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..