Friday, November 22, 2013

Register Now for Villanova's semester abroad in Cádiz Program.

Registration for Villanova's semester abroad program at the Universidad de Cádiz, Spain is currently open.

Please consider spending a life-changing semester living abroad.  Register now!

Hispanic Studies Graduate Student Alba Fano-Trabanco wins Academic Award in Spain

Alba Fano-Trabanco, who began the M.A. in Hispanic Studies this fall at Villanova University, has been awarded the prestigious Premio Fin de Carrera at the Universidad de Oviedo (Spain).  

This award is granted every year to the graduating student with the most exceptional academic profile in each degree at the University.  The award, conferred by the University President at a special ceremony, recognizes extraordinary academic achievement and includes a monetary prize intended to assist students with pursuing the next step in their academic or profesional careers.  We congratulate Alba for earning this great honor!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Carmen Peraita Joins Research Project to Investigate the Material History of Don Quijote (1615)

Dr. Carmen Peraita, Professor of Early Modern Cultural History and Literature at Villanova, has been invited to actively participate in the research group "Estudio bibliográfico, analítico y documental de la segunda parte del Quijote," directed by Dr. Victor Infantes de Miguel of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.

Title Page from the Second Part of Don Quijote (1615)

As recognition of the valuable contributions Dr. Peraita has made to the field through her research into Early Modern media and printing practices, book history, and material culture, we congratulate Dr. Peraita on her invitation.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Carlos Trujillo Publishes a New Book: Si no fuera por la lluvia. Milton Rogovin en Chile, Editorial Okeldan, 2013.

Carlos Trujillo, award-winning poet and Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has published a new book: Si no fuera por la lluvia. Milton Rogovin en Chile (Editorial Okeldan, 2013).  The product of five years of research, Si no fuera por la lluvia was made possible by the generous cooperation of the Rogovin family and a semester of sabbatical granted by Villanova.  

Following the publication of Trujillos’ Nada queda atrás (MAM Chiloé / Isla Grande, 2007), which included poems by Trujillo and photographs by Milton Rogovin, Rogovin’s family granted the poet access to the photographer’s diary recording his experiences during his trip to Chile, visiting Santiago, Isla Negra, Valparaíso, Puerto Montt and Chiloé, and concluding with a brief stay in Lima, Perú in January and February of 1967.  Trujillo also recieved a copy of the photographer’s correspondence  with a variety of important Chilean literary, artistic, and cultural figures, including Pablo Neruda, with letters written in the months leading up to, and immediately following, his journey across the South American country.  Among the documentation provided were also letters from Rogovin’s wife and collaborator, who, contrary to her custom, was not able to accompany him during the trip. 

After months of reading and re-reading Rogovin’s letters, Dr. Trujillo translated the diary into Spanish from English, discovering in the course of his research that the order of the photographer’s documents did not correspond to the order of his journey, leading him to the difficult task of establishing the true chronology of his diary.
A letter from Rogovin to Pablo Neruda
The fruits of this labor –including an extensive and well-researched critical introduction– is a publication of inestimable value for understanding life in Chile and Isla Grande de Chiloé at the end of the 1960’s.  No less important is the light Rogovin’s correspondence sheds on the generosity of the poet and future Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda, who collaborated with artists like Rogovin from around the world.   Congratulations to Dr. Trujillo on  his newest publication!

Milton Rogovin

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mercedes Juliá Publishes Edition of Juan Ramón Jiménez's unedited Autobiography

On October 30, 2013, at the Falvey Library, Mercedes Juliá, Ph. D., professor and Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, presented a paper entitled “On the Reconstruction of Vida, the Autobiography of Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez.”

For the past six years, Dr. Juliá, in collaboration with professor Mª Ángeles Sanz-Manzano (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares), has been engaged in the Herculean task of transcribing, organizing, and analyzing more than 2,000 loose pages of manuscripts left behind by one of the great poets of the 20th-century Spanish canon.  Juliá and Sanz-Manzano were invited by the heirs of the poet to reconstruct and publish this sui-generis autobiography, the first volume of which is now forthcoming from the publisher Pre-Textos

One of several manuscript title pages from Vida
During her talk, Dr. Juliá addressed the particular challenges she and her colleague have encountered in preparing the manuscripts for publication.  Upon his death, the poet’s manuscripts were left at varying stages of composition, were lacking clear order, and were very difficult to read both because of the deteriorated material state of his papers and because of the poet’s difficult hand. Dr. Juliá addressed some of the difficult editorial choices posed by such a project, and also pointed to new avenues of critical inquiry into the work of the poet.

A typed page of Vida with significant
manuscript interventions by the poet.
Of particular note, the extant documents suggest that during the last twenty years of his life, Juan Ramón spent most of his time creating and correcting these unpublished manuscripts, which he expressly stated he wanted to be able to continue changing until his death.  Like Valle-Inclán and many other artists, Jiménez conceived of his creations as “work in progress.”  Focused exclusively on the creative process, Juan Ramón would go so far, in Vida, as to state that he was sorry he had ever published anything during his lifetime.  While the Nobel-prize winning poet did indeed publish relatively little before his death, critics who initially visited the Sala Zenobia / Juan Ramón Jiménez at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras (where his papers are now housed) were astonished to find a great number of projects left prepared for publication in different piles, tied up with ribbons of different colors.  This vast material treasury of Juan Ramón’s unpublished work eloquently contradicts a popular narrative that the poet was egotistical and driven by fame. 

Juan Ramón's characteristic handwriting.

It is part of this valuable collection of rare documents, belonging to one of the great poets of the Spanish canon, that Dr. Juliá is now in the process of editing and studying.  Congratulations to Dr. Juliá on her forthcoming edition of Juan Ramón Jiménez’s Vida!  

Friday, November 1, 2013

News from the Classroom: Undergraduates Prepare Scholarly Edition of Peruvian Manuscript

Working with Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish Dr. Chad Leahy, students in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures this semester are collaborating in an exciting project to produce a digital edition of El Perú en sus tradiciones, en su historia, en sus artes, a unique early 20th-century Peruvian manuscript held at Special Collections in the Falvey Library at Villanova.  

Title page from El Perú en sus tradiciones
The undated manuscript might be described as a visually rich scrap-book of Peruvian history and culture, incorporating a wide variety of photographs, post cards, detailed illustrations (both printed and hand-drawn), and other media, along with commentary particularly on Pre-Incan, Incan, and Colonial cultures.   

Students are preparing a critical introduction to the work in which they address questions of race, nationalism, and science in assessing how this manuscript appropriates the past (and especially the indigenous past) to dialogue with the present of early 20th-century Perú.  At the same time, they are  gaining unique and valuable hands-on experience working with the transcription and annotation of the manuscript, engaging intensively with problems of material textuality, while being introduced to the field of the Digital Humanities, or DH.  (For some approaches to how to define DH, see here and here).  

The completed edition is scheduled for public release as part of the Aurelius Digital Humanities Initiative in the Spring 2014 semester.  Stay tuned to read El Perú en sus tradiciones!