Warwick is set to bolster its complement of Arts studies as it introduces Hispanic Studies to its range of courses. With many universities cutting back on language courses Warwick is bucking the trend to offer Hispanic Studies for the academic year beginning in 2013.
Dr Alison Ribeiro de Menezes has been appointed as the new Hispanic Chair and takes up her post this month along with two further academics: Dr Fabienne Viala and Dr Kirsty Hooper.
Their objective is to establish a series of innovative degree courses and combinations in Hispanic Studies and other languages, with a strong cross-cultural and transatlantic focus.
They will cover literature from 13th Century to the present, and offer a solid grounding in Hispanic culture and literature, along with advanced language study to equip students to work with Spanish professionally and to spark their enthusiasm for other perspectives on the world.
The department will build on the University’s existing strong links in this field with writers such as Mario Vargas Llosa (pictured, right), the eminent 2010 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature who recently presented a Distinguished Lecture at Warwick Arts Centre to launch his new book, The Dream of the Celt.
Alison is looking forward to the challenges and enjoyment of setting up the new department and explained her key aims:
“My particular research interests are cultural memory in contemporary Spain, Portugal and Latin America, and I shall be developing this in a series of workshops and symposia over the next few years, looking to bring writers and academics whose work touches on this to Warwick.
“We will also be building up our postgraduate population, in the context of the sub-faculty of languages, and hope to hold an initial conference on Cultural Encounters, with Santander sponsorship, in 2013.”
Alison read Spanish and French at St Anne’s College, Oxford, completing a DPhil in Spanish in 1997. In 1995 she joined the Department of Spanish at University College Dublin, specializing in modern Spanish literature and culture. She has also taught Portuguese and Latin American narrative, prose of the Spanish Golden-Age, and Spanish linguistics.
She has published widely on contemporary Spanish narrative, including the books Juan Goytisolo: The Author as Dissident (Tamesis, 2005), and A Companion to Carmen Martín Gaite, co-authored with Catherine O’Leary (Tamesis, 2008). Her current research focuses on issues of cultural memory in the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds, and she has co-edited two volumes in this area: War and Memory in Contemporary Spain/Guerra y memoria en la España contemporánea with Roberta Quance and Anne Walsh (Verbum, 2009), and more recently Legacies of War and Dictatorship in Contemporary Portugal and Spain, with Catherine O’Leary (Peter Lang, 2011). She is presently finishing a monograph on Re-thinking Memory in Spain, and beginning a project on Global Circulations of Cultural Memory Debates, which will examine the mechanisms by which memory debates in some national or regional contexts intersect with and influence others.
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On Thursday 7th June 2012, Mario Vargas Llosa visited Warwick University as part of our Distinguished Lecture Series. In this video, the author speaks with Alonso Cueto, Efrain Kristal (UCLA) and Maria Luddy (University of Warwick), chaired by John King (University of Warwick).
Read more on the Warwick Knowledge Centre
L-R: Dr Alison Ribeiro de Menezes, Mario Vargas Llosa and Dr Fabienne Viala