News

Professor McEnaney quoted in the New York Times. Congratulations!

​Congratulations to Professor McEnaney, who is quoted in a recent article in ​The New York Times, “What Do We Hear When Women Speak?” (11/20/19).  The article, which focuses on perceptions of women’s voices in the context of the most recent Democratic presidential debate, draws on Professor McEnaney’s research and teaching in the emerging field of Sound Studies:

In a course called “Sounding American,” at the University of California at Berkeley, Tom McEnaney, a professor of comparative literature and Portuguese and Spanish, teaches that there is in fact a sound that people associate with authority in this country — and, while it is constantly evolving, it has its roots in many things, one of which is early broadcast technology. Dating back to the phonograph, he said, engineers had created a device that was designed for the male voice — newscasters, presidents, public figures — to the extent that if a woman spoke into it, her voice would sound distorted, thin or scrambled.  […]

 “So there was a bias in the engineering. That bias in the engineering produced distortion, which was mistakenly associated with women’s voices, and then listeners […] used that association as the justification for their ongoing prejudice against women’s voices,” Professor McEnaney said. “And those carry up to the present day.”

The full article can be found at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/us/politics/women-voices-authority.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fjessica-bennett&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

Congratulations, Holly Jackson!

Congratulations to Holly Jackson, who will begin as an Assistant Professor in Northern Arizona University in Fall 2019. In her dissertation, Writing Spain: Race, Migration and the Construction of the Pueblo (1937-2011), Holly focuses on twentieth-century Spanish literature as a territory of doubt, arguing that literary critique of Spain’s official national narratives happens across and beyond the historical and geographical borders of the modern-day nation.  Muchas felicidades, Holly!

Congratulations, Yairamarén Maldonado!

We are pleased to announce that Ph.D candidate Yairamarén Román Maldonado has been awarded the Ford Foundation 2019 Dissertation Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship is sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Congratulations, Yaira!!

Congratulations, Molly Borowitz!

Congratulations to Molly Borowitz, who will begin as an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University in Fall 2019!  Molly is currently finishing her doctoral work, which focuses on Early Modern and Colonial literature and culture. Her dissertation takes up the question of Early Modern forms of self-representation and their complex relations to institutional power.  (more…)

Professor Saum-Pascual publishes new book!

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Alex Saum-Pascual on publishing her book #Postweb! Crear con la máquina y en la red (Iberoamericana-Vervuert, 2018)In this new book, Prof. Saum-Pascual explores the role of digital technologies in recent literary experimentation in Spain throughout the last two decades. (more…)

Encuentros Iberoamericanos en Berkeley: Twenty Years

“Still your Department!”

Those were the words Prof. Michael Iarocci used to welcome over forty former graduate students who gathered in the Department on September 20th-21st, to celebrate the first ‘Encuentros Iberoamericanos Berkeley: Twenty Years”. The two-day conference brought together many academics and professionals currently working in the U.S. and abroad. This was an opportunity to exchange ideas, to think together, to reconnect, to reminiscence and to get reacquainted with colleagues, the Department and their Alma Mater-Berkeley. The Department would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the organizers Rocio Ferreira (class 2002) and Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel (class 1996) for making this event possible.

Click here to view conference program.

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Congratulations, Allen Young!

Congratulations to our former graduate student, Allen Young (Berkeley PhD, 2012), who has been awarded the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute Translation prize, for his translation of Losing is What Matters, by Manuel Pérez Subirina. The $10,000 prize is awarded for the best translation of a Spanish-language literary work into English. (more…)

Welcome New Faculty and Graduate Students!

The department is very happy to welcome Nathaniel Wolfson, who joins the department as Assistant Professor of Portuguese.  Professor Wolfson received his PhD from Princeton University, and he comes to Berkeley from a post-doctoral appointment at Harvard University.  His research and teaching focus on modern Brazilian literature and culture. (more…)