Skip to content



Articles and Book Chapters

This article inaugurates the area of Asturian in the refereed, multimodal, online database, Linguistic Minorities in Europe Online, published by De Gruyter.

  • “La música asturiana y el uso del asturiano en redes sociales.” (Asturian Music and the Use of Asturian Language in Social Networks), The Asturian Language: Distinctiveness, Identity and Officiality, edited by Avelino Corral. Peter Lang, pp. 85-94.

This chapter studies language use and its relationship with activism in social media posts by Asturian musicians. Specifically, it examines the original, written publications that appear –from January 1st to August 1st, 2022—on public Facebook pages of Asturian musicians. Asturian musicians are defined as those included in the “Anuario de la Música Asturiana” playlist from 2008 to 2021 or in the tab “Artistes” of the digital portal in August, 2021. This study analyzed (1) the language or combination of languages used; (2) the correlation between the languages used in their posts and the ones of their musical lyrics; (3) the languages used and their number of followers; and (4) the connection between the languages used and their activism on social networks. Results indicate a prevalence of Asturian language, followed by Spanish. Also, there is a correlation between posts in Asturian and musicians who sing in Asturian or interpret instrumental music (without lyrics). With regards to the number of followers, the most active groups who write in Asturian have between 1000 to 5000 followers, which does not suggest an ample reach of their publications. Finally, this study did not find a great number of posts that explicitly address topics related to activism, although writing and singing in Asturian could be considered as such.

This paper analyzes the recovering of tradition as well as the new forms of activism and community engagement in music in Asturias following the 2008 financial crisis. Specifically, I study Rodrigo Cuevas, arguably the most recognized new musician inside and outside Asturias; Ún de Grao, the musical project of Xosé Martínez Álvarez, a member of the so-called «post-folk» generation whose main aim is to revitalize the tonada; and the Coru Al Altu la Lleva, which, born in the environment of the association of musicians Caja de músicos, continues the tradition of choral music and explicitly engages in activism, both with noted Asturian musician Nacho Vegas and as an independent ensemble.

Recent Asturian music signals new trends in its relationship to space and also to time. Musicians hope to participate globally, not by blending into any pattern, but through their local difference and through activism. Some of the issues Asturian musicians relate to are the role of the many languages and cultures that coexist in a territory, the revival of a lived past while questioning certain ideas of the previous generation, the awareness of sexual diversity, the new-rural tendency after the economic recession and the pandemic, and the rise in community activism after the Indignados movement following the 2008 global financial crisis. Through music, Asturias and the Asturian language both participate and respond to local, national and international trends which, drawing upon tradition, create unique ways of resignifying the past and of influencing the present and the future.

Reviewed in

In this essay I analyze the critically-acclaimed animated movie, Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero, 2015) through the lens of environmental humanities. Birdboy takes place on an island populated by anthropomorphic animals, most of them young, who live in a time after an industrial accident destroyed the livelihood of its inhabitants. Drawing on various theoretical approaches, such as Hannah Arendt’s notion of new beginnings and Timothy Morton’s sustained project of ecological critique, I study the ways Birdboy represents time and suggests an ethics of the future. Birdboy portrays a post-apocalyptic universe that is not detached from the past, even after a catastrophe, but always already marked by emotional, material and temporal accumulation. The movie also questions the necessity and the possibility of new beginnings if we do not engage with the complexity of nature. It ultimately focuses on the consequences that all of this has for the future: the accumulation affects the younger generation that lives in a world whose development has been exhausted but where the remains of the past have not disappeared.

  • La geografía histórica de Marí­a Teresa León en Memoria de la melancolía (The Historical Geography of María Teresa León in Memory of Melancholy), Destierros y destiempos. Una revisión del exilio republicano español (Out of Place and Out of Time. A Revision of Spanish Republican Exile), edited by José Ramón López Garcí­a, Mario Martí­n Gijón and Chiara Pepe. Peter Lang, 2021, pp. 115-124.

This essay studies Memoria de la melancolí­a (Buenos Aires, 1970), the autobiography that Spanish author and intellectual María Teresa León (1903-1988) wrote towards the end of her exile. In addition to being an account of the most relevant events of her life, I argue that her memoire can be considered a modern “Laus Hispaniae,” that is, a “praise of Spain,” as this genre was used by medieval authors such as Saint Isidore, Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada and King Alfonso X of Castile. Like her medieval counterparts, León laments the loss of her native land and incorporates history in her geographical descriptions of several regions in Spain. She also relates exile culture and herself to the Spanish territory and its history, and thus reasserts exiles’ cultural hegemony (a concept coined by Sebastiaan Faber) by proposing an alternative history of the country she had to abandon.

