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Literature, Science, and Spanish Modernity since 1868
Signs of Science: Literature, Science, and Spanish Modernity since 1868 traces how Spanish culture represented scientific activity from the mid-nineteenth century onward. The book combines the global perspective afforded by historical narrative with detailed rhetorical analyses of images of science in specific literary and scientific texts. As literary criticism it seeks to illuminate similarities and differences in how science and scientists are pictured; as cultural history it follows the course of a centuries-long dialogue about Spain and science.
A Unique History
From bloodthirsty conquest to exotic romance, stereotypes of Spain abound. This new volume by distinguished historian Stanley G. Payne draws on his half-century of experience to offer a balanced, broadly chronological survey of Spanish history from the Visigoths to the present. Who were the first “Spaniards”? Is Spain a fully Western country? Was Spanish liberalism a failure? Examining Spain’s unique role in the larger history of Western Europe, Payne reinterprets key aspects of the country’s history.
Topics include Muslim culture in the peninsula, the Spanish monarchy, the empire, and the relationship between Spain and Portugal. Turning to the twentieth century, Payne discusses the Second Republic and the Spanish Civil War. The book’s final chapters focus on the Franco regime, the nature of Spanish fascism, and the special role of the military. Analyzing the figure of Franco himself, Payne seeks to explain why some Spaniards still regard him with respect, while many others view the late dictator with profound loathing.
Framed by reflections on the author’s own formation as a Hispanist and his evaluation of the controversy about “historical memory” in contemporary Spain, this volume offers deeply informed insights into both the history and the historiography of a unique country.
Heaven's Hammer and International Diplomacy
Spanish flotas (convoys) traversed the Atlantic throughout the colonial period, shuttling men and goods between the Old and New Worlds. In August 1750, at the height of hurricane season, a small convoy of seven ships left Havana for Cádiz.
A fierce storm scattered the ships from North Carolina's outer banks to Maryland's eastern shore. Spanish merchants, military officers, and sailors struggled to survive, protect their valuable cargo, and, eventually, find a way home. They faced piracy, rapacious English officials, and discord among crew and passengers (including dozens of English prisoners).
Two and a half centuries later, the discovery of the wreckage of the convoy's flagship, La Galga, set off a legal battle between Spain and American treasure companies over salvage rights.
Portraits from the Nineteenth Century
In nineteenth-century Spain, the education of deaf students took shape through various contradictory philosophies and practices. Susan Plann depicts this ambivalence by profiling a select group of teachers and students in her detailed history The Spanish National Deaf School: Portraits from the Nineteenth Century. Plann’s subjects reveal the political, financial, and identity issues that dominated the operation of the National School for Deaf-Mutes and the Blind in Madrid from 1805 to1899. Roberto Francisco Prádez y Gautier, the first deaf teacher in Spain, taught art from 1805–36; he also was the last deaf teacher for the next 50 years. Juan Manuel Ballesteros, the hearing director from 1835 to1868, enacted an “ableist” policy that barred deaf professors. At the same time, another hearing teacher, Francisco Fernández Villabrille, wrote the first Spanish Sign Language dictionary. In the 1870s, two deaf students, Manuel Tinoco and Patricio García, resisted the physical abuse they received and set the stage for the growth of a Deaf identity that opposed the deprecating medical model of deafness. Marcelina Ruiz Ricote y Fernández, a hearing female teacher who taught from 1869 to 1897, combated the school’s sexist polices. The Spanish National Deaf School concludes with Martín de Martín y Ruiz, the most famous deaf-blind student from the Madrid school. Through these portraits, Plann has brought life to the major issues that defined education in nineteenth-century Spain, themes that have influenced the status of deaf Spaniards today.
Sofía Casanova, a Spanish Writer in the European Fin de Siècle
This is the first in-depth analysis of the works of the Galician-Spanish expatriate writer Sofía Casanova (1861-1958), a transnational poet, novelist, journalist, playwright, campaigner, translator, historian and intellectual, and one of the first Spanish women to support herself as a professional writer. Casanova, born in Galicia in rural northwest Spain, married a Pole and spent over seventy years traveling between Spain and Poland. A challenging writer and thinker who witnessed the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the rise of Franco at first hand, moved in the highest political and intellectual circles on both sides of Europe and blazed a trail as one of Spain's first female foreign correspondents, her remarkable achievements were gradually sidelined at home in increasingly reactionary Spain until, by the time of her death, she was remembered only as a perfectly patriotic wife and mother and icon of Francoist femininity. This study addresses the scandalous disappearance of Casanova and her female contemporaries from accounts of the emergence of the modern Spanish nation. Arguing that women's perceived silence during this critical period in the formation of modern Iberian identities has significant repercussions even today, it takes her works as a case study for modeling a radical rethinking of the way we teach and research the crucial years around the turn of the twentieth century. The first study of Casanova's radical and compelling, but now forgotten, early narrative, it explores the Galician, Polish and Spanish context of her work, arguing that her transnational career demonstrates the inadequacies of existing models of national literary history. At the same time, recognizing Casanova's innovative and strategic use of literary genres and techniques traditionally denominated as "feminine" (and therefore excluded from discussions of "serious" national literature), it provides a model for re-evaluating the vast cultural store of popular and sentimental literature as a key part of the debates about the transition to modernity, in Spain and beyond.
early contemporary Spanish literature and Modernism
In 1562, Teresa de Avila founded the Discalced Carmelites and launched a reform movement that would pit her against the Church hierarchy and the male officials of her own religious order. This new spirituality, which stressed interiority and a personal relationship with God, was considered dangerous and subversive. It provoked the suspicion of the Inquisition and the wrath of unreformed Carmelites, especially the Andalusian friars, who favored the lax practices of their traditional monasteries. The Inquisition investigated Teresa repeatedly, and the Carmelite General had her detained. But even during the most terrible periods of persecution, Teresa continued to fight for the reform using the weapon she wielded best: the pen. Teresa wrote hundreds, perhaps thousands, of letters to everyone from the King to prelates to mothers of novices.
Teresa's epistolary writing reveals how she used her political acumen to dodge inquisitors and negotiate the thorny issues of the reform, facing off the authorities--albeit with considerable tact--and reprimanding priests and nuns who failed to follow her orders. Her letters bring to light the different strategies she used--code names, secret routing--in order to communicate with nuns and male allies. They show how she manipulated language, varying her tone and rhetoric according to the recipient or slipping into deliberate vagueness in order to avoid divulging secrets. What emerges from her correspondence is a portrait of extraordinary courage, ability, and shrewdness.
In the sixteenth century, the word letrado (lettered) referred to the learned men of the Church. Teresa treated letrados with great respect and always insisted on her own lack of learning. The irony is that although women could not be letradas, Teresa was, as her correspondence shows, "lettered" in more ways than one.