Dr Montserrat Lunati
I retired in October 2016 from the School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University, as a Reader in Catalan and Spanish Studies. I had been a member of the Department of Hispanic Studies since 1987. I was promoted to Lecturer in Hispanic Studies in 1992; to Senior Lecturer in Catalan and Spanish Studies in 2006, and to Reader in Catalan and Spanish Studies in 2013. Since then, I have been made an Honorary Senior Research Fellow by Cardiff University and an Honorary Reader by the University of St Andrews (Scotland).
In 1975 I obtained my first degree in Romance Philology (Catalan and Spanish) from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and in 1995 I was awarded the qualification of Doctor in Philosophy by Cardiff University with a PhD Thesis on the Catalan writer and ironist Àngel Ferran, an influential figure in Barcelona’s cultural life from 1916 to 1939. Since then, my research, and my research-orientated teaching, have focussed on literature and visual media in contemporary Catalan and Spanish cultures, particularly on women’s production. The genres that I have mostly worked on are the novel and the short story, as well as cinema, video installations and photography. Most recently, I have also studied some contemporary poets. I have always sought to cross genre and culture boundaries in order to establish fruitful intertextual dialogues between writers, film-makers, photographers and artists from different countries, mostly from the Western world. The themes that I have worked on, always from a poststructuralist feminist perspective, include the textualisation of illness and mourning; mother-daughter relationships; the (re)construction of the historical and cultural past through memory, perception and affect; the conversations that can be established between women writers from different periods, especially in relation to the representation of the ‘body’ and the construction of an (im)possible female genealogy; sexual and war trauma and its effects, especially in children, and the relevance of ironic discourse to cultural contestation. The authors whose work I have explored are the following: Imma Monsó, Mercè Rodoreda, Maria-Mercè Marçal, Mercè Ibarz, Lolita Bosch, Adelaida García Morales, Quim Monzó, Carles Camps, and film-maker Víctor Erice.
In 2012, I was invited to occupy the Joan Coromines Visiting Chair in Catalan Studies at the University of Chicago, USA, a distinguished post funded by the University of Chicago and the Institut Ramon Llull (Barcelona). I was there for the duration of the Autumn Semester of 2012 and I participated fully in the research and teaching activities of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. I have been awarded several grants, amongst them the Cardiff University Research Leave in 2014, a extra-ordinary period of leave to start working on one on my current research projects: When Remembrance Becomes Historical Memory: Eva Koch’s Visual Art and the Spanish Civil War. This project, which will become a monograph on Danish/Spanish artist Eva Koch’ work, studies her video and photograph installations dealing with historical and cultural memory and the long-lasting effects of the Spanish Civil War. It looks at issues such as diaspora, gender construction, family mythologies, mourning and grief, all informed by theories of ‘post-memory’ (Hirstch), ‘collective memory’ (Halbwachs), lieux de mémoire (Nora), noeuds de mémoire and ‘multidirectional memory’ (Rothberg), and ‘hauntology’ (Derrida), amongst others.
As an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University, I continue to be research-active and I am currently working on a bilingual second edition (first ed. from 1997) of an Anthology of short texts by Spanish women writers, commissioned by Liverpool University Press: Rainy Days/ Días de lluvia, Short Stories by Contemporary Spanish Women Writers. I am also working, together with Professor Jordi Larios (University of St Andrews), on the edition of a volume on Catalan Narrative 1875-2015, which will be published by Legenda (Series on Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures), and will include a selection of papers presented at a Conference held in December 2015 at the University of St Andrews. Parallel to these, I am writing a monograph in Catalan entitled Dols de paraules: Narratives de dol a la cultura catalana contemporània [Mourning with Words: Narratives of Mourning in Contemporary Catalan Culture], to be published by Lleonard Muntaner (Palma de Mallorca, Spain).
Between 1994 and 2016, I co-edited, with Professor Larios, the academic journal Tesserae, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, which was published by Taylor & Francis (Oxford), and based at Cardiff University.
During my years at the School of Modern Languages I held a number of administrative roles. Most recently, I was Director of Postgraduate Teaching. I coordinated Master’s Courses (MAs in European Literatures and European Studies) and I supervised a number of PhD Dissertations to completion, as well as many MAs Dissertations. I also mentored several junior members of the School.
I have acted as External Examiner for UG courses at the universities of Cambridge, Manchester and Newcastle, and, at PG level, I have examined PhD Dissertations at the universities of Kent, Queen Mary, Manchester, Birkbeck and Edinburgh. I have also acted as External Referee for a number of academic journals: Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Journal of Hispanic Research, Catalan Review, Journal of Catalan Studies, Romance Studies and Forum for Modern Languages, as well as for the following publishers: Routledge, Longman, University Press of the South (USA) and University of Wales Press.
I have been External Assessor for several grant applications, most recently for a Junior Research Fellowship on Gender Studies awarded by King’s College, University of Cambridge.
I am a member of the following Editorial Boards: University of Wales Press, ACSOP (The Anglo-Catalan Society Occasional Publications), and Assuming Gender, an online interdisciplinary journal based in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff University.
I am a member of the following academic associations: Anglo-Catalan Society, Associació de Lengua i Literatura Catalanes, Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, and Women in Spanish and Portuguese Studies.
I have a distinguished track record of publications and invitations to give keynote addresses at several universities and conferences, the most recent being the invitation to deliver the prestigious Joan Gili Memorial Lecture at the next Anglo-Catalan Conference, to be held at the University of Birmingham in November 2017.
Other recent keynote invitations include:
. (July 2016) ‘Paraules i silenci: Una dicotomia de jerarquia fluïda a L’aniversari, d’Imma Monsó’. 30enes Jornades de Lectorats de Català de l’Institut Ramon Llull, Universitat de Tarragona (Catalonia).
. (March 2016) ‘Memory, Mothers and Mourning in Mercè Rodoreda and Maria-Mercè Marçal’. Centre for Catalan Studies Annual Lecture, Queen Mary University of London.
. (December 2015) ‘Mercè Rodoreda and Maria-Mercè Marçal as “Specters Granted a Hospitable Memory” in Mercè Ibarz’s Fiction’. Plenary, International Conference on Catalan Narrative 1875-2015, University of St Andrews.
. (November 2013) ‘Bergson and Espriu: Why is Ariadna’s Labyrinth Grotesque?’. Plenary, International Symposium on Catalan poet Salvador Espriu, Cambridge University.
. (November 2012) ‘Mourning with Words: Imma Monsó’s Un home de paraula (2006)’. Research Seminar presented at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures of the University of Chicago.
. (September 2011) ‘Calligraphies of Illness in Contemporary Catalan Culture’. Plenary, Conference on The Art of Medicine in Iberian and Latin American Literature and Film, University of Kent.