  • ¿Alabanza de España y Latinoamérica? La representación de los destinos de exilio en Memoria de la melancolí­a de Marí­a Teresa León (Praising Spain and Latin America? Representing Exile Destinations in Memory of Melancholy by Marí­a Teresa León) Destinos del exilio republicano, edited by Fernando Vierna. Fundación Bruno Alonso and Centro de Estudios Montañeses, 2020, pp. 59-76.

In this chapter I examine the representation of Latin American geography in Memoria de la melancolí­a (Buenos Aires, 1970), the autobiography of Spanish exile writer Marí­a Teresa León (1903-1988). I have argued elsewhere (Alvarez-Sancho, 2021) that its description of Spanish geography that ties space with history follows a technique borrowed from the “Laus Hispaniae,” a medieval genre with which León was very familiar and which ultimately serves to link exile culture to Spanish territory. The description of the land of her exile, however, contains a more problematic praise. In some instances, León describes American geography with presentist and futuristic notes, without acknowledging its past. In some others, León describes the Argentinian landscape through its historiography and inscribes her own body in it, like she does with Spain, a way of reclaiming exiles’ sense of belonging also in the land that received them.

This essay analyzes the science fiction film Eva (Maí­llo, 2011) through what I call «Iberofuturism»: the creation and study of cultural products and initiatives that, while relating themselves to the past and present of the panorama of Iberian Studies, deal with formulations of the future. I use the theories of Alison Landsberg and Hannah Arendt to interpret its aesthetic and its portrayal of new beginnings, and propose that Eva offers a wounded Iberofuturism, a notion that, like the «wounded culture» theorized by Cristina Moreiras, shows the hard-to-suture interstices in the relationship between past, present, and future, something that can be considered an allegory of the Spanish Transition to democracy after Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, an era that coincides with the «retro» aesthetics of the movie.

In this study I argue that the treatment of languages in the novel Paraules d’Opoton el Vell (1968), written by the Catalan author Avel·lí­ Artí­s Gener during his exile in Mexico, opens a third space between Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s deterritorialization and Walter Mignolo’s decoloniality in a way that engages with both these ideas as it distances itself from them. Through the use of multiple languages and registers, the questioning of names, the creation of new words, and translations, Paraules d’Opoton el Vell deterritorializes language. However, by including a multiplicity of languages, it calls into question Deleuze and Guattari’s idea that only major languages can be deterritorialized. At the same time, the variety of languages shows the colonial difference while proposing a pluriversality like the one Mignolo links to the decolonial option. Nevertheless, Paraules d’Opoton el Vell cannot be completely lined up with decolonial criticism because its border thinking pivots around languages more than around epistemological conflicts. The third space portrayed in Paraules d’Opoton el Vell evokes the approach proposed by Iberian studies, in between conceptualizations that critique hegemony from both a singular and a pluriversal locus of enunciation which relates to interior and exterior borders.

This article argues that the film Pa negre (Villaronga, 2010) questions the recreation of intergenerational transmissions of memory after the Spanish Civil War by means of the “ghosts of history,” the traces left in the present by silenced past events, as theorized by Jo Labanyi. Pa negre revisits the motif of the birds in La plaça del Diamant (Rodoreda, 1962), the hidden and monstrous characters in El espí­ritu de la colmena (Erice, 1973), and the fairy tale morphology of El laberinto del fauno (del Toro, 2006), to show the tensions between the depiction of the ghosts of history and what I call “the other ghosts of postmemory,” a transgenerational transmission of which the affected wants to be set free in order to reaffirm their present self, which I theorize following the concept of the “phantom” developed by Nicholas Abraham and Maria Torok.

In this essay I study the representation of national identities and their relationship to inner exile in the Spanish translation of the Basque novel 100 metro, by Ramón Saizarbitoria, which narrates the last one hundred meters an ETA member runs before being shot to death by the police. According to its publishers, 100 metro is the first novel published originally in Basque that was translated into Spanish (as Cien metros). My reading questions Paul Ilie’s concept of inner exile (exile within the borders of one’s own nation) as it applies to stateless nations within the Spanish state. Ilie’s model considers inner exile a consequence of the split in the national unity caused by territorial exile, which does not exactly line up with the experiences of minority nations within the Spanish state. For the present analysis, inner exile is redefined as a conflict between the individual and the official national discourse and is used to examine national narratives within the Basque Country.

