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June 22, 2016

Millar awarded fellowship at National Library of Portugal

Assistant Professor of Spanish Lanie Millar was awarded a month-long research fellowship at the National Library of Portugal in summer 2016.
Millar will be working in the government archives from the Salazar/ Estado Novo dictatorship (1933-1974), to examine how the Portuguese government was tracking international leftist networks that involved intellectuals from the Portuguese African colonies in the mid-twentieth century. This research will help Millar illuminate how contemporary Angolan literature responds to ideas developed in Portugal about the colonies and their subjects.
June 15, 2016

PhD candidate Erin Gallo publishes on Netflix TV series

Ph.D. candidate Erin Gallo has recently published a piece on Club de cuervos, the first Spanish-language TV series produced by Netflix and devoted to soccer. While Gallo’s dissertation deals with issues of gender in the works of Rosario Castellanos, she is also an active researcher and practitioner of soccer. imageThe article can be accessed here:

May 4, 2016

Costales writes against domestic violence

for_authorSenior Instructor of Spanish and SHL advisor Amy Costales’ micro-cuento (microfiction or short-short story) has been accepted for the upcoming anthology Basta: 100+ Latinas Against Gender Violence by the University of Nevada, Reno, Latino Research Center.

Basta! is a project that began in Santiago, Chile in an effort to create awareness and reduce gender violence. The project has grown to other countries and continents. The Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno will publish the U.S. anthology of 100+ Latinas in the U.S.

With her upcoming contribution, Costales joins Senior Instructor of Spanish Emerita Alicia Epple and Emeritus Professor of Spanish Juan Epple whose works were included in the anthologies ¡Basta! + de 100 mujeres contra la violencia de genero [Enough! over 100 women against violence to women] (Santiago: Editorial Asterion, 2012) and Basta! + de cien hombres contra la violencia de genero (Enough! over 100 men against violence to women) (Santiago: Editorial Asterion, 2012). These anthologies were published as a contribution to a national campaign to stop domestic violence in Chile and elsewhere. Professor Juan Epple introduced Costales to the power of micro-cuento when she w
as an M.A. student.

May 2, 2016

Valdez publishes essay on poetry of Ernesto Cardenal

ValdezSpanish MA student Elizabeth Valdez published “La ideología revolucionaria en los versos de Ernesto Cardenal” in the latest issue of Blogoteca de Babel, online journal of the Department of Romance and Classical Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

In this article Valdez examines how the resistance poetry of Ernesto Cardenal conveyed ideology during the 1979 Nicaraguan Revolution. Using a new historicism approach, “COMUNICADO” (communiqué), a Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) document, serves as the textual reference for analyzing the poems, “Final Offensive” and “Busy” from Cardenal’s Flights of Victory. Juxtaposing the two types of texts illustrates that while Cardenal was committed to the FSLN ideology, he also upheld his own utopic democratic ideology by locating power among the Nicaraguan people and not entirely with the FSLN leadership. In this way, Valdez shows how “Final Offensive” and “Busy” may be used as alternative archival resources critical to understanding the transitional phase of the revolution.

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

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:

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.

dd njba

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

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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