All posts by pfirbas

About pfirbas

Profesor de literatura en Stony Brook University

José (Benny) Chueca and the Baroque Gaze

This Feb 24 2020  José (Benny) Chueca  defended his outstanding dissertation titled  El mirar barroco. Las supervivencias del barroco y el trastorno de la modernidad en el Perú contemporáneo (The Baroque Gaze: The Survival of the Baroque and the Derangement of Modernity in Contemporary Peru). Congratulations to Benny for completing his doctorate in Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University.

 Our special thanks to Prof. Margarita Saona (UI Chicago) for serving as external reader and member of the doctoral committee. Prof. Adrián Pérez-Melgosa was the advisor and Prof. Paul Firbas and Prof. Lena Burgos-Lafuente were readers in the committee. 

Recent books from professors Pierce and Uriarte

The fall semester of 2019 brought the joy of two new books to our Department.  Professor Javier Uriarte just published “The Desertmakers. Travel, War, and the State in Latin America”. The book delves into how the rhetoric of travel and introduces different conceptualizations of space and time in scenarios of war during the last decades of the 19th century in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Javier Uriarte’s book is available through Routledge’s website.

Professor Joseph Pierce has also just published his “Argentine Intimacies. Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890−1910”. This is an outstanding work on the legacy of one of Argentina’s foremost intellectual and elite families, the Bunges, through which prof. Pierce is able to reveal the queerness at the heart of the modern family.

Joseph Pierce’s book through the SUNY Press website.

 

ACE Annual Conference

The Dept. of Hispanic Languages and Literatures celebrates its 7th Annual Spanish Accelerated College Education (ACE) Conference

Teachers from nine local high schools and faculty from the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University came together this November 5th, 2019 for the 7th Annual Spanish ACE Conference. The conference took place on campus in the Wang Center. Spanish teachers that offer college credit courses in local High Schools through the ACE program met with Stony Brook faculty to discuss the  Spanish curriculum.

Participating High Schools:

Miller Place Hs
Riverhead HS
Longwood HS
East Islip HS
Smithtown HS East
Smithtown HS West
Shoreham-Riverhead HS
Herricks HS
Port Jefferson Hs

The event had a work-shop structure and was dedicated to the common challenges related to course content and the actual needs of the Long Island student population. It was also a great opportunity for all instructors to exchange insight and ideas.

The event was organized  by Hispanic Language and Literature Profs. Lilia Ruiz-Debbe and Aura Colón, with the collaboration of Profs. Zaida Corniel, Elena Davidiak, Thomas Kozlowski and Tatiana Rzhevsky.

 

 

MEXICO 500+: Indigenous and Global Cultures in Colonial Mesoamerica

Mini-colloquium October 2nd, 2019 at Stony Brook University

In 1519 Hernán Cortés led the first European military penetration in Mesoamerica. His campaign radically transformed the lives of local communities and shaped the new global culture of the early modern period. Mexico City and the viceroyalty of New Spain would become “the head of the Western world” and the geopolitical center for the articulation of American, European, African and Asian peoples, commodities and cultures. This one-day mini-colloquium commemorates 500 years of writing and producing global knowledge in and about Mexico.

Sponsored by the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature, the Humanities Institute, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center and the Office of the Provost. Contact information: paul.firbas@stonybrook.edu

PROGRAM: 

Wed. October 2nd, 2019 ,  Stony Brook University, Humanities Institute (see campus map)

12.00-12.45 pm. Lunch (Humanities Institute) 
1.00-2.00 pm. Provost's Lecture Series (Humanities 1006) [youtube]

Camilla Townsend (Rutgers Univ): 
“Indigenous Historians in Colonial Mexico”. 
Discussant: Paul Firbas (SB Hispanic Lang and Lit)



2.30-4pm. Rethinking the Writing of Mexican History (Humanities 1008)  

Iris Montero (Brown Univ): 
“Nonhuman Stories and the Shape of History in Mexico”
Stephanie Rohner (Oklahoma State Univ):
"Héroe del artificio: Cortés, the Conquest of Mexico, and the European Enlightenment”. 
Discussant: Elizabeth Newman (SB History)

 

4.30pm-5pm. Reception (Humanities Institute)
   Click here for our Mexico 500+ poster !

