Guest Lecture: "Don Quijote and the Moors"

March 4, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 11.53.24 AMOn March 18, Dr. Barbara Fuchs (UCLA) will speak on “Don Quijote and the Moors” from 4 to 5 p.m. in AS-384. This event is sponsored by the Departments of Romance, German, Russian Languages & Literatures; Middle Eastern Studies;  English; and SGSA. This event will include a light reception.

Over the course of the sixteenth century, Spain tried with mixed success to assimilate the Moriscos or nuevos convertidos de moros (Muslims who had been forcibly converted to Christianity) and their descendants, while ostracizing their culture and language. Cervantes’ Don Quijote explores the problem of Spain’s Moorishness at every level of the text, from its narrative voice to its generic inter texts to the fantasies of its protagonist. In its multifaceted engagement, the novel considers the place of Moors within spain in the tragic aftermath of the fall of Granada, offering literary inclusion as a response to the pressing problem of Morisco assimilation.
Trained as a comparatist (English, Spanish, French, Italian), Dr. Fuchs works on European cultural production from the late fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries, with a special emphasis on literature and empire. During 2006-2007, she held a Guggenheim Fellowship for her project on “Moorishness” and the conflictive construction of Spain. Dr. Fuchs recently completed two books, both forthcoming from the University of Pennsylvania Press: The Poetics of Piracy, a study of the occlusion of Spain in English literary history and, with Aaron Ilika and Larissa Brewer-García, The Abencerraje and “Ozmin and Daraxa,” a translation and critical edition of two maurophile novellas. She is a past editor of Hispanic Review and holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Spanish & Portuguese and English at UCLA.