New Book on Don Quixote Celebrates 400th Anniversary

November 18, 2016

book cover

Carmen García de la Rasilla, associate professor of Spanish, and Jorge Abril Sánchez, lecturer in Spanish have teamed up to edit a new collection of essays on Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote,” celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of the novel’s second part.

“A Novel Without Boundaries: Sensing Don Quixote 400 Years Later,” published by Juan de la Cuesta, includes articles that examine “Don Quixote” in relation to major literary forms and genres such as novels of chivalry, the Alexandrian epic narrative and the genesis of detective fiction. Other articles explore how the novel has been transformed through different mediums and contexts over the centuries. The collection includes two essays by Rasilla.

The idea and content for the book grew out of an April 2015 UNH symposium that commemorated the 400th anniversary of the second part of Cervantes’ famous novel. A diverse group of experts, some of them internationally known for their work, gathered to discuss and share their research on “Don Quixote.”

“The positive, insightful, innovative and unique approaches to the subject brought by participants certainly proved the need and relevance of the conference, which re-opened the Cervantine text to new avenues of research and interpretation in the 21st century,” says Rasilla, who is pleased to be able to share these works widely now through “A Novel Without Boundaries.” Funding from the UNH Center for the Humanities and Class of ‘54 Enrichment Funds made the conference possible and facilitated the publication of the volume.

“A Novel Without Boundaries: Sensing Don Quixote 400 Years Later” is available at major online retailers.


On the Trail of Witches

October 27, 2016

photo of Jorge Abril Sanchez

excerpted/edited from a longer piece by Jennifer Saunders

Goblins, ghosts, werewolves, witches. At this time of year, those words conjure images of Halloween and favorite scary stories.

For one member of the UNH faculty, however, research into the folklore and fears of the past has attracted the attention of Smithsonian.com. Jorge Abril Sánchez, a lecturer in Spanish in the department of languages, literatures, and cultures, was contacted over the summer by a Smithsonian reporter to share his expertise for an article on the Basque country in Spain, the site of the largest witch trial in world history.

In Spain over a five-year period in the early 1600s, more than 7,000 people were accused of witchcraft, at least 2,000 were “examined” — with many of those investigations involving torture — and 11 lost their lives.

Abril Sánchez confirms there are some similarities between what happened in the Salem, Mass. witch trials and what happened in Spain. In both instances, children played a key role, with many manipulated to retaliate against familial enemies. And, in Spain and Salem, anyone who did not fit the mold of the ruling religion or government was at risk for persecution.

There were differences, however.  In Spain, he notes, there were defenders within the church who were skeptical about the accusations. Of the more than 7,000 accused, six were killed while five died in jail before all 11 were eventually pardoned — compared to Salem, where 20 people of the 200 accused were killed.

Read the full story in UNH Today.

 


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