  • Surrealismo, representaciones históricas y espacios postcoloniales en La novela del Indio Tupinamba de Eugenio F. Granell. (Surrealism, Historical Representations and Postcolonial Spaces in The Novel of the Tupinamba Indian by Eugenio F. Granell) Hispanic Journal, vol 33, no. 2, Fall 2012, pp. 59-73.
  • Mirando la nación desde La plaça del Diamant y El carrer de les Camèlies: Periferias e identidades en dos novelas de Mercè Rodoreda. (Looking at the Nation from The Time of the Doves and Camelias Street: Peripheries and Identities in Two Novels by Mercè Rodoreda) Tropos, vol. 35, 2009, pp. 104-22.
  • Libro de Alexandre, Libro de “los que ruegan.” (Libro de Alexandre, Book of “Those Who Pray”) with Ana Marco González, Ábaco digital, 2001, n.p.

Book Reviews

  • Review of Inhabiting the In-Between: Childhood and Cinema in Spain’s Long Transition, by Sarah Thomas, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, vol 45, no. 2, 2023, pp. 524-526 (backdated to 2021)
  • Review of This Ghostly Poetry: History and Memory of Spanish Republican Poets, by Daniel Aguirre-Oteiza, Hispanófila, vol. 190, 2020, pp. 139-140.
  • Review of Entre alambradas y exilios: Sangrías de las Españas y terapias de Vichy, by José María Naharro-Calderón. Hispanófila, vol. 188, 2020, pp. 197-181.
  • Review of Hombres en movimiento: Masculinidades españolas en los exilios y emigraciones, by Iker González-Allende. Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea, vol. 45, no. 1, 2020, pp. 208-210.
  • Review of Spanish Modernism and the Poetics of Youth: From Miguel de Unamuno to ‘La joven literatura,’ by Leslie H. Harkema. Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, vol. 43, no. 2, 2019, pp. 492-494.
  • Review of El exilio vasco: Estudios en homenaje al profesor José Ángel Ascunce Arrieta, ed. Iker González-Allende. Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea, vol. 43, no. 1, 2018, pp. 245-249.
  • Review of El corazón helado, by Almudena Grandes. Letras femeninas, Vol XXXVII, no. 1, 2011, pp. 256-57.


Creative Writing

Other Publications


  • Humanities, Arts and Design Program Research Grant, Oklahoma State University, 2022.
  • Nominated to the Distinguished Early Career Faculty Award by the Department of Languages and Literatures, Oklahoma State University, 2020.
  • Sabbatical, College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 2018-2019.
  • Travel Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 2017.
  • Arts and Sciences Summer Research Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 2017.
  • Hispanex Grant, Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports, 2015.
  • Dean’s Incentive Grant, College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 2014.
  • Dean’s Incentive Grant, College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 2013.
  • Arts and Sciences Summer Research Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 2013.
  • Summer Faculty Scholar Award, College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences, Central Michigan University, 2011.
  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, College of Arts and Letters, Michigan State University, 2009.   
  • “Learning Leader” Recognition Award. Department of Residence Life, Michigan State University, 2009.      
  • Travel grant, College of Arts and Letters, Michigan State University, 2009.
  • Distinguished Graduate Contributor in Spanish Award, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Michigan State University, 2008.
  • Johannes Sachse Graduate Award, Outstanding Graduate Student, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Michigan State University, 2007.
  • Outstanding Graduate Assistant in Spanish, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Michigan State University, 2007.
  • Travel grant, Graduate School, Michigan State University, 2007.
  • Research Enhancement Award, Graduate School, Michigan State University, 2006.


Invited Talks and Lectures

  • “Industrias culturales en Asturias.” (Cultural Industries in Asturias). Linguistic Justice and Multimodal Variation Series, Minoritized Iberian Languages: Asturianu 101, roundtable. 18 September 2023, University of California-Riverside.
  • “Cultura española contemporánea.” (Spanish Culture Today). Guest Panelist for SPAN 4213, Culture and Civilization of Spain, 20 April 2022, Northeastern State University.
  • “Spanish Cinema in the 21st-Century: Historical Context.” Guest Lecture for FLL 1113, The World through Film, 18 September 2019, Oklahoma State University.
  • What Does Neutrality Mean? Spain from the Great War to the Spanish Civil War.” The Great War and its Legacy Series, 27 March 2018, Edmon Low Library, Oklahoma State University.
  • “New Beginnings in Spanish 21st Century Cinema.” 26 October 2017, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, University of Oklahoma.
  • “La generación del ’98, Miguel de Unamuno y San Manuel Bueno, mártir.” (Generation of ’98, Miguel de Unamuno and Saint Emmanuel the Good, Martyr). Guest Lecture for Spanish 3053, Introduction to Hispanic Literary Studies,17 September 2013, Oklahoma State University.
  • “Entre la anécdota y el símbolo. Posibles espacios para los exilios de postguerra en la nación contemporánea.” (Between the Anecdote and the Symbol: Possible Spaces for post Spanish Civil War Exiles in the Contemporary Nation) Spanish Lecture Series, 23 September 2011, Western Michigan University.
  • Don Quixote and the Western Canon.” Guest Lecture for Honors 130, Western Cultural and Intellectual Traditions, 8 November 2011, Central Michigan University.

