Volume XI


Dr. Abigail Alexander, Kennesaw State University

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La belleza femenina en la poesía, ¿con qué fin?

Danita Mathew, The University of Tulsa

Praise of the female form can convey a poetic message, especially in poetic works. However, poetry before the onset of feminism is almost entirely dominated by the male voice. How can the modern reader interpret the use of the female form as a muse by male poets in the wake of third-wave feminism? This essay seeks to uncover the subtleties of the language and question the use of the feminine form in three early Spanish poems by prominent poets, “Soneto XXIII” by Garcilaso de la Vega, “Soneto CLXVI” by Luis de Góngora and “Rima XI” by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, through the lens of prominent feminist philosopher Martha Nussbaum. By contrasting modern interpretations of the poems with their original meaning in historical context, a modern reader can arrive at a more holistic understanding of the poetry.

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La quête pour une écriture objective en France au vingtième siècle

Aditya Gandhi, Pomona College

In a sense, the twentieth century in France was a century of revolt against the ruling bourgeois class. This revolt and discontentment extended all the way to literary movements. Roland Barthes spearheaded much of the thinking in this regard, calling for an objective literature that could separate itself from the bourgeois, Balzacian novel of the nineteenth century. By looking at the novels of Albert Camus and Nathalie Sarraute through the lens of Barthes, particularly Barthes’s “Death of the Author,” this paper examines the success with which the modern French novel lived up to Barthes’s ideals. In doing so, this paper shows that while both Camus and Sarraute strongly embodied some of Barthes’s standards in their writing, their novels could not fully encapsulate the “blank” writing for which Barthes called. This was not due to any failure on their own part. Instead, it occurred because of the ultimately idealistic nature of objective literature as Barthes envisioned it.

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Los comentarios absurdos de Mafalda: Desenredando las normas dañosas de las normas beneficiosas en el tejido de la sociedad argentina

Cameron Wilson, Elon University

Joaquín Lavador, also known as Quino, was an Argentine comic strip artist from the province of Mendoza. Quino’s Mafalda, which was published from 1964 to 1973, comments on critical social issues during this period in Argentina, including the generational gap, gender roles, and censured politics under oppressive governments. During this time of Argentine history, the political environment included military governments like that of General Juan Carlos Onganía (1966-1970), who attempted to control much of politics and society. Quino uses absurdist humor to help break the cycle of unnecessarily restrictive norms in Argentina’s society that limited people’s dreams and life pursuits. The following essay conducts an in-depth analysis of two Mafalda comic strips created by Quino, using Ortiz Correa, Jiménez Rendón, and Viana Ruiz’s work as a model.

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Notre langue à nous

Paris Jensen, Wesleyan University

Drawing on Étienne Brunet’s conceptualization of francophonie, in which identity is based on the affirmation of difference, a close reading of the documentary En français S.V.P. is used to explore how a French linguistic identity outside of France is practically constructed. What does living life en français entail? And how can we think of the “us” in “our language” in cases where linguistic community is not identified with a national language or a so-called mother tongue? The film follows the Melansons, a mixed anglophone-francophone family living in English-dominated Halifax, who decide to switch the language of their everyday experience from English to French when the eldest of their two boys becomes old enough to start elementary school. Over the course of a year, the Melansons build a network of French-language relationships with their city and history that changes the meaning of the language for them, reshaping their cultural identity. The article examines how French – a language that, in the beginning, only the father of the family is comfortable speaking – is defined as “our language” for the Melansons. The use and significance of French is analyzed at three levels of community: the Melanson family, the francophone community of Halifax, and Acadia (both past and future). 

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