Helena Talaya-Manso, Ph.D / Assistant Professor of Spanish / Oxford College of Emory University





While my primary research is focused on contemporary Spanish literature, I started my scholarship presenting a wide variety of papers at conferences whose topics underscore the interdisciplinary of my research interests. My first presentation was Narrativas cinematográficas: Buñuel y Gaviria: Distintos modos de narrar la violencia. Paper presented at the Vernacular Conference, Puebla, México, Oct 29-30, 2005. I have also presented several papers related with my doctoral research such are La revista La Luna como expresión mediática de la Movida en el Madrid de los 80. Paper presented at the III Four Corners Conference, Colorado Mesa University, CO, Oct 28-29, 2011. I have also presented La Movida Madrileña de los 80 ¿Movimiento Contracultural? at the Graduate Student Colloquium on Hispanic and Lusophone Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics. University of Berkeley, CA, March 12-23, 2007. And La Movida Madrileña: Un estudio multidisciplinario. Paper presented at the II Spanish Graduate Students Conference, University of Houston, Houston, TX, Sept 29-30, 2006. More recently I have presented Rosa Montero: Cronista aleatoria de la Posmodernidad. Paper presented at IV Congreso Internacional. Universidad de Puerto Rico at Arecibo, Nov 18-20, 2010.

I have focused not only on disciplinary research but also on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Attending a workshop for improving teaching strategies in the liberal arts at IPLA (Institute for Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts) helped me prepare a paper for the III Congreso Internacional BETA, Asociación de Jóvenes Doctores en Hispanismo: “Horizonte(s) literario(s): la obra y su entrono”. University of Valencia, Spain in May 22-24, 2013. My paper Explorando el concepto de lectura activa y el papel de los blogs: ¿Una nueva manera de leer y entender la obra literaria? discussed the concept of the reading process in the new frame of literary blogs. A tool that I used in my Spanish advanced classes.

As another example of my engagement with projects that deal with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, during the same summer 2013, I presented Following the Steps of Picasso and Dalí at the First International Conference on Arts and Humanities “Bridges Across Culture”. Perugia, Italy, June 27- 30, 2013. This work presentes a practical example: an interdisciplinary course I designed and taught as an international summer course that linked the study of Spanish language and art history.

While some of these themes continue to constitute part of my scholarly work, I have added new insights into my work and directed my focus towards film studies. As an example, in November 2013 I chaired the panel Transatlantic Images and New Perspectives on Culture of the Hispanic Countries at the 75th SAMLA Conference (South Atlantic Modern Language Association) in Atlanta.

In April of 2014, I presented two academic papers in Spain. I was invited to give a class Lecture at the University of San Louis, about Los ideales del 98 un siglo después: la movida en la España de la posmodernidad. In this work I looked beyond established chronological borders, and compared the attitudes of the writers who were part of one of the most prolific generations of Spanish authors from the XIX century, la Generación del 98, including Unamuno, Azorín y Baroja, with another generation pertaining to the so-called Movida madrileña, represented by young artists that started to create a new identity in Post-Franco Spain. My point was that they shared the same feelings about Spanish identity regardless of the chronological separation between them.

In April 5, 2014 I presented a paper at the 75 Congreso Posguerras, Seminario Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, April 3-5, 2014. This is a prestigious forum for scholars to discuss the consequences of the Spanish Civil War and the new trends in Spain's post-war history. The work I presented, Narrativas Visuales de la Guerra Civil, describes a didactic approach to teaching the Spanish Civil War using as primary texts visual materials, especially photography and propaganda posters using during the conflict. The project involves explaining the complex historical facts of the Spanish Civil War to college students through the use of such images. I presented on the same topic incorporating more visual material at the III Coloquio Internacional Imagen y Culturas, at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades de la Universidad Autónoma de Hidalgo, en Pachuca de Soto, Hidalgo, Mexico, in June 25-27, 2014. This research material is now incorporated into my SP 300 course to be taught Spring 2015.

I have also participated at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, in October 16-19, 2014 organized in conjunction with Michigan State University. My paper The Art of Picasso and Dalí, an interdisciplinary approach to build bridges across disciplines presents another aspect of an interdisciplinary course with a double component Spanish language and art history. I explained how I mentored undergraduate research projects involving the analysis of non-literary topics- such Picasso’s paintings- in which the use of the Spanish language was required. Using this interdisciplinary approach showed how language teachers can help student to bridge he distance between disciplines they might otherwise not connect.

In February 19-21, 2015 I presented at CineLit VIII, an International Conference on Hispanic Film and Fiction, organized by Portland State University, University of Oregon, and Oregon State University in conjunction with the 38th Annual Portland Film Festival (February 5-22, 2015). The topic of my paper is the fluctuation between utopia and dystopia that derives when a community in the suburbs slum of an Argentinian city struggles to survive and how they fight to solve the issues related to the marginality.

In March 18-20, 2015 I presented at the V Congreso Internacional “Escritura, Individuo y Sociedad en España, las Américas y Puerto Rico” organized by the Universidad de Puerto Rico at Arecibo. I will present a paper on El Calentito, a film by Spanish filmmaker Chus Gutiérrez. My presentation deals with the important role played by rock and punk music in the articulation of new identities that have increasingly drifted from traditional models to become postmodern. In my paper I consider the contribution that these new forms of expression have made to the production of a new identity, especially for women in post-Franco Spain.