Hamilton (Memphis: Vanderbilt University Press, 2015).

In the essay, Wacks studies a little-known sixteenth-century Hebrew translation of the best-selling Spanish Chivalric novel, Amadís de Gaula, which was famously parodied by Cervantes in Don Quijote. Jacob Algaba’s translation, published in Constantinople around 1550, was an example of how Sephardic Jews performed their Spanish-ness in the context of Ottoman Jewish society. Algaba’s de-Christianization of Montalvo’s text rendered it palatable for Eastern Jewish readers who were unfamiliar with Spanish chivalric culture, while at the same time demonstrating Sephardic Jews’ mastery of European culture then very much in vogue in Ottoman Constantinople.

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