Conference Papers

  • *“Interpreting Asturian Identity: Netflix and the case of the movie Infiesto.” 2nd International Conference on the Asturian Language: Distinctiveness, Identity and Officiality, 22 May 2023, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
  • “Asturianism and Poshispanism, from Cimavilla to Nicaragua. Representations of Community Geographies in Errant Women by Pilar Sánchez Vicente.” II SAnTINA Conference, 4 May 2023, Oklahoma State University.
  • “Pasado y futuro de la música asturiana contemporánea: Nuevos comienzos en una lengua minorizada.“ (Past and Future of Contemporary Asturian Music: New Beginnings in a Minoritized Language) South Central Modern Language Association, 14 October 2022, Memphis.
  • “La música asturiana y el uso del asturiano en redes sociales.” (Asturian Music and the Use of Asturian Language in Social Networks) 1st International Conference on the Asturian Language: Distinctiveness, Identity and Officiality, 27 April 2022, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.
  • “‘Si nun hai vinu, cantares y amor’: Tradición, lengua y activismo en la música asturiana actual.” (‘If There Is Not Wine, Songs, and Love:’ Tradition, Language and Activism in Asturian Contemporary Music) I Conferencia SAnTINA: Society for the Analysis of Cultural Topics and Linguistic Identities N’Asturies, 28 October 2021, University of California, Riverside.
  • “La historia del futuro: Análisis de dos novelas del siglo XX de ficción especulativa.” (The History of the Future: Analysis of Two 20th-century Speculative Fiction Novels) South Central Modern Language Association, 7 October 2021, Houston.
  • “Un futuro anterior: El final de un mundo y su reinicio en Después de la bomba de Esteban Salazar Chapela y Mecanoscrit del segon origen de Manuel de Pedrolo.” (A Former Future: The End of a World and its Restart in After the Bomb by Esteban Salazar Chapela and Typescript of the Second Origin by Manuel de Pedrolo). KFLC: The Languages, Literatures and Cultures Conference, 23 April 2021, University of Kentucky, Lexington.
  • “¿Alabanza de España y de Latinoamérica? La representación de los destinos del exilio en Memoria de la Melancolía de María Teresa León.” (Praising Spain and Latin America? Representing Exile Destinations in Memory of Melancholy, by María Teresa León) III Congress on Republican Exile, 20 June 2019, Santander, Spain.
  • “La geografí­a histórica de Marí­a Teresa León en Memoria de la melancolí­a.” (The Historical Geography of María Teresa León in Memory of Melancholy) I International Congress on Republican Exile, University of Extremadura, 13 June 2019, Cáceres, Spain.
  • “La estética retrofuturista y la ética de los nuevos comienzos: Una lectura posthumana de Eva de Kike Maí­llo” (Retrofuturistic Aesthetics and Ethics of New Beginnings: A Posthuman Reading of Eva, by Kike Maí­llo) ALCESXXI: International Association of 21st Century Spanish Literature and Film, 3-7 July 2018, Zaragoza, Spain.
  • “Espectáculo, robots, y el no-sujeto en Eva de Kike Maíllo (2011).†(Spectacle, robots and the non-subject in the Science-Fiction movie Eva by Kike Maí­llo (2011)) Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, 21 April 2017, University of Kentucky, Lexington.
  • “Ciudadaní­a después del campo de concentración: La mirada ética de Jorge Semprún en sus obras autobiográficas.” (Citizenship after the concentration camp: Jorge Semprún’s Ethical Gaze in his Autobiographical Works). VII International Conference of the Hispanic Association for the Humanities, 23 June 2016, University Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.
  • “La mediación cinematográfica de la postmemoria: Pa negre y su revisión de La plaça del Diamant, El espíritu de la colmena y El laberinto del fauno.” (Postmemory’s Cinematographic Mediation: Black Bread and its Revision of The Time of the Doves, The Spirit of the Beehive and Pan’s Labyrinth) III International Conference on History, Literature and Art on Spanish- and Portuguese-language Cinema, 25 June 2015, University of Salamanca, Spain.
