Thesis working title: The U.S.A.’s Culture and Society in Spanish Poetry of the Early Twentieth Century (1920-1936)
Supervisor: Dr Tara Plunkett
I am a third-year doctoral student in Spanish in UCD. I also previously graduated from UCD with a BA International in Spanish and Italian in 2013, before completing the MA in Modern Languages. My research interests include: Spanish poetry of the early 20th century, the Spanish avant-garde, and music in literature.
My thesis explores the manner in which three of Spain’s leading vanguard poets, Federico García Lorca, Luis Cernuda and Rafael Alberti, encountered the U.S.A., and argues that it was largely through the popular culture and society of North-America that this engagement occurred. It considers the relevance of precise features of the U.S.A. in Spanish poetry, including manifestations of America’s mass consumerism, Prohibition, emerging celebrity culture, Jazz nightlife, relaxed sexual morality, popular films, and race conflict. The particular importance of American film and music of the era is foregrounded in the study. My thesis particularly examines the U.S.A and the poetry with an aural emphasis, stressing the importance of how sound, silence and musicality, sourced in aspects of the U.S.A., was translated in their poetry. I hope to show through my study that this definition of the American in their poetry involves implicitly these poets’ appropriation of aurality and musicality in their respective works.