Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese
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Sabbatical academic year 2014-2015.
I am by training a teacher of contemporary Spanish literature, culture and language, with a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese and a master's in philosophy from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I also have a B.A. in philosophy from the Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao (Spain). My interest in comparative literature sprang out of different sources. First, it originated from a fascination with the underground dialogue that unites storytelling across countries and ages. I see, for example, the thread that connects Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew with a fable in a 14th-century Spanish collection of exempla and Indian fables via the Arabic "Kalila e Digna," and I wonder: "Comparative literature? Is there any other?"
My engagement with comparative literature has also allowed me to enrich my understanding of Spanish literature, which usually means literature written exclusively in Castilian. Comparative literature provided me with a natural space to study peripheral literatures of the Iberian Peninsula, and beyond.
I've published on Spanish fiction writers of the 20th century, such as Ramón del Valle Inclán, Luis Martín Santos, Blanca de los Ríos, Azorín, Rosa Chacel and Bernardo Atxaga. Currently, I'm working on a book in which I relate the many rewritings of Don Juan in Spain in the 20th century to competing nationalisms of the Iberian peninsula and the gender ideologies in which they are rooted, called Don Juan and the Spanish National Conquest. I'm also preparing a book chapter on immigrants as authors and as themes in contemporary Spanish literature and film. And, episodically, I dream of writing a book of fiction named Felt, a "capricho" on Joseph Beuys, art and consolation, in which I explain why no live creature has ever seen a field of lentils.