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November 6, 2018

Prof. García-Caro publishes article on recently recovered play

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.

UO Theatre presents “Tricks to Inherit”

 

October 3, 2018

RL Ph.D. student Javier Velasco publishes edition of Bolivian author

 

Javier Velasco, Alejandra Echazú, Leonardo García-Pabón

Javier Velasco Camacho (a Ph.D. student in the Department of Romance Languages) in collaboration with Dr. Alejandra Echazú Conitzer (Universidad Católica Boliviana), have published Cuentos by Walter Montenegro (La Paz: Plural, 2018), an edition of short stories written by Bolivian author Walter Montenegro (1912-1991). The book was published by Plural Editores, as part of the collection Letras Fundacionales, a collection directed by Professor Leonardo García-Pabón. This edition includes the short stories, a critical introduction, a chronology of Montenegro’s life, and newspaper articles by Montenegro. Velasco Camacho and Echazú Conitzer celebrated the publication with a book presentation in La Paz this past September.

Walter Montenegro wrote two extraordinary books of short stories, and is considered a canonical author of Bolivian literature. However, his work has been overlooked by Bolivian literary critics. This edition seeks to bring critical attention to this important narrative. The volume includes the two books of short stories: Once Cuentos (1938)and Los Últimos (1947). The first book was motivated by the Chaco War with Paraguay. The second is a critical look at the new middle classes and characters emerging in the city of La Paz in the middle of the 20thcentury, and who would be main actors in the revolution of 1952 (considered the main political event for the process of modernization of Bolivia).

Presentación del libro, La Paz

May 14, 2018

RL Undergraduates Receive Prestigious Awards

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!

 

April 11, 2018

RL Orientation Session on April 17th

Want to declare a minor or major? Have questions on our different tracks or some of our requirements? Come meet us, have some coffee and cookies!

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/685428888501994/

April 2, 2018

García-Caro Contributes to Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature

Pedro Garcia-Caro has recently published a book chapter entitled “Performing to a Captive Audience: Dramatic Encounters in the Borderlands of Empire.” The Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature edited by John Morán González and Laura Lomas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 51-73. 
In his chapter García-Caro contours different practices of cultural performance by Spanish conquistadors and settlers in areas that would go on to become part of the US throughout the nineteenth century. From the early military campaigns and displays of religious and military power staging the colonial “claim” to the land through the “Requerimiento” in the sixteenth century, the staging of miracles and dance-dramas, through to satirical drama in the eighteenth century, public performance underlines the formation of cultural captivity of the colonized indigenous others, while increasingly revealing the divide and competition between religious and secular cultural agendas in the Spanish-speaking colonial space. García-Caro offers a comprehensive survey of the configuration of cultural hegemonies around public performance which relegated indigenous agency and cultural legitimacy to the role of spectator of incoming imperial narratives. Drawing from his recent research on the first Californio secular play Astucias por heredar, and contextualizing the long history of Hispanic colonial presence in the North American continent, García-Caro proposes an original framework to consider the relation of colonial cultural production as constantly tied to the objective of control, acculturation, and domination.
March 6, 2018

Middlebrook on Why Read Don Quijote?

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.

February 15, 2018

The Center for Open Educational Resources for Language Learning has given the RL a Badge as “OER Master Creators”

The Center for Open Educational Resources for Language Learning (COERLL) has given us a Badge as  “OER Master Creators”, for our work on the “Empowering Learners of Spanish” collection.

 

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)

January 31, 2018

Professor Gladhart brings Latin American novels to an English-speaking audience

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

 

January 27, 2018

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.

 

Alberto Moreno, Sepúlveda, & Berenguer at the SECH in Santiago 12/21/2018

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.

Sepúlveda in front of the rukas of the Mapuche-Lafkenche community of Llaguepulli 12/2018

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.

Escuela de Música de Comfenalco Cartagena 12/1/2018

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.

January 17, 2018

Professor Amalia Gladhart co-edits a special issue of Latin American Theatre Review

Professor Amalia Gladhart co-edited, with Professor Priscilla Meléndez (Trinity College) a special issue of Latin American Theatre Review (51.1) in honor of distinguished scholar Sandra Messinger Cypress. The issue includes, in addition to a brief editors’ introduction, essays by thirteen prominent scholars of Latin American theatre.
Gladhart’s article  “Translation Plays: La Malinche y otros intérpretes,” examines by playwrights Sabina Berman, Roberto Cossa, Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, and Griselda Gambaro, that place translators on stage in complex ways. Performed in front of an audience or on the spectators’ behalf, translation may serve either to include or to exclude spectators or characters in the action of a given scene as well as highlight and question many of the constitutive elements of theatre. Interpretation ultimately ties translation and theatre together, as a translation is always an interpretation, just as interpretation is always part of theatre.
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