Reseñas del coloquio / Colloquium Reviews by students of SPN 395 Fall 2019

“Truth was composite”
By Anita Rescia

El último miércoles, tuve la increíble experiencia de asistir al coloquio de México 500+ en que escuchamos a las Profesoras Townsend, Montero y Rohner hablar de la historia y la cultura indígena en la época antes, durante y después de la conquista española que ocurrió ya hace 500 años en 1519.

Aprendí que, de una cultura que solemos escuchar que hemos perdido casi todo, todavía tenemos artefactos, textos históricos y literarios y costumbres que se conservan hasta hoy en día que nos revelan mucho de la cultura indígena prehispánica. Por ejemplo, los xiuhpohualli o Anales de que nos habló la Profesora Camilla Townsend nos permiten entender la estructura política y social de los indios de los altepetl. Además, nos demuestran el intento de conservar las propias historias de su cultura para su progenie. Me llamó mucho la atención cómo los indios escribían varias veces la misma historia desde diferentes puntos de vista. Como dijo la Profesora Townsend, “truth was composite”, o la verdad era compuesta, y solamente un recuento no habría sido suficiente para reflejar las experiencias de toda una población. Eso me parece un concepto extremamente importante que todavía tiene vigencia, porque muchas veces nos contentamos con la perspectiva de una persona, o de una fuente de noticias, en vez de dedicarnos a la investigación de varios puntos de vista para ver si se narra la verdadera historia o si es otro ejemplo de “fake news”.

Otro ejemplo de costumbres que tienen su origen en el mundo indígena prehispánico es la cultura del colibrí que nos explicó la Profesora Montero. Se representa a Huitzilopochtli, dios de la guerra y protector, con la imagen del colibrí, un animal suave, rápido y lindo, pero a la vez belicoso. El colibrí se asocia también con la migración, dado que es el pájaro que migra lo más lejos que los demás. Por eso, todavía los migrantes pueden portar chupamirtos, o llevar consigo algún amuleto de un colibrí para protegerse durante el viaje peligroso.  ♣

Anita Rescia is an undergraduate student in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University. She is currently taking SPN 395.


Review Quotes and Pictures

Thanks to all SPN 395 students that helped during the organization of this colloquium and that sent their texts and pictures!
¡Mil gracias y los felicito por su trabajo!

Suzanne Tawch:

European documents such as letters written by conquistadors can be biased in order to reinforce their own motives. I think as a historian, it is important to find evidence from different perspectives to create one whole understanding of the time period.. It was interesting to learn that history [withing the Nahuas] was maintained verbally and graphically through paintings, art and performances. Often facts such as timelines, current leaders, and natural disasters were recorded. These paintings and writings were shared throughout the community amongst family and friends. They were shared with each generation. I thought this was interesting because these documents were solely made for their own benefit.

Danielle Polito:

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Mexico 500+ colloquium. I had the opportunity to attend Camilla Townsend’s lecture about indigenous historians in colonial Mexico. This was an extremely interesting topic for me, especially after all that I have learned in class about the colonization of Latin America.

Melissa Ramos-Lemos:

El punto que más me llamó la atención fue la importancia de la percepción y la manera en la que se interpretan los escritos indígenas. La doctora Townsend explicó que los escritos indígenas fueron interpretados y publicados como anales por los europeos en los siglos XVII y XVIII, cuando los europeos encontraron los escritos por primera vez. Los españoles compararon los escritos indígenas con los anales europeos y los categorizaron como anales indígenas. Esto tuvo muchas consecuencias en la interpretación de la cultura indígena por parte de los europeos. Antes de la intervención española, los indios tenían artistas que dibujaban hechos reales y luego aprendieron el alfabeto romano, con el tiempo empezaron a transcribir historias con dibujos sobre lo que ocurría en sus civilizaciones. La dra. Townsend explicó que los indios no escribieron esto con consideración de los españoles. Ellos lo escribían para conservar sus historias y cultura entre ellos mismos, usaban estos escritos para producir más historias y basar las interpretaciones de sus culturas entre familias. Los nahuatl no tradujeron los escritos en español porque no tenían la intención de que fueran leídos e interpretados por los españoles.

