DepositThe Poetry of Brass Bands [2020]

A contribution to National Poetry Day 2017. [updated May 2020] Several brass bands have been immortalised in poetry over the years. From those lauding their heroes to the ones which are critical or even insulting. From the earliest days poets have found something in the music of the bands and the people who play in them to inspire their muse. I think it is fair to say that most of the writers would not have made a career out of their works – some are certainly more William McGonagall than William Wordsworth – but nonetheless they are priceless views of the bands and bandsmen

DepositRoyal Women, the Franciscan Order, and Ecclesiastical Authority in Late Medieval Bohemia and the Polish Duchies

In this chapter, I complicate the image of women religious as either authoritative and agentive or submissive and oppressed, with reference to the relationships between royal women, the papacy, and the Franciscan order in Bohemia and the Polish duchies. Using the thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century evidence for these relationships, I argue that situating discussion of women’s spiritual authority within the confessor-penitent dynamic and increased role of the papacy in the lives of women religious post Lateran IV allows us to see women exercise spiritual authority even as they perform submission to male superiors. In doing so, I also begin to draw out where the women under examination may have unconsciously reinforced mechanisms for their own oppression through participating in performances of submission that were central to their own spiritual vocation. Finally, in the context of histories of the Franciscan order(s), I use this discussion to query the entrenched myth of defiance of papal authority as a quality inherent to an ‘authentic’ Franciscan identity.

DepositThe Politics of Being Part of Nature

Genevieve Lloyd argues that when we follow Spinoza in understanding reason as a part of nature, we gain new insights into the human condition. Specifically, we gain a new political insight: we should respond to cultural difference with a pluralist ethos. This is because there is no pure universal reason; human minds find their reason shaped differently by their various embodied social contexts. Furthermore, we can use the resources of the imagination to bring this ethos about. In my response, I offer a friendly challenge to Lloyd’s characterisation of the lessons of Spinoza’s philosophy. I argue that Lloyd’s Spinoza remains excessively unpolitical, even in the moment that he is brought to bear on contemporary politics. An unpluralistic attitude may well be rationally inferior, but is it really explained by insufficient or inappropriate imagination? To the contrary, a properly Spinozist account of reason must include an account of the concrete determinants of reason’s imperfect realisation in the world. In Spinoza’s own oeuvre, this is carried out through an ever-increasing–and ever more sociological–interest in the political structures within which individual reason flourishes or withers.

DepositVariantes y versos perdidos: El Cid Campeador de A. Enríquez Gómez entre el manuscrito (1660) y las comedias sueltas

El Cid Campeador, obra teatral de Antonio Enríquez Gómez (1660-1663), se publicó reiteradamente a lo largo del siglo XVIII y los primeros años del XIX. La obra, casi desconocida hoy en día, gozó de una popularidad enorme entre 1700 y 1830, tanto en el teatro como en la imprenta, debido en parte a su tema histórico y el estilo barroco, tan de gusto para el público (si no para la crítica) de esa época. Sin embargo, las versiones sueltas que se conservan en múltiples archivos y que se pueden leer en forma digital en algunos casos, difieren mucho del manuscrito (supuestamente autógrafo) fechado el 5 de abril 1660. Esta ponencia analizará algunas algunas de las diferencias observadas durante el cotejo del manuscrito del siglo XVII con las versiones (un manuscrito y varias sueltas impresas) del XVIII y comienzos del XIX para comprender mejor la transmisión textual de esta obra.

