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Spanish and Portuguese, Deparment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Hispanic Literatures and Cultures

Hispanic Literature and Cultures News & Events

Marta Segarra (Universitat de Barcelona) on Escritoras catalanas del Magreb"
Thursday, October 3rd @ 6:30 in Herter 301
Professor Marta Segarra, from the Universitat de Barcelona, will give a lecture on women writers from the Maghreb, women who currently live in Catalunya and have published a corpus in Catalan. The title of her talk is "Nacionalismo y postcolonialismo: Escritoras catalanas del Magreb".Marta Segarra is the co-founder and director of the Centre Dona i Literatura. Gènere, sexualitats, crítica de la cultura at the Universitat de Barcelona. She is the coordinator of the C´tedra UNESCO Dones, and editor-in-chief of the journal, Expressions maghrbines that publishes new, cutting edge research in French and English on literature and other cultural forms - film, music, etc.- rooted in the Maghreb and its diasporas.

Professor Ameal Pérez publishes his first book: EN BABIA de José Isaac de Diego Padró.
Professor Ameal-Perez's first book, En Babia de Jos Isaac de Diego Padró. Una novela total, examines the classical novel of the Puerto Rican author. In his essay, Ameal-Perez argues that Padró's text is the first Puerto Rican novel on immigration written in the United States. The book is published by Peter Lang as part of the Caribbean Studies series.

Visting Faculty: Helen Frear-Papio
This Fall Semester , Professor Freear-Papio (College of the Holy Cross) teaches an introductory seminar on modern Spanish Theater by women in which feminist theory will be used to achieve a deeper understanding of female theatrical work as both text and performance. Starting in the early and hopeful years of the 20th century, passing through the dark years of the dictatorship and finally emerging into the democratic society of the late 20th and early 21st century, this course will start with an analysis of the many difficulties (historical, social, literary, economic and cultural) that women dramatists have faced as they try not only to write and publish theater but ultimately to have their works staged. The seminar will then focus primarily on the plays of the two post-Franco generations of female dramatists. The works to be read include plays by Concha Romero, Carmen Resino, Lidia Falcón, Paloma Pedrero, Beth Escudá, Itziar Pascual, Diana de Paco Serrano, Luisa Cunilló, and Lourdes Ortiz. Feminist themes such as the re-writing of myth and history, the creation of female identity, "otherness" as well as global feminism, terror and domestic violence will be addressed through close readings of text and theory as well as through the occasional dramatic reading.

Printing Ausis March: Material Culture and Renaissance Poetics
Prof. Albert Lloret publishes Printing Ausiàs March: Material Culture and Renaissance Poetics. Focused on two sixteenth-century editions of a medieval Valencian author (Ausiàs March, 1400-59), this book examines how the material transformations of early modern poetic texts at different stages in their publication process—from the making of the printer's copy, to the typesetting and editing of the book in the printing shop—entailed thorough changes in the meaning of March's corpus.

Eva Paris-Huesca accepts job at the College of the Holly Cross
Congratulations to Eva on her new Visiting Professor position in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Barbara Zecchi gives a talk on Spanish film pioneers Helena Cortesina and Elena Jordi at the University of Salamanca
Professor Barbara Zecchi presented her work on film pioneers Elena Jordi and Helena Cortesina at the II International Congress on History, Literature and Art in Spanish and Portuguese Cinema, in Salamanca. Her talk was part of her new book in progress on Spanish and Catalan silent cinema by women,. Corisina 'sand Jordi's movies have disappeared, but have left a significant trace through documents, photographs, film posters and reviews in film journals and in newspapers.

Congratulations to all our graduate students who graduated/defended this Spring 2013

  • Casey Freedman: Masters of Teaching
  • Bill Kearny: MA Thesis, "José Martí pedagogo: Educación y modernidad"
  • Irene Melle-Ballesteros: MA Thesis, "Elena Jordi y el mito de Thais"
  • Emily Spring: MA Thesis, "Protesting Between The Lines: Carmen Martin Gaite's Frustration In Writing Vis-a-vis 1950s Francoist Censorship"
  • Robert Herr: Ph.D. Dissertation, "Puppets and Proselytizing: Politics and Nation-Building In Post-Revolutionary Mexico's Didactic Theater"

Alberto Ameal-Pérez talks about Texas Proposition SB 1128 to Univision
Professor Ameal-Perez, who presented a paper at the Annual Conference of the National Association of the Chicana an Chicano Studies in San Antonio Texas, was interviewed by Univision regarding Texas Senate Bill 1138. Click here for more information.

Latino Indigenismo in a Comparative Perspective - Latino Studies - Oxford Bibliographies
Professor Luis Marentes collaborated with Oxford Bibliographies with an entry on Latin American and US Latina/o Indigenismo, tracing the representation of the "Indian", from early colonial encounters to a political and aesthetic movement, blossoming particularly in Mexico and the Andes in the early 20th century, and with a significant resurgence during the Chicana/o movement.