Jewel Estrella:

El miércoles, yo tuve el honor de oír a Camilla Townsend, una historiadora y profesora distinguida de historia en la Universidad de Rutgers, hablar sobre los relatos de las indígenas de México, específicamente los Aztecas. Durante su charla ella nos explicó que estos documentos son muy raro de encontrar. Estos textos desarrollan la cultura indígena a través la perspectiva indígena, usualmente estos textos están diseñados para las ideas Europeas. Como lectores, podíamos ver que estos anales explicaron interacciones entre una nahua y un español. Los anales fueron creados por las indígenas como manera de transmitir información de sus antepasados a sus hijos. Esencialmente, estos documentos sirvieron como fuentes ricas culturalmente que ayudaron a los historiadores comprender las tradiciones indígenas más allá de los ideales europeos.

Emma Zoubek:

Para mi la parte más interesante del evento fue cuando Iris Montero discute su texto “Nonhuman Stories and the Shape of History in Mexico.” Ella se enfoca en la relación de los indígenas de México con los animales y el medio ambiente. Montero discute la importancia del colibrí en las culturas indígenas. Los colibrís están en las religiones de muchos de los indios, especialmente los mayas y aztecas. Hay diferentes cuentos de sus orígenes y su papel en la vida humana. Ella explica los textos y artefactos en que se descubren que los indígenas tienen esta relación con los colibrís. Los indígenas piensan que los colibrís pueden traer buena suerte en la concepción de un nuevo bebe y en la fertilidad en general. Además, los colibrís están asociados con los fuegos en muchas de estas culturas. Fue muy interesante para aprender sobre la relación entre los indígenas de México y los colibrís porque es algo que no había escuchada antes de esta presentación.

Summer 19 Graduate Seminars: Spanish in the US & Caribbean Lit

This summer 2019 our Department will be offering two exciting graduate seminars (500 level) for our MA students and any interested graduate student in Spanish, Teaching Programs and related fields.

    

SPN 505 Hispanic Dialectology and Sociolinguistics.  Spanish in the United States  
Dr. Elena Davidiak. Mon & Weds 5:30-8:30 pm in our Main Campus. May 20 to July 6th.

During this course we will discuss the processes specific of the Spanish language in the United States, including the existing varieties and the way they evolve and intermingle, the peculiarities of language registers and their areas of usage and the relationship between Spanish and English and Spanish and other minority languages and between the dialects of Spanish, as well as the varieties of societal and personal bilingualism, the official and informal status of Spanish and the needs of its speakers. (3 credits)

SPN 585: Caribbean Literature Seminar 
Dr. Zaida Corniel. Hours: Flexible (Online).  July 6th to August 17th.

The Caribbean has been represented as a military frontier, a port for the global market or an imaginary space for reinvention. Moreover its borders have been blurred due to the recent development of the cruise tourism, and the mass migration of its inhabitants, internally in the region and to the United States and Europe. This course aims to analyze texts, visual art and films that shift national and gender identities through a transnational dialog between Caribbean authors and artists in the United States, and the islands of Cuba, The Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Readings and board discussions will address topics such as bilingualism, citizenship, gender, identity, and race, among others. Seminar will be taught in Spanish. (3 credits)

Courses are taught in Spanish. The seminars are also open to advanced Spanish undergraduates  (with special permission).  For more information, please email our Director of Graduate Studies.

Early Modern Textuality and Journalism in Spain and South America (1650-1750)

Digital Humanities and Networks: Early Modern Textuality and Journalism in Spain and South America (1650-1750)

On March 14th and 15th 2019 at STONY BROOK UNIV, the Dep of Hispanic Languages and Literature hosted a seminar and humanities lab on early modern news-sheets, pamphlets, relaciones de sucesos and their networks in Europe and South America, between 1650 and 1750. The event was funded by a FAHSS Award from Stony Brook College of Arts and Sciences and forms part of Prof. Paul Firbas’s larger project on the edition, data visualization and study of the Diarios y memorias de los sucesos principales y noticias más sobresalientes en esta ciudad de Lima, corte del Perú published by printer Joseph de Contreras y Alvarado in Lima between 1700 and 1711.

Participants: Prof. Paul Firbas (Stony Brook), Carmen Espejo Cala (Univ de Sevilla), José Antonio Rodríguez Garrido (Univ Católica del Perú); via Skype: Prof. Nieves Pena Sueiro (Univ da Coruña) and Prof. Francisco Baena Sánchez (Univ de Sevilla).

