Below are the most recent book publications from our department. For a complete listing of each RLL member's publications, including articles, please visit our people profiles.
2015 Faculty Publications
Tirso de Molina, Amar por arte mayor
Enrique García Santo-Tomás
Comedia incluída en la Quinta parte de comedias del Mercedario (Madrid, Imprenta Real, 1636). Publisher: Universidad de Navarra Year of Publication: 2015
2014 Faculty Publications
Barlaam and Josaphat: A Christian Tale of the Buddha
Gui de Cambrai, Peggy McCracken (Translator), Donald S. Lopez Jr. (Introduction)
When his astrologers foretell that his son Josaphat will convert to Christianity, the pagan King Avenir confines him to a palace, allowing him to know only the pleasures of the world, and to see no illness, death, or poverty. Despite the king's precautions, the hermit Barlaam comes to Josaphat and begins to teach the prince Christian beliefs through parables. Josaphat converts to Christianity, angering his father, who tries to win his son back to his religion before he, too, converts. After his father's death, Josaphat renounces the world and lives as a hermit in the wilderness with his teacher Barlaam. Long attributed to the eighth-century monk and scholar, St. John of Damascus, Barlaam and Josaphat was translated into numerous languages around the world. Philologists eventually traced the name Josaphat as a derivation from the Sanskrit bodhisattva, the Buddhist term for the future Buddha, highlighting this text as essential source reading for connections between several of the world’s most popular religions. The first version to appear in modern English, Peggy McCracken’s highly readable translation reintroduces a classic tale and makes it accessible once again. Publisher: Penguin Group Month of Publication: February Year of Publication: 2014 Location: New York, NY
In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage Became a Medieval Saint
Donald S. Lopez Jr., Peggy McCracken
The fascinating account of how the story of the Buddha was transformed into the legend of a Christian saint. The tale of St. Josaphat, a prince who gave up his wealth and kingdom to follow Jesus, was widely told and read in the Middle Ages, translated into a dozen languages, and even cited by Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice. Only in the nineteenth century did scholars note the parallels between the lives of Buddha and Josaphat. In Search of the Christian Buddha traces the Buddha’s story from India to Persia to Jerusalem and then throughout Europe, as it was rewritten by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian authors, illustrating its unsuspected integration into European culture. Through a comparison of the tale’s various versions, this book reveals surprising convergences and divergences—between Christianity and Buddhism on subjects including the meaning of death, the problem of desire, and the view of women. Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Month of Publication: April Year of Publication: 2014 Location: New York, NY
La musa refractada: Literatura y óptica en la España del Barroco
Enrique García Santo-Tomás
El itinerario histórico del presente libro arranca en una serie de textos y autores del reinado del tercer Felipe y termina en los últimos compases del siglo XVII. A lo largo de sus páginas explora el impacto que tuvieron en la España del Barroco los avances en óptica logrados bajo el marco de la denominada “Revolución científica” y se centra, concretamente, en el universo literario, prestando especial atención a aquellos textos y autores que incorporaron referencias a las aplicaciones del cristal en la disciplina de la astronomía desde su paulatina transición de lo tolemaico a lo copernicano. Busca con ello conectar dos lenguajes aparentemente distantes entre sí como fueron el científico y el literario, demostrando cómo, tras su engañosa separación o aparente autonomía, palpitó en los ingenios áureos una inquietud que se fue haciendo cada vez más evidente según fue avanzando el siglo. Sienta así las bases teóricas y metodológicas de un itinerario que delimita un escenario en donde se construyen las diferentes redes sociales entre culturas y ocupaciones diferentes, un panorama histórico en el que no queda de lado los diversos vectores sociales y científicos que determinaron la canonización de Galileo, incluido un repaso de la tormentosa relación de éste con las autoridades eclesiásticas y políticas de su momento. Year of Publication: 2014
Modernism and Its Merchandise: The Spanish Avant-Garde and Material Culture, 1920-1930
The writers and artists of the Spanish avant-garde, enthralled with the streamlined, mass-produced commodities of the Machine Age, incorporated these objects into their literary and visual works. In doing so, they launched a broad inquiry into the relations between mind and matter, people and things, words and world. In Modernism and Its Merchandise, Juli Highfill traces that dissonant but productive line of inquiry by focusing on the objects of obsession for the Spanish vanguardists—starting with the fruit bowls of cubist still life; continuing with the merchandise, machines, and fashions of the 1920s; and concluding with objects of ruin and decay. The trajectory moves from the natural to the technological domains, from the newfangled to the outmoded. Throughout this study, objects appear ever in motion, engaging and altering their human subjects—whether as objects of exchange, as prosthetic organs, or as triggers for powerful affective responses, such as appetite, taste, and disgust. The insights that arise from these encounters with material things anticipate the knowledge emerging today in the fields of material culture, technology studies, and network theory. Publisher: Penn State University Press Year of Publication: 2014 Location: University Park, PA
