Between the middle of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, British culture rediscovered Spain, and the country became an object of exploration through travelling, writing and visual representation. In all this, the six-year Peninsular War (1808-14) marked a crucial turning point in a traditionally vexed intercultural relationship. The conflict made Spain popular among the British public, though it never entirely elided/neutralized mutual incomprehension, hostility and untranslatability. Spain remained a problematic and contentious cultural terrain throughout the 1820s and beyond, owing to the failure of the constitutional monarchy of 1820-23, the crumbling of the Spanish American empire, and the civil strife of the Carlist Wars.
This research network takes a fresh look at the conflicted constructions of Spain in British culture between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The politics, literature and visual artefacts emerging from this protracted Anglo-Hispanic encounter constituted a major cultural phemomenon. Indeed, the rediscovery of the historical, geopolitical, linguistic and literary mosaic of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world opened up a space for problematizing and redefining aesthetic, historical and political questions and concerns. Our research group aims to recover this field of debate and put it back to the centre of critical and scholarly debate.
From Napoleon's invasion of Portugal in 1807 to his final defeat at Waterloo, the English theatres played a crucial role in the mediation of the Peninsular campaign. In the first in-depth study of English theatre during the Peninsular War, Susan Valladares contextualizes the theatrical treatment of the war within the larger political and ideological axes of Romantic performance. Exploring the role of spectacle in the mediation of war and the links between theatrical productions and print culture, she argues that the popularity of theatre-going and the improvisation and topicality unique to dramatic performance make the theatre an ideal lens for studying the construction of the Peninsular War in the public domain. Without simplifying the complex issues involved in the study of citizenship, communal identities, and ideological investments, Valladares recovers a wartime theatre that helped celebrate military engagements, reform political sympathies, and register the public's complex relationship with Britain's military campaign in the Iberian Peninsula. From its nuanced reading of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Pizarro (1799), to its accounts of wartime productions of Shakespeare, description of performances at the minor theatres, and detailed case study of dramatic culture in Bristol, Valladares's book reveals how theatrical entertainments reflected and helped shape public feeling on the Peninsular campaign.
An international two-day conference organised by the Anglo-Hispanic Horizons initiative
University of Oviedo, Spain Thursday 25 - Friday 26 June 2015
The year 1814 put an end to the Peninsular War in Spain. A six-year period followed during which an authoritarian Ferdinand VII ruled, in an era of great hostility towards liberal ideas. Triggered by Riego's revolutionary coup, three years of tumultuous liberal and radical government ensued. This was of great concern to the conservative European powers (Britain among them), who eventually agreed to intervene in Spain by sending a French army. By the end of 1823, the old absolutist order had been restored in Spain, and the subsequent months saw the end of Spanish rule in continental America. In Britain as elsewhere in Europe, Romanticism was still in full production during those years. The 'second generation' poets, together with novelists like Mary Shelley, Jane Austen and Walter Scott, published much of their best work in this period, which also inspired a substantial part of Constable's and Turner's paintings. Many of these British artists and intellectuals were aware of what was going on in Southern and Eastern Europe, where authoritarian regimes were facing a number of consecutive and related revolutionary movements. This included Spain, whose image in Britain had been constantly shifting for two decades --from foe to friend, heroic to backward, war-winner to peace-loser, revolutionary to reactionary and back to revolutionary.
14th international conference for the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS).
Cardiff University16-19 July 2015
The theme of the interdisciplinary conference is Romantic Imprints, broadly understood to include the various literary, cultural, historical and political manifestations of Romantic print culture across Europe, the Americas and the rest of the world. Our focus will fall on the ways in which the culture of the period was conscious of itself as functioning within and through, or as opposed to, the medium of print. The conference location in the Welsh capital provides a special opportunity to foreground the Welsh inflections of Romanticism within the remit of the conference's wider theme. The two-hundredth anniversary of Waterloo also brings with it the chance of thinking about how Waterloo was represented within and beyond print.
núm. 21 (2015): Cartas y epistolarios. Cultura de la correspondencia misiva y práctica editorial
Esta seccióon monográfica examina algunas prácticas del género a través del análisis de las cartas - intercambiadas en diferentes momentos entre distintos corresponsales de manera ocasional - y los epistolarios, recogidos físicamente en libros o cuadernos, o que son susceptibles de ser reunidos por la unidad que les confiere bien la correspondencia mantenida entre un número limitado de interlocutores, bien el arco temporal del intercambio epistolar, bien el archivo en que se encuentren depositados, o cualquier otro criterio que dote de coherencia similar al lote de cartas considerado por el archivero o posible editor.
Oviedo: RIDEA, 2015
Este libro profundiza sobre el gran protagonismo del Rey Pelayo en la literatura del Romanticismo, no solamente español, sino francés, italiano portugués, británico y norteamericano, sin olvidar los relatos de viajes. En todos los casos, la figura del legendario caudillo adquire unos peculiares contornos, deudores de una época, la romántica, tan rompedora en lo literario y cultural como convulsa en lo político y social. Sin perder de vista sus orígnes asturianos y españoles, el mito de Pelayo experimenta en su proyección europea y norteamericana de la época romántica un marcado proceso de integración, extensa y profunda, en distintas y muy variadas comunidades receptoras.
Los trabajos reunidos en este libro son, en gran medida, pioneros en sus respectivos análisis de los 'Pelayos' románticos, nacionales e internacionales, que se recuperan así para el patrimonio cultural asturiano y español.
Colaboran en el volumen
Agustín Coletes Blanco (RIDEA, Universidad de Oviedo); Ramón Rodríguez Álvarez (RIDEA, Universidad de Oviedo); Ana María Freire López (UNED); Gérard Dufour (Université Aix-Marseille); Diego Saglia (Università di Parma); Beatriz Peralta García (Universidad de Oviedo); Alicia Laspra Rodríguez (RIDEA, Universidad de Oviedo).