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During the 1960s and 1970s, when writers such as Julio Cortazar, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Mario Vargas Llosa entered the international literary mainstream, Cold War cultural politics played an active role in disseminating their work in the United States. Deborah Cohn documents how U.S. universities, book and journal publishers, philanthropic organizations, cultural centers, and authors coordinated their efforts to bring Latin American literature to a U.S. reading public during this period, when interest in the region was heightened by the Cuban Revolution. She also traces the connections between the endeavors of private organizations and official foreign policy goals.
The high level of interest in Latin America paradoxically led the U.S. government to restrict these authors' physical presence in the United States through the McCarranWalter Act's immigration blacklist, even as cultural organizations cultivated the exchange of ideas with writers and sought to market translations of their work for the U.S. market.
In this first in-depth study of female homosexuality in the Spanish Empire for the period from 1500 to 1800, Velasco presents a multitude of riveting examples that reveal widespread contemporary interest in women’s intimate relations with other women. Her sources include literary and historical texts featuring female homoeroticism, tracts on convent life, medical treatises, civil and Inquisitional cases, and dramas. She has also uncovered a number of revealing illustrations from the period. The women in these accounts, stories, and cases range from internationally famous transgendered celebrities to lesbian criminals, from those suspected of “special friendships” in the convent to ordinary villagers. Velasco argues that the diverse and recurrent representations of lesbian desire provide compelling evidence of how different groups perceived intimacy between women as more than just specific sex acts. At times these narratives describe complex personal relationships and occasionally characterize these women as being of a certain “type,” suggesting an early modern precursor to what would later be recognized as divergent lesbian, bisexual, and transgender identities.
A U.S. Volunteer Writes Home
Letters from the Spanish Civil War provides a unique perspective into the motivations that led a young man from the American heartland to defy U.S. neutrality and travel to Spain to fight in defense of democracy against Nazi- and Fascist-backed aggression. Born in a small town in rural Ohio, Carl Geiser came from a deeply religious German-speaking family that had recently emigrated from Switzerland. The onset of the Great Depression exposed Geiser to the reality of hard times and discrimination, challenging his belief that hard work would bring self-reliance and just rewards. This awakening led him to question the logic and values of capitalism and to become active in a range of youth and student organizations linked to the Communist Party.
Following the 1936 military uprising that was supported by Hitler and Mussolini against Spain’s legally elected Republican government, Geiser decided that more needed to be done than simply delivering speeches and raising money to fight fascism. Joining with over 35,000 volunteers from fifty countries to cross the Pyrenees and help defend the beleaguered and isolated government, Geiser acted on his personal political ideology, which was based on American small-town communal values and internationalist ideals of class-based solidarity.
In Letters from the Spanish Civil War, possibly the largest surviving collection of letters written by a U.S. volunteer during this conflict, Geiser eloquently describes to family and friends the deep personal motivations that led him to risk his life to defend democracy in a faraway country. His detailed descriptions of the daily reality of warfare in one of the first battlefields of World War II sought to inspire those back home to awaken the U.S. public opinion and policy makers to the global threat of Fascist expansionism.
The Spanish Golden Age
Literature Among Discourses was first published in 1986. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Literature in the High Middle Ages referred to anything written. Those who institutionalized the study of literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ignored this medieval meaning, and literary history, especially in the hands of teachers, became what Wlad Godzich and Nicholas Spadaccini call a peregrination from one masterpiece to another. In Spanish literature, a cluster of such masterpieces came to be identified quite early, constituting a siglo de oro,a Golden Age. These outstanding works of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries became a paradigm of achievement for the German romantics who formulated the project of literary history; for this reason, the authors of Literature among Discourses have chosen to begin their own exploratory voyage with the Spanish Golden Age.
Their intent is not simply to complete the historical record by studying "popular" texts alongside the canonical works, nor is it to establish these texts as a treasure trove of raw materials awaiting entry into and transformation by the masterpiece. They ask, rather, why the masterpiece came to occupy its place—how specific texts (or classes of texts) came to be differentiated from other discursive entities and labeled "literature." Taken together, their essays reveal an era in which literature is never a given, but is instead constantly being forged in a manner as complex as the social dynamic itself.
Contributors include: the editors, José Antonio Maravall, Michael Nerlich, Ronald Sousa, Constance Sullivan, Jenaro Talens, José Luís Canet, and Javier Herrero. Wlad Godzich is director of the Center for Humanistic Studies, and Nicholas Spadaccini, professor of Spanish and Portuguese, at the University of Minnesota.