See full program here.

Digital Humanities and Networks

This March 14th and 15th at STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY (New York), the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature will host a seminar and humanities lab on early modern news-sheets, pamphlets, relaciones de sucesos and their networks in Europe and South America, mainly between 1650 and 1750. This event is funded by a FAHSS Award from Stony Brook College of Arts and Sciences and forms part of Prof. Paul Firbas’s larger project on the edition, data visualization and study of the Diarios y memorias de los sucesos principales y noticias más sobresalientes en esta ciudad de Lima, corte del Perú  published by printer Joseph de Contreras y Alvarado in Lima between 1700 and 1711.

Early Modern Textuality and Journalism in Spain and South America (1650-1750)

PANEL (SEMINAR). Thursday March 14th (2019) in Humanities 2036 (In Spanish)

2.30-4 pm: TEXTUAL SCHOLARSHIP, ANNOTATION AND TEXT CIRCULATION

4.15-5.30 pm: ROUND TABLE. Doctoral student presentation and discussion on the assigned readings:

(1) Carmen Espejo Cala, “Un marco de interpretación para el periodismo europeo en la primera edad moderna”; (2) Nieves Pena Sueiro, “El portal BIDISO: pasado, presente y futuro inmediato. Un ejemplo de evolución en aplicaciones de las Humanidades Digitales”; (3) José A. Rodríguez Garrido, “Un entremés para la corte virreinal limeña: anotación e interpretación de una pieza de teatro breve de Peralta Barnuevo”; (4) Roger Chartier and Peter Stallybrass, “What is a Book?” y (5) Jerome McGann, “Why digital textual scholarship matters; or, philology in a new key”.

HUMANITIES LAB. Friday March 15th (2019) in Humanities 1051 (In Spanish and English)

All students and faculty interested in digital editions of early modern texts in Spanish are welcome.

10 am: Skype conversation with Prof. Nieves Pena Sueiro (Universidade da Coruña).  Digital catalogs, bibliographic resources, online editions and digital archives.

11 am: Web platforms analysis: design and dispositio, web tools, reading online, collaborations. Editing, reading and visualizing the Diario de Lima: networks, material culture, news and relaciones de sucesos.

12 mSemantic web for the study of early journalism. Skype conversation at 12.15 pm with Prof. Francisco Baena Sánchez (Universidad de Sevilla).  Open conversation on mapping networks, digital humanities and early modern journalism in Europe and Spanish America.

1 -1.30 pm: Lunch break (in seminar room Hum 1051)

1.30-2 pm: Indexing, text mark-up, technical options? Additional Skype connection.

2-3 pm: Final ideas, conclusions and video statement.

♠ ♠ 

Watch our video (in Spanish with English subtitles)

 


Joseph Contreras de Alvarado en su taller en Lima hacia 1700 (detalle)Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library

2019 Brazilian Politics and Culture

After the election of Joair Bolsonaro, who sworn in as Brazilian 38th president on January 1st, 2019,  academics all over the world have been analyzing the quick transformation of a former army captain and federal deputy for Rio de Janeiro (1998-2018) into an anti-establishment political phenomenon running the government of the largest economy in South America.

In response to this political and cultural scenario, Prof. Javier Uriarte in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature organized this February 20th  a round table with historian Barbara Weinstein (NYU) –former professor at Stony Brook– and anthropologist Rosana Pinhero Machado (Federal Univ of Santa Maria, Brazil). The event was held in the renovated LACS seminar room.

   

 

Barbara Weistein on the past and present of Brazilian corruption

The lively Q&A led us into further conversations where we were able to make a ten minute video with historian Barbara Weinstein about corruption and its uses in Brazilian politics.

…nobody who has been participating in Brazilian politics since 1946 could possible claim to be free  of any kind of corrupt involvement. So, I think, the structure of politics is such that escaping corruption in Brazil at this point in time is extremely difficult. That raises the question of what you do when you have corruption that is so wide spread and how do you gauge the corruption investigations that punish some people and not others? In my opinion, what it’s been going on in Brazil for much of the last five years is what some people have termed ‘lawfare’.

               

Hispanic Languages and Literatures thanks Barbara and Rosana for their visit to Stony Brook and generosity to share their research and ideas with our community.