School of Humanities and Sciences
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Joan Ramon Resina
Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures and of Comparative Literature
BioProfessor Resina specializes in modern European literatures and cultures with an emphasis on the Spanish and Catalan traditions. He is Director of the Iberian Studies Program, housed in the Freeman Spogli Institute.
Professor Resina is most recently the author of The Ghost in the Constitution: Historical Memory and Denial in Spanish Society. Liverpool University Press, 2017. This book is a reflection on the political use of historical memory focusing on the case of Spain. It analyses the philosophical implications of the transference of the notion of memory from the individual consciousness to the collective subject and considers the conflation of epistemology with ethics. A subtheme is the origin and transmission of political violence and its endurance in the form of “negationism”. Some chapters consider “traumatic” phenomena, such as the bombing of Guernica, the Republican exile, the destruction of Catalan society, and the Holocaust. The book engages controversial issues, such as the relation between memory and imputation, the obstacles to reconciliation, and the problems arising from the existence of not only different but also conflicting memories about the past. Another recent book is Josep Pla: The World Seen in the Form of Articles. Toronto University Press, 2017, which received the North American Catalan Society award for best book on Catalan Studies in 2019. This book condenses Pla's 47-volume work into 11 thematic units devoted to a central aspect of Pla's oeuvre. Resina explores the modalities of Pla's writing: stylistic, phenomenological, political, his relation to language, fiction, food, and landscape, and his approach to sexuality, women, and death. It introduces the reader to the colorful world of Catalonia's greatest 20th century writer through the author's gaze. Pla was a privileged observer of some of the crucial events of the 20th century, but he also captured the sensual infrastructure of his own country by recording every aspect of its reality.
Previous books include Del Hispanismo a los Estudios Ibéricos. Una propuesta federativa para el ámbito cultural. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 2009. In this book, Resina lays out the rationale for the overcoming of Hispanic Studies by a new discipline of Iberian Studies, contending that the field's response to the crisis of the Humanities should not lie in the retrenchment into the national philological traditions. Another publication since joining Stanford is Barcelona's Vocation of Modernity: Rise and Decline of an Urban Image (Stanford UP, 2008). This book traces the development of Barcelona's modern image since the late 19th century through the 20th century through texts that foreground key social and historical issues. The book ends with a highly critical view on the post-Olympic period.
Resina has edited eleven collections of essays on varied topics, most recently Inscribed Identities: Writing as Self-Realization. Routledge, 2019, and Repetition, Recurrence, Returns, Lexington Books, 2019.
He has published extensively in specialized journals, such as PMLA, MLN, New Literary History, and Modern Language Quarterly, and has contributed to a large number critical volumes. From 1999 to 2005 he was the Editor of Diacritics. For several years he has been a regular contributor to the Barcelona daily press. He has held teaching positions at Cornell University, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Northwestern University, as well as visiting appointments at foreign universities, and received awards such as the Alexander von Humboldt and the Fullbright fellowships, and a fellowship at the Internationales Kolleg Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies of the University of Cologne..
Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures, Emeritus
BioProfessor Jorge Ruffinelli (Uruguay), a disciple of Angel Rama at the University of Uruguay, followed him as Director of the literary section of the seminal Uruguayan weekly Marcha in 1968. In 1973 he was Adjunct Professor of the Latin American literature program (directed by Noé Jitrik) at the University of Buenos Aires. In 1974 he emigrated to México, where he was appointed Director of the Centro de Investigaciones Lingüístico-Literarias at the Universidad Veracruzana, a position he held for for twelve years. At the Universidad Veracruzana he was also Professor in the school of Letters, and collaborated in all the major cultural journals and newspapers of the Latin American continent. In 1986 he was appointed Full Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford. In Mexico he founded and directed the literary journal Texto crítico for twelve years. A member of various international editorial boards, in the United States he has directed the journal Nuevo texto crítico since 1987.
He has published twenty books of literary and cultural criticism and more than five hundred articles, critical notes and reviews in journals throughout the world. A recognized authority on Onetti, García Márquez, Juan Rulfo, and Latin American literary history, during the nineties his critical work has centered on Latin American cinema. In 1993 he filmed a documentary on Augusto Monterroso for which he interviewed major Mexican writers and critics. He is completing the first Encyclopedia of Latin American Cinema, for which he has written around two thousand articles on feature films from and about Latin America. His current work also includes a book of interpretation and survey of the most recent Spanish American prose published by writers born after 1968, a project that analyzes the work, marketing, and reception of over more than fifty authors (Ana Solari, Milagros Socorro, Karla Suarez, Mayra Santos, David Toscana, Rodrigo Fresan, Juan Forn, Martin Kohan, Jorge Vopli, among others). His teaching centers on the intersection of the interests above and cultural politics.