Colleen Culleton (Romance Languages and Literatures): “Hardened by the Rain: Water as a Natural Resource and Cultural Patrimony in Modern Catalonia”
Scholars at AK
Friday, October 15, 2010, 4 pm
With the UB Humanities Institute and riverrun
The rural waterscape in Catalonia, Spain, is a visible, physical trait of the region that in many ways marks a contrast between the Catalan Autonomous Community and the rest of the Spanish State. Waterways are a prominent feature in Catalan national literature, which, in turn, is a significant medium for the articulation and exploration of what it means to be Catalan. While a variety of discourses of nation in Catalonia—from literature and politics to tourism and television—continue to locate the enduring essence of Catalan-ness in the rural landscape, those who live there will be the first to point out that its characteristics are anything but permanent. In poetry and in practice, Catalan waterways represent an intimate connectedness with the local, while simultaneously crossing borders, attracting outsiders, and, as is the case of the Mediterranean Sea, signifying Catalonia’s historical connection to the rest of the world. In this project, I explore how an engagement with water as a feature of the natural and cultural landscape in literature, politics, and popular media places the local interests and particularities of Catalonia in tension with the demands of the Spanish State and the pressures of globalization.
Colleen Culleton teaches on modern Spain and Catalonia in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Her research focuses on the interaction of landscape and cultural production, including literature, film, and environmental and political policy. She received an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University
This series transforms AK café into an “intellectual salon,” joining the University at Buffalo and the center of cultural life in the city. Scholars at AK features lectures by UB faculty who have been awarded Humanities Institute fellowships and provides an opportunity for the University and the Buffalo community to build connections through conversation.
Admission is free. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar are available.