Santiago Morales-Rivera

picture of Santiago  Morales-Rivera

Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
School of Humanities
Undergraduate Program Director, Spanish and Portuguese
School of Humanities

Ph.D., Harvard University

Phone: (949) 824-6901
Fax: (949) 824-2803

University of California, Irvine
339 Humanities Hall
Mail Code: 5275
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Modern and Contemporary Peninsular Literature; 20th-Century Latin American Narrative; Critical Theory and Literary History; Ressentiment, Melancholy, and Guilt; Hermetism, and Black Humor
Research Abstract
I teach modern Spanish literature and culture. I received my Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University and my Licenciatura in Hispanic Philology from the University of Zaragoza. Before coming to UC-Irvine, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Cornell University and taught in both New York University’s and Boston University’s Study Abroad Programs in Madrid.

I am interested in the crossovers between affect and literature, especially in new literary forms associated with conditions of affliction in the Spain of late modernity. I wrote a book on the literary representations of a modern notion of “guilt” inflected by the tensions between chance (fortuity, accident), and answerability. I traced this redefinition –which links guilt to regret and melancholy, rather than to ressentiment— in the narratives of Spanish contemporary writers: Félix de Azúa, Cristina Fernández Cubas, Javier Marías, Enrique Vila-Matas, Gonzalo Torrente Ballester and Juan José Millás.

While I anchor my research in the particular historical context of the so-called Post-Francoist era, I am interested in supplementing the current cultural approaches to the literature of this period with modes of analysis that are informed by a broader set of analytical tools. Thus, I examine contemporary Spanish texts as they relate both to continental intellectual history as well as literary traditions that more intimately have dealt with feelings of affliction in and outside Spain, especially with regard to such topics as tragedy, autobiography, hermetism, and black humor.

Ultimately, this research project, which explores the ways in which contemporary Spanish writers have responded to the ongoing debates on trauma, memory, and disenchantment since the end of the Franco dictatorship, focuses on the way these writers reflect upon and resist not only the supposed affliction of their epoch, but also the narcissism that appears to loom behind it.
Anatomía del desencanto. Humor, ficción y melancolía en España, 1976-1998 (Purdue University Press, 2017).

Votos o pistolas: anarquismo y film noir en España (Forthcoming).

"Desencantos ejemplares: estética y afectividad en la España de los años noventa." Revista Iberoamericana, 247, Vol. LXXX (abril-junio 2014): 535-553.

“The Black Sun of Anarchy: from Historical Memory to Sinister Imagination" (A Meditation on the Film El honor de las injurias). Hispanic Issues On Line. Volume 12 (2012): 157-179.

“La imaginación desmadrada de Juan José Millás: humor y melancolía en La soledad era esto". Revista Hispánica Moderna. 64.2 (2011): 129-148.

“El arte de adivinar de Gonzalo Torrente Ballester: anatomía de la culpa en La muerte del decano.” La tabla redonda. Anuario de estudios torrentinos. Extraordinario (2010): 143-162.

“Degeneration of the Sixties. A Look at Spain” ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America. Volume 7:17 (Winter 2009): 39-42.

“Mañana en la batalla piensa en mí: la lógica del presèntimiento.” Actas del Primer Simposio España y Estados Unidos: Una mirada desde el Instituto Internacional, Madrid, 2002.

“La Fiesta del Chivo: la más humilde de las rebeliones.” Riff-Raff: Revista de Pensamiento y Cultura 014:2 (2000): 55-69.

“La heroína rockmántica.” Riff-Raff: Revista de Pensamiento y Cultura 012: 2 (2000): 95-111.

“Cantar la partida de la tierra natal: el lamento y la risa.” La jornada literaria III Rutgers University (1999): 33-54.

“De seres y estares.” Poesía en el Campus. Revista Oral de Poesía 22 (1992): 18:25.

Review of Los usos de la palabra. El pensamiento literario de José María Valverde by Pueo, Juan Carlos. España Contemporánea (2011): 23.2.

Review of Working through Memory. Writing and Remembrance in Contemporary Spanish Narrative by Ferrán, Ofelia. Modern Languages Notes 125:2 Hispanic Issue (March 2010): 481-485.

Review of ¿Qué es la historia literaria? by Beltrán-Almería, Luis. Hesperia. Anuario de filología hispánica Volumen X (2007): 269-271.
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