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Current research projects in Hispanic Studies

Hispanic London: Culture, Commerce and Community in the Nineteenth-Century CityLink opens in a new window
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Who were nineteenth-century London’s Hispanic residents? Where did they come from? What did they do? What can the cultural, commercial, religious and social networks they forged tell us about the relationship between the British and Spanish empires during a period of one's expansion and the other's decline? What is their cultural, intellectual and material legacy in the city? Professor Kirsty Hooper'sLink opens in a new window Leverhulme Major Research FellowshipLink opens in a new window will reconstruct geographically grounded microhistories of individuals, relationships and neighbourhoods, setting them within wider narratives of nation, empire and colonialism to foreground London’s role as a crucial hub in the commercial, cultural and intellectual networks of the nineteenth-century Spanish empire.

Touring the Anthropocene: Modernity and Dark Tourist Ecologies in the Americas

In this project Dr Elizabeth ChantLink opens in a new window is examining domestic tourism to industrial sites in former frontier territories in Argentina, Chile, and the U.S. during the first half of the twentieth century. Working primarily with travel ephemera, this study looks at how the development of extractive locations such as oil rigs and gold mines as tourist destinations normalised and obscured violent processes of environmental destruction and Indigenous dispossession. Dr Chant has been awarded a Warwick Humanities Research Centre Newberry Library Fellowship and a Huntington Library Fellowship in order to undertake archival work for this project.

Mapping Sound Cultures in Democratic Spain

Much of Dr Tom Whittaker's current research explores the ways in which urban space in Spain has been shaped, negotiated and contested by sound from 1975 to the present day. Drawing on a range of sound archives, films and documentary footage and ‘earwitness’ accounts, he has examined sound production and listening in a series of different spatial and historical contexts. These have included the role of the sound in the formation of marginal subcultures during Spain’s Transition to Democracy, which was explored in his monograph The Spanish Quinqui Film: Delinquency, Sound, SensationLink opens in a new window, and further developed in his analysis of the Spanish clubbing scenes of the 1990sLink opens in a new window. More recently, Tom has explored how the Spanish far right has generated acoustic conflict – in particular, through rallies, counter-protest and the use of hymns – as a means of undermining democracy. He is also researching the politics of noise abatement in contemporary Madrid and Barcelona as a way of exploring the social tensions produced by hyper-gentrification.

Long-time Thinking in the Eco-social Philosophies of Buen Vivir

Dr Michela Coletta Link opens in a new windowis writing a global history of the Andean and Amazonian cultural practices of Buen Vivir (Living Well). The project, which is funded by a 2-year Horizon 2020 individual grant (2022-2024), engages with indigenous knowledges and investigates how these contribute to reformulating concepts such as agency, subjectivity, temporality, interdependence, and interspecies and intergenerational relations.

Engagements with British Culture in Spanish Writing and Film of the Transition, 1965-1980

Dr Santiago Bertrán's Link opens in a new windowBritish Academy postdoctoral project traces and theorises the contributions to Spain's so-called 'Transition' to democracy of a generation of young Spanish writers and filmmakers who found in British literature and culture a source for creation and experimentation beyond the bounds of Francisco Franco's Spain. Marked by a period of economic and cultural opening in the final years of dictatorship, this generation was driven less by an explicit project of national rehabilitation or collective memory than by a cosmopolitan sensibility and a fascination with pop cultural and countercultural forms. At the same time, this fascination did not represent an evasion of Spanish identity and memory so much as it provided new modes for addressing those preoccupations in a increasingly globalised society. The study of these British-Spanish transcultural mediations will reveal their contribution to Spain's Transition into a global and globalised democracy.

Hispanic Literature in the British Romantic Periodical Press (1802-1832): Appropriating and Rewriting the Canon

Dr Leticia VillamedianaLink opens in a new window is currently an investigator on LHIBROLink opens in a new window (Literatura Hispánica en la prensa periódica del Romanticismo: Apropriación y reescritura del canon), a project funded by the former Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities). Its aim is to build a map of British Hispanism in the Romantic period by exploring and analysing the presence of Hispanic literature in the British periodical press between the years 1802-1832.

The Academic Muse: Collaboration, Obscurity, and the Poetics of Cultural Insurgency in Early Modern Seville

Dr Rich RaboneLink opens in a new window's current research explores the presentation of sixteenth-century Seville as a rising cultural power to rival Madrid, and the role of one significant institution in the city – the academy founded by Juan de Mal Lara – in constructing that image. The project’s initial phase has been supported by the British Academy, and planned future work will include the first dedicated study in English of the poetry produced by academy members. He also retains research interests in the classical tradition, early modern interpretations of mythology, obscurity and wit, and the overlap between literature and philosophy, many of which are explored in his forthcoming monograph, Moderation and the Mean in the Literature of Spain’s Golden Age: A Measure for Measure.