Welcoming Visitors to the Spanish Sub-Faculty
It has been a busy, productive period for the Spanish sub-faculty, as we have been incredibly lucky to host an exciting line-up of residential guests this past year, in addition to our wonderful speakers in the Spanish seminar series, which runs every term.
In Trinity Term 2019, Puerto Rican writer, artist, and professor Eduardo Lalo took up the position of Global South Visiting Fellow at TORCH. Dr. María del Pilar Blanco (Spanish) was Eduardo’s host. This visiting fellowship programme is funded by the Mellon Foundation; the aim of the fund is to host academics from universities outside of Europe and North America. During his six weeks in Oxford, Eduardo delivered a seminar series and a creative writing workshop; Deudos / Death Debt, an exhibition of his photographs depicting the ongoing debt crisis in Puerto Rico, was displayed at the Barn Gallery in St. John’s College. Part of this collection is currently on show in the Lawns Pavillion at Trinity College. Everyone is welcome to visit.
In Michaelmas Term 2019, Profs. Stefano-Maria Evangelista (English), Laura Marcus (English), and Benjamin Bollig (Spanish) hosted Analía Gerbaudo (Universidad Nacional del Litoral in Argentina). Gerbaudo delivered papers in a number of different contexts in Oxford, including the Latin American Centre, where she spoke about cartonera publishing in Argentina, the Spanish sub-faculty research seminar. Her final talk in Oxford was delivered as part of a workshop, Clandestine Acts: The Global Journeys of Literary Theory (https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/event/clandestine-acts-the-global-journeys-of-literary-theory). Prof Gerbaudo’s visit represented a series of productive encounters amongst academics from different disciplinary fields, from Hispanic, French, English, Italian, and Slavic literatures to political science.
Mariano Siskind, Professor and Chair of Romance Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, visited Oxford the week of 10-14 February 2020 to take up a position as Astor Visiting Lecturer. During his time here, Professor Siskind delivered four lunchtime seminars on the topic of “The demise of cosmopolitanism: migration and the discourse of hospitality” and a lecture, on Friday 14 February, entitled “Melancholic disposition: migration crises and the possibility of art at the end of the world.”
The four seminars were attended by undergraduates, postgraduates, and academics from across faculties. In the seminars, Professor Siskind proposed a series of theses about the development of cosmopolitanism as a framework for universal human rights, the concept and ethics of hospitality, and how these ideas are developed across literary examples, particularly Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolaño. In his Friday lecture (“Melancholic disposition”), Professor Siskind proposed we stop, before full politicization, to ask ourselves how to process the current landscape of migration without end, and the end of the idea of a world that upholds ideas of universality and hospitality.