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ARABIC, HEBREW, 8c SPANISH LITERATURE IN THE IBERIAN PENINSULA A Symposium in Memory ofAmerico Castro (1885-1972) Berkeley, California, May 2-3, 2003 Reported by Samuel G. Armistead University of California, Davis The Symposium, organized by James T. Monroe, included 21 papers on Hispano-Arabie, Hispano-Jewish, Medieval and Golden Age Spanish literature, and related topics.1 In his introductory presentation, "Americo Castro and Spanish Historiography", James T. Monroe reviewed earlier developments in Hispano-Arabie studies, prior to Americo Castro's path-breaking reevaluation . Spanish Arabists, in many cases, represented two radically different intellectual agendas. In the eighteenth and nineteendi centuries , liberal, positive perspectives, as represented by such enlightened scholars asJosé Antonio Conde (1765-1820), Pascual de Gayangos (1809-1897), and Francisco Codera (1836-1917), held forth the promise of a realistic and balanced approach to Arabic studies. From die late 1 800s to die mid 1900s, however, Spanish Arabism was to be dominated by a conservative, nationalistic, indeed even racist reaction, which 1 This Symposium was co-sponsored by the University ofCalifornia-Irvine, Humanities Research Institute; University ofCalifornia-Berkeley, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Institute of European Studies, Departments of Comparative Literature, Near Eastern Studies, and Spanish Sc Portuguese, and by the Programs inJewish Studies and Spanish Studies. The six consecutive sessions were presided by Ibrahim Muhawi,John Hayes, Karla Nielsen, Samuel Liebhaber, Ignacio Navarrete, Guillermo Hernández, and Richard Herr. All ofthe participants gratefully acknowledge the superbly effective intervention ofMs. Heidi Sutton, ofthe Institute ofEuropean Studies, University ofCalifornia-Berkeley, in solving the Symposium's complex logistics. La corónica 32.1 (Fall, 2003): 357-68 358Samuel G. Armistead,La corónica 32.1, 2003 regarded the cultural achievements of al-Andalus as the result of the region's Hispanic heritage and the people's Hispanic bloodlines: "The Andalusis had been ethnically Spaniards and, therefore, . . . [were] racially superior to mere Orientals". Such ideas are present in the writings of a series of otherwise often distinguised scholars, ranging from Francisco Javier Simonet (1829-1897) up to and including —and even subsequent to- Claudio Sánchez Albornoz (1893-1984), who even viewed "the Arab invasion [as] a national disaster, from which Spain has never been able to recover". Itwas against such suffocatingly ethnocentric opinions that Americo Castrojoined battle and eventually prevailed -after bitterly fought polemics- by proposing an inclusive, comparativist, and realistic view of medieval Hispanic history and the origins of modern Hispanic culture. Monroe concluded by asking if, without die example of the Arab world, which "has been able to survive as a well-defined religious and linguistic, if not politically unified community well into the twenty-first century", would the Hispanic world have similarly survived "had its methods of survival not been learned from die Arabs?" In an introductory dedicatoria, "Remembering Americo Castro", Samuel G. Armistead (University of California-Davis) recalled the inspirational experience ofhaving studied widi Don Americo and characterized his unique achievement in reshaping modern approaches to Hispano-Medieval studies: "In what started as a lonely, one-man endeavor , [Castro] was able to transform ... in very basic and highly significant ways, fundamental attitudes, crucial perspectives on Spanish historiography and Spanish literary and cultural history and to open up these disciplines, as never before, to an appreciation of the enormous importance ofHispano-Muslim and Hispano-Jewish contributions . I believe that Don Americo, sitting as he must be, on a cloud in the paradise ofhistorians, philologists, and literary critics, would be fullyjustified now to look down upon what we are doing today widi a sense of profound satisfaction". Francisco Márquez Villanueva (Harvard University), "Visión hispanosemítica de la 'Disciplina Clericalis'". With 77 surviving manuscripts in European and American libraries, the Disciplina Clericalis undoubtedly "conquist[ó] el respeto de toda la Europa culta de su tiempo, ... [iniciando] en Occidente la gran época de las traducciones, por haber sido redactada, casi con seguridad, [en] árabey puesta después en latín por mano ajena, pero controlada de cerca por Pedro Alfonso". The Disciplina "[encuadra] en una tradición didáctica en descendencia directa de obras como Calila, y Dimna, Sendebar [y] Barlaam. ... Pedro Arabie, Hebrew, & Spanish Literature in the Iberian Peninsula 359 Alfonso ha captado, con lucidez, el ocaso de...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 357-368
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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