Tag Archives: book launch

Online book launch: Hispanic Studies, Durham University, Dr Yarí Pérez Marín and Professor Andy Beresford, 3rd December 2020, 5-6pm

Click here to register and for more information

Yarí Pérez Marín, Marvels of Medicine: Literature and Scientific Enquiry in Early Colonial Spanish America 

Marvels of Medicine makes a compelling case for including sixteenth century medical and surgical writing in the critical frameworks we now use to think about a genealogy of cultural expression in Latin America. Focusing on a small group of practitioners who differed in their levels of training, but who shared the common experience of having left Spain to join colonial societies in the making, this book analyses the paths their texts charted to attitudes and political positions that would come to characterize a criollo mode of enunciation. Unlike the accounts of first explorers, which sought to amaze audiences back in Europe with descriptions of strange and astonishing lands, these texts instead engaged the marvellous in an effort to supersede it, stressing the value of sensorial experience and of verifying information through repetition and demonstration. Vernacular medical writing became an unlikely early platform for a new form of regionally anchored discourse that demanded participation in a global intellectual conversation, yet found itself increasingly relegated to the margins. In responding to that challenge, anatomical treatises, natural histories and surgical manuals exceeded the bounds set by earlier templates becoming rich, hybrid narratives that were as concerned with science as with portraying the lives and sensibilities of women and men in early colonial Mexico. 

Andrew M. Beresford, Sacred Skin: The Legend of St. Bartholomew in Spanish Art and Literature 

Sacred Skin offers the first systematic evaluation of the dissemination and development of the cult of St. Bartholomew in Spain. Exploring the paradoxes of hagiographic representation and their ambivalent effect on the observer, the book focuses on literary and visual testimonies produced from the emergence of a distinctive vernacular voice through to the formalization of Bartholomew’s saintly identity and his transformation into a key expression of Iberian consciousness. Drawing on and extending advances in cultural criticism, particularly theories of selfhood and the complex ontology of the human body, its five chapters probe the evolution of hagiographic conventions, demonstrating how flaying poses a unique challenge to our understanding of the nature and meaning of identity. 

Book launch for ‘Gothic Architecture in Spain: Invention and Imitation’, Courtauld Institute of Art, 12th February, 6.30-8pm

Please join us for the launch of Gothic Architecture in Spain: Invention and Imitation, eds Tom Nickson and Nicola Jennings: https://courtauld.ac.uk/event/gothic-architecture-in-spain-invention-and-imitation-book-launch 

6.30pm, Research Forum South Room, Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, London WC1X 9EW

From the dazzling spectacle of Burgos Cathedral to the cavernous nave of Palma Cathedral or the lacy splendour of San Juan de los Reyes, Spain preserves a remarkable variety of inventive but little understood Gothic buildings. Yet Gothic architecture in Spain and the Spanish kingdoms has traditionally been assessed in terms of its imitation of northern European architecture, dismissed for its ‘old-fashioned’ or provincial quality, and condemned for its passive receptivity to ‘Islamic influence’. But did imitation really triumph over invention in the architecture of medieval Iberia? Are the two incompatible? Can inventio and imitatio offer useful or valid analytical tools for understanding Gothic architecture? And to what extent are invention or imitation determined by patrons, architects, materials or technologies? This essay collection brings together leading scholars to examine Gothic architecture from across Iberia from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, and provides the first significant account of Spanish Gothic architecture to be published in English since 1865.

The launch directly follows a Medieval Work-in-Progress Seminar by Beate Fricke, ‘Colour and Chaos’, starting at 5pm in the same room. Attendance is free and all are welcome to attend. Details here: https://courtauld.ac.uk/event/colour-and-chaos

Book Launch: ‘Black but Human’: Slavery and Visual Arts in Hapsburg Spain, 1480–1700′ by Carmen Fracchia, Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck University of London, 23 November 2019, 3–5pm

A book launch and Q&A will be held on the 23 November3–5pm, at the Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck University of London.

In this book launch, Birkbeck scholar Mpalive Msiska will interview Dr Carmen Fracchia, from the Department of Cultures and Languages, about her new book Black but Human: Slavery and Visual Arts in Hapsburg Spain, 1480–1700 (OUP, 2019). This will be followed by a brief conversation between the author and the visual artist Victoria Burgher, who will give a short presentation of her work.

Carmen Fracchia is a Paraguayan academic trained originally in Italian and Spanish Art History at the Universities of Siena and University College London. She is a Reader in Hispanic Art History at Birkbeck. Her work focuses on the visual articulations of Hispanic intellectual, political, and religious thought about local Spanish and transatlantic slavery, freedom, subjectivity, race, and hybridity, with special emphasis to the visual representations of Africans and Afro-Hispanic enslaved and liberated people, such as Juan de Pareja (Antequera, c.1610-Madrid, c.1670).

Mpalive Msiska is a Malawian academic who is a Reader in English and Humanities at Birkbeck where he teaches courses and supervises research work on Post-colonial and Global literatures as well as interdisciplinary subjects. He has previously taught at Bath Spa University and the University of Malawi, among others. His publications include Post-Colonial Identity in Wole Soyinka (2007), Wole Soyinka (1998), Writing and Africa (1997) and The Quiet Chameleon:  A Study of Poetry from Central Africa (1992) and the most recent chapter ‘Divine Ways of Cognition: the Burden of the Poet-Seer in Soyinka’s Idanre,’ in The Soyinka Impulse, eds Duro Oni and Bisi Adigun. He is a member of the Caine Prize Advisory Board, the Council of the British Institute in Eastern Africa as well as the Editorial Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies.

Victoria Burgher is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in East London. She studied at Goldsmiths College (MA) and her politically engaged practice ranges from sculptural installations and site-specific interventions to collaborative community projects. She is interested in art’s ability to challenge histories and a fascination with materials and process inform her approach to making. Current work uses colonial commodities to decolonise the nostalgic narrative of Empire. She exhibits regularly in the UK and Europe.


Attendance is free but booking is necessary. Please click here to book and here for more information.

Book Launch: A new edition of Goya and his Critics by Nigel Glendinning, Instituto Cervantes, London, 7-8.30pm, 12 December 2017

10355_i_imagen20autorretratoWe celebrate with ARTES (Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group) the publication of a new edition of Nigel Glendinning’s Goya and his Critics by Dr Sarah Symmons and Dr Jesusa Vega.

Nigel Glendinning’s Goya and His Critics was first published in English in 1977 and appeared in Spanish some five years later. This was the first great synthesis of the reception of Goya as an artist and this new edition assesses the importance of Glendinning’s research not only for Goya studies but for Hispanic art and culture in general. This study includes essays by Jesusa Vega and Sarah Symmons, a foreword by Valeriano Bozal and analyses Glendinning’s mission to reveal the mysterious and evocative art of Goya to a culture which found the artist’s originality disturbing as well as inspiring.

Sarah Symmons-Goubert has won numerous awards for her academic work. She has published five books on art history, including Art & Ideas, Goya (Phaidon Press, 1998) and Goya, a life in letters (Pimlico, Random House, 2004).

In English

Free admission. RSVP http://bit.ly/goyacritics