A New History of Inquisitional Spain
Recovering voices long relegated to silence, The Lives of Women deciphers the responses of women to the culture of control in seventeenth-century Spain. In this new history of Inquisitional Spain, Lisa Vollendorf incorporates convent texts, Inquisition cases, biographies, and women’s literature to reveal a previously unrecognized boom in women’s writing between 1580 and 1700. . During this period, more women wrote for the public book market and participated in literary culture than ever before. In addition, the rise in convents and female education contributed to a marked increase in texts produced by and about women in religious orders. Vollendorf argues that, in conjunction with Inquisition and legal documents, this wealth of writing offers unprecedented access to women’s perspectives on life in early modern Spain, and that those perspectives encompass diverse ethnic backgrounds and class differences. Many of the documents touch on issues of sex and intimacy; others provide new ways of understanding religious practice in the period. Perhaps most important, these writings give a richly textured view of how women reacted to the dominant culture’s attempts to define, limit, and contain femininity. Vollendorf shows that the texts reflect a shared preoccupation with redefining gender and creating legitimate spaces for women. As The Lives of Women vividly illustrates, hundreds, if not thousands, of women’s stories await rediscovery in archives. The book provides a roadmap for understanding the experiences and concerns of wives, widows, sisters, and daughters who lived in a key moment in the development of the Spanish nation and the Hispanic world. At its core, The Lives of Women argues for a reconceptualization of history, one that will rely on the experiences of women and minorities as much as on the words and actions of kings and conquistadors.
Vol. 41 (2004) through current issue
Luso-Brazilian Review publishes interdisciplinary scholarship on Portuguese, Brazilian, and Lusophone African cultures. It is the oldest and most prestigious U.S. academic journal in its field, with articles on social science, history, and literature by leading scholars.
Globalization and the Emergence of Asian and African Literature in Spanish
The Magellan Fallacy argues that literature in Spanish from Asia and Africa, though virtually unknown, reimagines the supposed centers and peripheries of the modern world in fundamental ways. Through archival research and comparative readings, The Magellan Fallacy rethinks mainstream mappings of diverse cultures while advocating the creation of a new field of scholarship: global literature in Spanish. As the first attempt to analyze Asian and African literature in Spanish together, and doing so while ranging over all continents, The Magellan Fallacy crosses geopolitical and cultural borders without end. The implications of the book, therefore, extend far beyond the lands formerly ruled by the Spanish empire. The Magellan Fallacy shows that all theories of globalization, including those focused on the Americas and Europe, must be able to account for the varied significances of hispanophone Asia and Africa as well.
El periodismo literario de Elena Poniatowska y Rosa Montero
Women’s voices routinely have been muted or omitted entirely when a nation assembles its historical narrative. In Miradas Transatlánticas: El periodismo literario de Elena Poniatowska y Rosa Montero, Alicia Rita Rueda-Acedo examines the relationship between the journalistic and literary work of the two writers named in the title as they utilize a distinct combination of journalism and fiction to create new spaces where women’s voices and experiences may be situated prominently in their nations’ historical narratives. Rueda-Acedo analyzes the works of the two writers from the perspectives of both gender and genre studies, extending the notion of genre from the literary tradition and applying it to journalistic production. Each of the chapters rethinks and revises the concept of literary genres by arguing for the inclusion of the interview, the reportage, the article, and the chronicle within the category of literature. In her study of Las siete cabritas by Poniatowska and Historias de mujeres by Montero, Rueda-Acedo argues successfully that these are works of homage to women who have influenced history. By interpreting and subverting patriarchal models, the writers draw attention to the ways in which women have engaged Mexican, Spanish, and Universal history. Rueda-Acedo focuses on the characteristics of the journalistic interview and proposes its interpretation as a literary text. A poetics of this genre is also proposed. Rueda-Acedo’s study explores how Poniatowska and Montero represent women who have marked history as part of the feminist agenda that the two writers have promoted in their journalistic and literary production. The book also emphasizes the role of the two writers as researchers and critics and deepens the vibrant debate about the relationship between literature and journalism currently being discussed on both sides of the Atlantic.
Portuguese Expansion and the Writing of Africa
Las fundaciones de la modernidad literaria mexicana (1917-1959)
Naciones Intelectuales explores the processes and works that laid the foundations of a new literary modernity in the wake of the Mexican Revolution. It focuses on the period from the signing of the Constitution in 1917, to the death of Alfonso Reyes in 1959, and analyzes the four elements of Mexican cultural practices: the notion of literature, the figure of the intellectual, the creation of academic institutions, and the definition of national identity that emerged through the various debates held by leading figures of the period. The book analyzes different key moments, controversies, and cultural interventions, which ultimately led the diverse aesthetic spectrum created by the revolution into becoming a highly institutional system of literature. This book offers a cartography of Mexican literary institutions unprecedented in scope, which will allow readers, students, and scholars to understand the construction of modern Mexican literature in a clear, rigorous, and systematic way.