Congratulations to all our graduate students who defended this Fall 2012

  • Borja Gama de Cossio: MA Thesis, "Can I Be Forgiven? Expressing Conversion through the Eyes of Mary Magdalene: Lope de Vega and Richard Crashaw"
  • Gorka Maiztegui: MA Thesis, "Análisis del proceso de adaptación de Las galas del difunto de Valle-Inclán"
  • Claudia Paez Lotero: MA Thesis, "Estructuras desbordantes en Silvina Ocampo"

Barbara Zecchi at the "Taller de erotismo y cine español", at Harvard University
Oct. 19- Prof. Barbara Zecchi was invited to participate in the _Taller sobre erotismo y cine español_ at Harvard University. The workshop, organized by Santiago Fouz-Hernández (Univ. Durham, UK) was sponsored by the British Academy.

Maribel Rams participa a la conferncia "Ventura Pons: the Unconventional Gaze of Catalan Cinema"

Past Events 2012-2013

A One-Day Graduate Conference: aLmOdóVaR en eVoLuCIóN
Graduate students enrolled in Barbara Zecchi's Spring 2013 Almodóvar course decided to organize and present in what hopes to be the 1st Annual Spanish & Portuguese Graduate Student Conference.
aLmOdóVaR en eVoLuCIón

Revisiting the Spanish Civil War
Sebastiaan Faber (Professor of Hispanic Studies and Chair of Latin American Studies at Oberlin College, Director of the Oberlin Center for Languages and Cultures, and Chair of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives) came to present his paper "Historians Behaving Badly: The Perpetual Polemics about the Spanish Civil War" and engage discussion about contemporary debates among Spanish historians and intellectuals; how to appropriate, interpret, remember and memorialize the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).

An afternoon of Poetry and Sculpture with Márgara Russotto and Román Hernández

Seminar on Gendered Spaces in Spanish Film and Theater at the NeMLA 44th Convention in Boston
Helen Freear-Papio (College of the Holy Cross) and Barbara Zecchi (UMass Amherst) co-organized a seminar with 10 participants analyzing engendered spaces withing modern peninsular film and theater. Each participant presented their paper for 5 minutes, and then the session was open to questions from the public. Participating UMass Graduate Students included
Eva Paris-Huesca
Maribel Rams
Irene Melle-Ballesteros
Christina Beaubien

Ramiro García Olano organized and chaired a panel at the 44th NEMLA Convention, with the participation of Dolores Juan and Gorka Maiztegui
Ramiro García Olano organized and chaired the panel "'Adaptaciones Perras': Unfaithful Film Adaptations vis-à-vis the Patriarchy" and gave a presentation on Leopoldo Torre Nilsson's adaptation of Beatriz Guido's La casa del ángel. In the same panel, Dolores Juan talked about the relationship between female poetic myths (such as Hipatia and Pandora) and their cinematographic translation (i.e. in Amenábar's Agora). Finally Gorka Maiztegui discussed the film Carmina o revienta as a recent example of the so-called quinqui genre.

Spanish Film Director PATRICIA FERREIRA at UMass

Graduate Student Run Café Olé and Café Lusófono
Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Students decided to organized and host once a week sessions to come together and chat with undergraduate Spanish/Portuguese majors and minors. The sessions are in order to help students perfect their oral ability in the foreign language, and get to know graduate students who have gone through alot of the same struggles. For more information, join the email list at

International Conference on Contemporary Spanish Cinema

Domingo Sánchez-Mesa and Concha Gómez offer a 5-day seminar on DIGITAL CULTURES in SPANISH

The seminar will encourage critical reflection on the cultural and communication processes behind the configuration of the social & political imaginaries of cyber-culture, throughout the media landscape (cinema, television, videogames, Internet, trans-media, etc.). It will study the evolution of adaptation practices, analyzing the specificity of digital literary texts within the framework of new media (hyper-textuality and cyber-textuality), focusing on the new trans-media landscape as an emerging industry, and a new space of production and consumption of the editorial and audiovisual industries. Students will also be introduced to the roles and oscillating presence of women in the Spanish cinema industry, with a specific focus on the turn of the century context and the digitalization processes of such an industry (XX-XXI).

Film director Mara Cristina Carrillo at UMASS

On Thursday Oct 11 at 2:00 in Herter 301, Film Director María Cristina Carrillo will introduce her documentary _La Churona_ about the controversial efforts of a large community of Ecuadorians in Madrid to get an image of their Virgin La Churona into a Catholich church in Spain.

Past Events 2011-2012

Myths and Facts about E-Journals | The UMass Digital Humanities Initiative
How is an e-journal different from a printed periodical? What is involved in the production process of an online publication? Electronic resources have been reshaping significantly the ways in which we conduct research, but how are online publications contributing to changing scholarly practices in the Humanities?
Michael Papio (Associate Professor of Italian Studies, and Editor-in-Chief of Heliotropia: A Forum for Boccaccio Research and Interpretation) and Albert Lloret (Assistant Professor of Spanish, and Managing Editor of Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures) will address these and other questions regarding the forms and functions of e- journals in academia, and the myths that often surround electronic publication. Discussion will follow.

GYNOCINE: Mujeres, Dones and Cinema

El propósito de este encuentro es establecer un puente entre la teoría fílmica feminista y la práctica cinematográfica de las mujeres españolas, y empezar un nuevo diólogo.