DepositCourse Design to Connect Theory to Real-world Cases: Teaching Political Philosophy in Asia

Students often have difficulty connecting theoretical and text-based scholarship to the real world. When teaching in Asia, this disconnection is exacerbated by the European/American focus of many canonical texts, whereas students’ own experiences are primarily Asian. However, in my discipline of political philosophy, this problem receives little recognition nor is it comprehensively addressed. In this paper, I propose that the problem must be taken seriously, and I share my own experiences with a novel pedagogical strategy which might offer a possible path forward. Recent scholarship has championed an active learning approach, where students engage in their own research, and deliver outward-facing products that have a meaning and purpose beyond the confines of the student-professor relationship. In this spirit, I have put into practice a strategy of course design, where active learning is used to overcome students’ disconnection with the course content. In particular, as a major component of course assessment, students are required to write an ‘opinion piece’, which is then showcased on a public website. The opinion piece must address a real-world issue which the student himself or herself selects and deems important; furthermore, it must build on the theoretical tools of the course and be written in a style which makes it accessible to a wider audience. I discuss the implementation of this strategy in two political philosophy courses, including strategies to avoid ‘dumbing down’ and ‘diluting’ the process of critical thinking. While no formal analysis of impact of the strategy on learning outcomes has been conducted, an anonymous pedagogical survey has yielded an overwhelmingly positive response for students’ self-reported perceptions of the curricular innovations.

DepositA Critical Edition of Antonio Enríquez Gómez’s El Cid Campeador (1660): Project Narrative for Grant Proposal

This paper is the project narrative for a grant proposal submitted in February 2019, that resulted in funding from two different sources to cover travel expenses in support of archival work in Spain (summer 2019). I share this project narrative to encourage others who are considering similar proposals, or who may be thinking about the scholarly labor of love that is the “critical edition” of any early modern text existing in multiple versions. I include an updated bibliography of versions of the play consulted as of June 2020.

DepositThe Irish Road to South America: Nineteenth-Century Travel Patterns from Ireland to the Río de la Plata region

Nineteenth-century Irish emigration to Argentina has been studied from different perspectives. There is a growing number of historical, demographic and cultural studies focusing on diverse aspects of this migration, which together with Quebec and Mexican Texas, produced the only Irish settlements in non English-speaking territories. However, with a few exceptions, most of these studies concentrate on the settlement and the life of the emigrants from the time they arrived to their destination, thus neglecting the preparations for their journey and the material details of the voyage. While this essay deals primarily with the Río de la Plata region, including the pampas of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, many of its conclusions may be projected to other parts of the continent. How did the Irish emigrants travel from their townlands and rural villages to the most important ports in Ireland and England, and from there to South American ports? What means of transport did they use on land and sea, and how had those vehicles changed with the technical advances of the century? How expensive were the fares and how comfortable was the accommodation? Which were the most common emigrant ships to South America and what were their usual travel patterns?

DepositIreland and Latin America: a Cultural History

According to Declan Kiberd, “postcolonial writing does not begin only when the occupier withdraws: rather it is initiated at that very moment when a native writer formulates a text committed to cultural resistance.” The Irish in Latin America –a continent emerging from indigenous cultures, colonisation, and migrations– may be regarded as colonised in Ireland and as colonisers in their new home. They are a counterexample to the standard pattern of identities in the major English-speaking destinations of the Irish Diaspora. Using literary sources, the press, correspondence, music, sports, and other cultural representations, in this thesis I search the attitudes and shared values signifying identities among the immigrants and their families. Their fragmentary and wide-ranging cultures provide a rich context to study the protean process of adaptation to, or rejection of, the new countries. Evolving from oppressed to oppressors, the Irish in Latin America swiftly became “ingleses”. Subsequently, in order to join the local middle classes they became vaqueros, llaneros, huasos, and gauchos so they could show signs of their effective integration to the native culture, as seen by the Latin American elites. Eventually, some Irish groups separated from the English mainstream culture and shaped their own community negotiating among Irishness, Englishness, and local identities in Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Cuba, and other places in the region. These identities were not only unmoored in the emigrants’ minds but also manoeuvred by the political needs of community and religious leaders. After reviewing the major steps and patterns of Irish migration to Latin America, the thesis analyses texts from selected works, offers a version of how the settlers became Latin Americans or not, and elucidates the processes by which a new Irish-Latin American hybrid was created.