Research Seminars 2014/2015

SPLAS Research Seminars, Semester 1, 2014-2015

In conjunction with SPLAS, the launch of a series of Fusão events, celebrating Lusophone culture in 2014-2015, will take place with a public lecture by Professor Hilary Owen (University of Manchester), “The Two Marias plus One: Feminism and Difference in New Portuguese Letters and Beyond.”

Wednesday 8th October, 4pm, Parkinson Building B.08

The solidarity of the three prosecuted co-authors of the emblematic 1972 feminist text, New Portuguese Letters, Maria Isabel Barreno, Maria Teresa Horta and Maria Velho da Costa is very well-known. Their very public dissent in the immediate aftermath of acquittal has received considerably less attention.  This paper will draw on new research reviewing press reports and correspondence from May to July 1974 to explore the gendered political developments that ensued from the Three Marias case in the wake of the 25 April Revolution of 1974, with a view to mapping the directions that feminist politics in Portugal subsequently took, and tracing the genealogies of the significant differences between these three co-authors as evidenced in the text itself.

This Fusão event will be followed by Neus Baena Gallardo (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Visiting Researcher University of Leeds), who will discuss “Catholic workers under Francoism. From community believers to society citizens. Catalonia (1951- 1977).

Wednesday 19th November, 4pm, Seminar Room 1.14, Baines Wing

An important sector of Catalan Catholic workers underwent a transformation process from the 1950s to 1977 in two aspects: religion and politics. In religion, they broke with the authoritarian values of the institutional and ‘nacionalcatólica’ Spanish Church and they moved from a disembodied spiritualist faith to secularization, with involvement and social action in the socio-economic problems of the working class. In politics, they moved from their knowledge about a dictatorship and a system of authoritarianism to democratization, developing an identification with values such as democracy, utopia, anti-capitalism and social revolution.

The December seminar will be given by Dr. Stephanie Dennison and Dr. Richard Cleminson, “Screening Intersex: A Case Study of Lucía Puenzo's XXY

Wednesday 3rd December, 4pm, Baines Wing 3.06

This exploratory paper places the representation of intersexuality in Lucía Puenzo's XXY within the context of Latin American cinema and medicalized accounts of sexual identity.

The February seminar will be given by Seb Browne, University of Kent "Medicalising Propaganda: Blood Transfusion and the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939"

Wednesday 11th February, 4pm, Baines Wing SR G42

During the Spanish Civil War propaganda was deployed in journal, film and to a lesser degree newspapers in a ‘scientific’ or ‘medical’ manner to promote differently perceived models of care in both the Republican and Insurgent Zones. Blood transfusion received particular attention in this regard. In those areas loyal to the Republic the donation of blood was phrased as an anti-fascist duty of both women and men, whereas in the Insurgent Zone blood donation was primarily configured around a catholic discourse of woman as nurturer, carer and mother. By examining blood transfusion, specifically the transfusion of stored blood – a relatively new technique at the time - and how it was perceived in a variety of media, from cinema - an obvious propaganda medium, through to medical journals - not a medium normally associated with propaganda, the aim of this paper is to demonstrate that propaganda can be a subtle and pervasive tool that can also be influential in the dissemination of educative materials that serve a purpose beyond what is propaganda’s normally and often erroneously perceived remit - that of distorting the truth.
The works examined include an analysis of three films, Heart of Spain (1937), about the defence of Madrid and the blood transfusion service headed by Norman Bethune, Transfusio de Sang (1937), about the service set up by Durán-Jordà in Barcelona, and Defenders of the Faith (1938), a pro Francoist film that contains a five minute section on the service set up by Carlos Elósegui in the Insurgent Zone. The Lancet, the Revista de Sanidad de Guerra and other journals form an integral part of this study and alongside newspaper articles form part of the diverse corpus of materials that were used in the medicalisation of propaganda. The image and the word were potent weapons during the Spanish Civil War and by medicalising aspects of their content, not only could they be used to target blood donors for recruitment, but this could additionally be framed to reflect conflicting ideologies, and target audiences within Spain and beyond.