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Amerindian Images and the Legacy of Columbus

Rene Jara

“...offers a well-informed and academically creative reading of texts which foster the so-called colonial imaginary in relation to Spanish and Portuguese colonial enterprises in the Americas.”  Guido A. Podesta, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The legacy of Columbus’s discovery of the New World and its subsequent colonization is a current focus of much historical investigation.  Columbus himself continues to be a cipher like the signature he crafted for himself, a signature no one has been able to decode.  What is certain, however, is that this signature symbolized the construction of a colonial imagery that is still operative and that the consequences of the violent encounter between the European and Amerindian civilizations are now being debated and reinterpreted.

Amerindian Images and the Legacy of Columbus
examines the constitution of an Amerindian world of resistance against European cultural imperialism.  The essays in this volume by literary critics, linguists, semioticians, and historians argue that in the long run the images constructed by the Amerindians to confront the consequences of their encounter with European culture will ensure the endurance of their own culture, that they modified rather than renounced their own imaginary to integrate the material ramifications of their conquest and Westernization.  Amerindians in effect became their own Others, and in that process came to understand and accept the substantial alternity of the Other, ultimately realizing the impossibility of absolute assimilation.

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Bodies and Biases

Sexualities in Hispanic Cultures and Literatures

David Foster

Looking at a wide range of cultural practices and artifacts, including television, popular music, and pornography, Bodies and Biases addresses representations of sexual behavior and collective identity, homosexuality, and ideologies of gender in historical and contemporary Hispanic culture. 

Topics include cross-dressing on the seventeenth-century Spanish stage, gay life in Cuba and Mexico, a butch-femme reading of Peri-Rossi’s Solitario de amor, pornography, and queer and lesbian spaces. Some essays offer radical rereadings of canonical texts like Don Quijote and Martín Fierro; others bring to the fore lesser known works, such as Marco Denevi’s Rosaura a las diez and the writings of Virgilip Piñera. Reflecting a diversity of sociological, literary, and psychological theoretical underpinnings, Bodies and Biases is a fascinating analysis of sexuality in the context of Hispanic literature and culture.

Contributors: Silvia Bermúdez, U of California, Santa Barbara; Dário Borim Jr.; Herbert J. Brant, Indiana U/Purdue U at Indianapolis; Lou Charnon-Deutsch, SUNY at Stony Brook; Ana García Chichester, Mary Washington College; Brad S. Epps, Harvard U; Gustavo Geirola; Mary S. Gossy, Rutgers U; J. Eduardo Jaramillo-Zuluaga, Denison U; Marina Pérez de Mendiola, U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Salvador A. Oropesa, Kansas State U; James A. Parr, U of California, Riverside; Javier Aparicio Maydeu, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona; Claudia Schaefer-Rodríguez, U of Rochester; Robert ter Horst, U of Rochester. 


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Critical Practices in Post-Franco Spain

Silvia L. Lopez, Jenaro Talens, and Dario Villanueva, Editors

Critical Practices in Post-Franco Spain was first published in 1994. 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.

This volume offers a sample of Spanish critical work in literary theory and cultural studies. Like all critical histories, Spain's is political: Philology dominated the critical scene during the Franco years, and after Franco, this hegemony has been contested by semiotics, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, and feminisms. Without trying to represent all the theoretical projects presently underway in Spanish criticism, this book opens a window on the vast field of new critical practices in Spain and provides a general picture of influential theoretical currents.

The essays collected here range widely in topic and style, and they reflect a new generation's preoccupation with critical problems that go beyond the field of literary studies. The authors focus on new discourse in various print and electronic media, on the discursive construction of the museum space, and on literary theory as it confronts issues of translation, subjectivity, writing, and narratology.

Silvia López is assistant professor of Spanish at Carlton Collegea doctoral candidate in the departments of cultural studies and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. Jenaro Talens is professor of Hispanic literature and comparative literature at the University of Geneva. He is the author of The Branded Eye: Buñuel's Un Chien Andalou, (Minnesota 1993). Darío Villanueva is professor of theory of literature at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

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Culture and Control in Counter-Reformation Spain

Anne Cruz

Contemporary cultural historians have located the Counter-Reformation as the most significant point in the material, intellectual, and spiritual development of Spain. Robust and full of productive contradictions, Spanish culture took a critical turn in 1492 when Ferdinand II, in his quest for purity and orthodoxy, expelled the Jews and Arabs from Spain. Culture and Control in Counter-Reformation Spain examines the various modes of repression and social control exerted by Spanish institutions during the Counter-Reformation as they attempted to coerce marginalized groups (women and religious minorities - the moriscos and conversos) into political and cultural integration. This penetrating exploration demonstrates how the Catholic Church - mainly through the disciplinary technology of the Inquisition - assumed and exerted its authority as the “official” guardian of cultural and literary production. Culture and Control in Counter-Reformation Spain details the ways in which marginalized groups, through the communal linkage of their diverse social practices, were nonetheless able to resist repression and preserve cultural heterogeneity within the dominant society.

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Rhetoric And Politics

Baltasar Gracian and the New World Order

Nicholas Spadaccini

In recent years there has been a revival of interest in the writings of Baltasar Gracián, a seventeenth-century Spanish Jesuit who explored the political uses of rhetoric. Gracián is best known in the United States for his bestselling collection of aphorisms entitled The Art of Worldly Wisdom, but his pragmatic  philosophy has been influential in Europe since the mid-seventeenth century. 

The essays in this volume focus on the relevance of Gracián’s writings in our own day, when the importance of rhetoric as a discipline necessary to manage public life is indisputable. Ranging in focus and theoretical perspective from Lacanian psychoanalysis to the sociology of everyday life, from considerations of aesthetics and philosophy to examinations of the culture of the baroque, these essays demonstrate that Gracián’s work offers insights into the deployment of rhetoric under the “New World Order.”

Contributors: Luis F. Avilés, U of Massachusetts, Amherst; Anthony J. Cascardi, U of California, Berkeley; David Castillo, U of Minnesota; Jorge Checa, U of California, Santa Barbara; William Egginton, Stanford U; Alban K. Forcione, Princeton U; Edward H. Friedman, Indiana U; Carlos Hernández-Sacristán, U of Valencia, Spain; Isabel C. Livosky, Knox College; Michael Nerlich, Technische Universität, Berlin; Oscar Pereira, U of Nebraska; Malcolm K. Read, SUNY, Stony Brook; Francisco J. Sánchez, U of Iowa.


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