The Nearness of Others: Searching for Tact and Contact in the Age of HIV
In this radical, genre-bending narrative, David Caron tells the story of his 2006 HIV diagnosis and its aftermath. On one level, The Nearness of Others is a personal account of his struggle as a gay, HIV-positive man with the constant issue of if, how, and when to disclose his status. But searching for various forms of contact eventually leads to a profound reassessment of tact as a way to live and a way to think, with our bodies and with the bodies of others. In a series of brief, compulsively readable sections that are by turns moving and witty, Caron recounts his wary yet curious exploration of an unfamiliar medical universe at once hostile and protective as he embarks on a new life of treatment without end. He describes what it is like to live with a disease that is no longer a death sentence but continues to terrify many people as if it were. In particular, living with HIV provides an unexpected opportunity to reflect on an age of terror and war, when fear and suspicion have become the order of the day. Most of all, Caron reminds us that disclosing HIV-positive status is still far from easy, least of all in one of the many states—such as his own—that have criminalized nondisclosure and/or exposure. Going well beyond Caron’s personal experience, The Nearness of Others examines popular culture and politics as well as literary memoirs and film to ask deeper philosophical questions about our relationships with others. Ultimately, Caron eloquently demonstrates a form of disclosure, sharing, and contact that stands against the forces working to separate us. Publisher: University of Minnesota Press Month of Publication: May Year of Publication: 2014 Location: Minneapolis, MN
2013 Faculty Publications
Conversion and Narrative Reading and Religious Authority in Medieval Polemic
In Conversion, Prof. Szpiech draws on sources from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim polemics to investigate the importance of the narrative form in dramatizing the conversion of religious infidelity to faith in the context of medieval Western Mediterranean.
Don Diego de noche
Alonso Jerónimo de Salas Barbadillo, Enrique García Santo-Tomás (Editor)
La obra de Alonso Jerónimo de Salas Barbadillo ve la luz en un momento de grandes transformaciones. Activamente involucrado con el parnaso literario de su tiempo y plenamente integrado en las discusiones sobre lo que debía ser o no la buena ficción, perteneció a varias Academias poéticas junto con figuras de la talla de Lope, Góngora o Quevedo. La mezcla y el eclecticismo que definen su producción convierten su figura para algunos en difícil de clasificar. Salas destaca como narrador, ensayando comedias en prosa, novelas “a cajones”, sátiras menipeas, picaresca femenina, cuadros entremesiles, narrativa epistolar, cuentos y diálogos, etc., obras todas en las que nos da una visión muy personal de la sociedad española de su momento. Exponente de literatura costumbrista para unos, creador de narrativa picaresca para otros, la mayoría lo considera uno de los mejores satiristas de su tiempo. La noche literaria ha inspirado a toda una serie de personajes aventureros o estrafalarios. Salas reúne en esta novela un compendio de acción, burlas y enseñanzas, con un protagonista a veces entrañable, a veces abyecto, que deambula por los placeres y peligros nocturnos del Madrid barroco. Publisher: Cátedra Year of Publication: 2013 Location: Madrid, Spain
From Beasts to Souls: Gender and Embodiment in Medieval Europe
Peggy McCracken (co-editor), E.Jane Burns (co-editor)
The Middle Ages provides a particularly rich trove of hybrid creatures, semi-human beings, and composite bodies: we need only consider manuscript pages and stone capitals in Romanesque churches to picture the myriad figures incorporating both human and animal elements that allow movement between, and even confusion of, components of each realm.
From Beasts to Souls: Gender and Embodiment in Medieval Europe raises the issues of species and gender in tandem, asking readers to consider more fully what happens to gender in medieval representations of nonhuman embodiment. The contributors reflect on the gender of stones and the soul, of worms and dragons, showing that medieval cultural artifacts, whether literary, historical, or visual, do not limit questions of gender to predictable forms of human or semi-human embodiment.
“From Beasts to Souls: Gender and Embodiment in Medieval Europe is a cogent, well-conceived addition to the dynamic field of cultural studies of the body. The essays are extremely strong, with contributions that are both insightful and provocative.”
— Suzanne Conklin Akbari, University of Toronto.
