Doing Iberian Studies in Times of COVID

Episode 35 with Sara J. Brenneis, James D. Fernández and Charles Nicholas Saenz

The first episode of our new “Historias for BSPHS” collaboration with the Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Studies, in this roundtable three scholars studying Spain tell their stories of facing and overcoming the difficulties of doing research during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the journal’s ongoing forum on Doing Iberian Studies in Times of Crisis. Sara J. Brenneis tells of finding new sources when the pandemic suddenly shut down Spain’s archives, James D. Fernández of confronting the cancellation of his exhibition and study abroad program and Charles Nicholas Saenz of finding new directions after not being able to travel to Spain. The guests also discuss what lessons the experience of navigating the shutdown gave them and suggest what scholars might learn about conducting research from the challenges of the current moment.

The Episode

The Guests

Sara J. Brenneis- Sara J. Brenneis is Professor of Spanish at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is the author of Genre Fusion: A New Approach to History, Fiction, and Memory in Contemporary Spain (Purdue University Press, 2014) and Spaniards in Mauthausen: Representations of a Nazi Concentration Camp, 1940-2015 (University of Toronto Press, 2018), as well as co-editor with Gina Herrmann of Spain, the Second World War, and the Holocaust: History and Representation (University of Toronto Press, 2020). She is currently working on an edition of the first testimonial account of a Spanish Mauthausen survivor published in Spain, in 1946.

James D. Fernández– James D. Fernández is a professor in New York University’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese and director of NYU Madrid.

Charles Nicholas Saenz- Charles Nicholas Saenz is Associate Professor of History at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado and the former president of the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area. He consults History Colorado, the state historical society, on its Borderlands of Southern Colorado exhibits and programming.


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