  • “La niñez como lugar de memoria artí­stica: Pa negre y su revisión de La Plaça del Diamant, El espíritu de la colmena y El laberinto del fauno.” (Childhood as Site of Artistic Memory: Black Bread and its Revision of The Time of the Doves, The Spirit of the Beehive and Pan’s Labyrinth) Cine-Lit VIII, 20 February 2015, Portland, Oregon.
  • “México, Cataluña y la historia camuflada del exilio en Paraules d’Opoton el vell de Avel·lí­ Artí­s Gener.” (Mexico, Catalonia and Exile’s Camouflaged History in Words by Opoton the Elder by Avel·lí­ Artí­s Gener) South Central Modern Language Association, 21 October 2014, Austin, Texas.
  • “Cuba, España, Francia y Marruecos: Máscaras geográficas en la autobiografí­a de Juan Goytisolo” (Cuba, Spain, France and Morocco: Geographical Masks in Juan Goytisolo’s Autobiography) South Central Modern Language Association, 4 October 2013, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • “Beyond National Identities in Europe: A Postnational Reading of Jorge Semprún’s L’Écriture ou la Vie.” Towards Iberian Studies: A Conference, 11 April 2013, Ohio State University, Columbus.
  • “Escribir después de la muerte: La identidad apátrida de Jorge Semprún.” (Writing after Death: The Stateless Identity of Jorge Semprún) South Central Modern Language Association, 8 November 2012, San Antonio, Texas.
  • “La periferia transnacional del exilio en Paraules d’Opoton el Vell de Avel·lí­ Artí­s Gener.” (The Transnational Periphery of Exile in Words by Opoton the Elder by Avel·lí­ Artí­s Gener) Mid-America Conference on Hispanic Literature, 13 October 2012, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
  • “¿Es posible regresar a España? En busca de ubicación para la literatura de los exilios de la postguerra española en la nación contemporánea.” (Is it Possible to Come Back to Spain? Locating Exile Literature in the Contemporary Nation). Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, 16 April 2011, University of Kentucky, Lexington.
  • “¿’Moro en todas partes’? Identidades versátiles en la autobiografía de Juan Goytisolo. (‘Moor everywhere’? Versatile Identities in Juan Goytisolo’s Autobiography) Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures, 25 March 2011, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • “Construcciones nacionales alternativas al discurso oficial en La colmena: Cela y el reto a la comunidad.” (Alternative National Constructions in The Hive: Cela and the Challenge to Community) Cincinnati Conference on Romance Languages and Literatures, 8 May 2010, University of Cincinnati.
  • “Running Away from Spain? National Relations between Spain and the Basque Country in Ehun metro by Ramón Saizarbitoria.” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, 17 April 2009, University of Kentucky, Lexington.
  • “Mirando la nación desde plazas y calles: lo local y lo global en la narrativa de Mercè Rodoreda” (Looking at the Nation from Plazas and Streets: the Local and the Global in Mercè Rodoreda’s Narrative) Tropos Graduate Student Conference, 25 October 2008, Michigan State University, East Lansing.
  • “Exile Art in The Exterminating Angel by Luis Buñuel” Edges Graduate Student Conference, 14 March 2008, Michigan State University, East Lansing.
  • La familia de Pascual Duarte y El misterio de la cripta embrujada: Representaciones del sujeto y la sociedad en la inmediata posguerra y el inmediato posfranquismo” (The Family of Pascual Duarte and The Mystery of the Bewitched Crypt, Representations of the Subject and the Social in the Early post-War and the Early post-Francoism) Literary Perspectives, Graduate Student Symposium on Hispanic Literatures, 20 October 2007, The Pennsylvania State University, State College.
  • “El surrealismo y el pensamiento exí­lico como de/reconstructor de discursos en La novela del Indio Tupinamba” (Surrealism and Exilic Thought as de/re-Constructor of Discourses in The Novel of the Tupinamba Indian) (De/Re)Constructed Identities in Iberian and Luso-Hispanic Literatures, 5 October 2007, University of Chicago.
  • “La canción de autor de Paco Ibáñez” (Paco Ibáñez, Singer-songwriter) Tropos Graduate Student Conference, 20 October 2006, Michigan State University, East Lansing.