2012 Faculty Publications
A History of the Spanish Lexicon: A Linguistic Perspective
Steve N. Dworkin
Marie de France: A Critical Companion
Peggy McCracken, Sharon Kinoshita
Marie de France is the author of some of the most influential and important works to survive from the middle ages; arguably best-known for her Lais, she also translated Aesop's Fables (the Ysope), and wrote the Espurgatoire seint Patriz (St Patrick's Purgatory), based on a Latin text. The aim of this Companion is both to provide information on what can be gleaned of her life, and on her poetry, and to rethink standard questions of interpretation, through topics with special relevance to medieval literature and culture.
2011 Faculty Book Publications
La estela dl tiempo: Imagen e historicidad en el cine español contemporáneo
Focusing on contemporary Spanish cinema, this book presents a detailed analysis of extensive reflection on some films by Luis Buñuel, Jaime Chavarri, Ricardo Franco, Mario Camus, Alex de la Iglesia, and Mercedes Alvarez to discuss cultural and historical memory in contemporary Spain. Publisher: Iberamericana/Vervuert Year of Publication: 2011 Location: Madrid, Spain
The Mexican Exception: Sovereignty, Police, and Democracy
The war on drugs has opened up a discussion on whether Mexico is living a state of exception or even becoming a failed state. This book argues that sovereign exceptionality has always been central to Mexican modernity. In this book Williams maps out political and cultural counter-genealogies in order to shed light on the workings of the constitutive couple of democracy (equality and freedom) in modern and contemporary Mexico. Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Year of Publication: 2011 Location: New York, NY
Terms of Inclusion: Black Intellectuals in Twentieth-Century Brazil
Winner of the 2012 Roberto Reis Prize in Brazilian Studies.
In this history of black thought and racial activism in twentieth-century Brazil, Alberto demonstrates that black intellectuals, and not just elite white Brazilians, shaped discourses about race relations and the cultural and political terms of inclusion in their modern nation.
Thinking Through Chrétien de Troyes
Peggy McCracken, Zrinka Stahuljak, Virginie Greene, Sarah Kay, Sharon Kinoshita
This co-written, multi-stranded book challenges assumptions about Chrétien as the author of a canon of works. In a series of lively exchanges, its five authors reassess the relationship between lyric and romance, between individuality and social conditions, and between psychology and medieval philosophy.
Vernacular Translation in Dante's Literature: Illiterate Literature
Translation and commentary are often associated with institutions and patronage; but in Italy around the time of Dante, widespread vernacular translation was mostly on the spontaneous initiative of individuals. While Dante is usually the starting point for histories of vernacular translation in Europe, this book demonstrates that the Divine Comedy places itself in opposition to a vast vernacular literature already in circulation among its readers. Publisher: Cambridge University Press Year of Publication: 2011 Location: New York
Lusophone Africa: Beyond Independence
Lusophone Africa is a study of the contemporary cultural production of Portuguese-speaking Africa and its critical engagement with globalization in the aftermath of colonialism, especially since the advent of multiparty politics and market-oriented economies. Fernando Arenas puts forth a conceptual framework for understanding, for the first time, recent cultural and historical developments in Portuguese-speaking Africa.
Les revenantes: Charlotte Delbo, la voix d'une communauté á jamais déportée
David Caron, Sharon Marquart
Professors David Caron (UM RLL) and Sharon Marquart (University of Houston) have written one of the first books in French devoted to Charlotte Delbo, a poet and playwright survivor of the Nazi camps whose works are considered equal in beauty and depth to Primo Levi and Robert Antelme.
2010 Faculty Publications
European Modernity and the Arab Mediterranean: Toward a New Philology and a Counter-Orientalism
This book examines Orientalist philological scholarship of southern Europe produced between the mid-nineteeth and mid-twentieth century, focusing on Italy, Spain, and Malta. Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press Year of Publication: 2010 Location: Philadelphia, PA
The Journal of Michigan Romance Studies (MRS)
The Journal of Michigan Romance Studies (MRS) is currently inactive following volume 16 (1996), but back issues are still available for purchase. To place an order, complete the MRS order form and send to RLL.
Be sure to send your payment, including shipping and handling costs, with your order. Orders will not be shipped until payment is received.
Each volume of MRS was presented by a guest editor and focused on critical, cultural, and literary subjects of interest in the various Romance languages.
The series examined topics such as French poetry, Spanish literature of the eighteenth century, contemporary readings of medieval literature, Italian literature and culture, studies in Romance linguistics, and aspects of French culture.