Professor Surwillo will be speaking on her new book, Monsters by Trade (Stanford UP, forthcoming), which examines the intersections and overlaps of modernity and coloniality in Spain through the figure of the slave trafficker and the institution of slavery. This book proposes a new reading of modern Spain by exchanging the recently privileged term of "modernity" for that of its counterpart: "coloniality." Charting a course from the anti-imperial writings of Spanish writer Blanco White to recent Catalan novels and xylographic artists and through analysis of a range of literary works and cultural sites (e.g. tourists routes in regions like Asturias), Monsters by Trade argues that the Antilles were central to the cultural, political and economic life of nineteenth-century Spain.
Professor Surwillo a leading scholar in 19th-century Spanish literature and culture. She is the author of The Stages of Property: Copyrighting Theater in Spain (U of Toronto Press, 2007), as well as of a number of articles on modern and contemporary Spanish literature published in journals like PMLA, Comparative American Studies, Hispanic Review, and the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies.
Sponsored by the Departments of Romance Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature.