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August 6, 2010

Dean contributes chapter focused on gender roles in Spain

The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences recently contributed a chapter to a book collection called Romanticism and the Anglo-Hispanic Imaginary, by independent publisher Rodopi.
Dr. Jeffrey Cass wrote the chapter titled, "Fighting Over the Woman’s Body: Representations of Spain and the Staging of Gender."

In the book, authors assess British Romanticism’s creative and polemical engagements with the Peninsular War, the bid of Spanish American colonies to establish independence with British support, and the impact of travel narratives about Spain and the Americas.

The essays analyze questions of language and translation in Anglo-Hispanic literary genealogies, the representation of war and nationalism in poetry, drama, and prose, and the confluence of empire, gender, and authorship in travel narratives.

“I have been attempting a new personal foray into Romantic drama since I usually write about the novel,” explained Cass. “Romantic drama has recently had a revival in terms of critical interest, and in my case, I'm interested in how British national literature represents other countries' people and culture(s). Spain is always a critical country in most European literature, including England's, because of its historical connections to the "Orient" and thus to issues of colonialism.”

“English dramatists frequently portray their philosophical ideas through the interplay of the East and the West, using Spain as the battleground for the two. Romantic drama frequently employs Spain as the locale of its plays,” Cass said. “And women writers make use of the figure of the woman and the treatment of the woman's body within the Spanish context as a means to play out their social, cultural, and political concerns.”

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