By Cole Hatcher
Ohio Wesleyan University faculty member Glenda Nieto-Cuebas is collaborating on a grant-funded research project with a colleague at MacEwan University in Canada “to theoretically and practically define a new line of research” in Spanish theater.
The project – led by OWU’s Nieto-Cuebas, Ph.D., and MacEwan’s Erin Alice Cowling, Ph.D., both associate professors of Spanish – is being supported by the Government of Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) with a three-year, $70,236 grant (U.S. dollars).
According to their grant application: “The overarching objective of this project is to theoretically and practically define a new line of research, which we are calling Siglo Latinx, focusing on 21st-century adaptations of early modern Spanish theatre being created in North America (Canada, the United States, and Mexico).”
The project encompasses the academic disciplines of theater interpretation studies, Hispanic studies, social psychology, and critical literary theory. Their main goal is to “bring Latinx adaptations to the forefront and understand how are Latinx artists opening up the stage as a site of socially transformative expression and community outreach and how are these creators revising, appropriating, adapting, and creating for younger and diverse audiences.”
Ohio Wesleyan students Madison “Mo” Cartnal of Newark, Ohio, and Elizabeth Sumoza of Chicago, Illinois, will support the project by interviewing artists, documenting processes, translating (from Spanish to English), and writing summaries such as literature reviews,” Nieto-Cuebas said.
Nieto-Cuebas and Cowling also are collaborating on a related book under contract with University of Toronto Press. In the book, they explain “Siglo Latinx,” noting that Siglo refers to Siglo de Oro, “the period from 1550-1700 that was considered the height of Spanish cultural production, particularly theater,” and Latinx is a more recent term defined by academics Trevor Boffone and Carla Della Gatta as a “gender-non-binary term for people from a shared colonial heritage of the Americas who reside in the United States. …
“The term Siglo Latinx thus refers to the study of 21st century adaptations of Spanish Golden Age comedias, which are new, inclusive, and accessible, by Latinx artists,” Nieto-Cuebas and Cowling explain. “The work being done by these artists allows Latinx people to reclaim and reform these ‘classic’ works as their own, inserting their cultural importance over texts that are marked by colonial influences. This Siglo is their siglo.”
The book is scheduled to be completed by summer, Nieto-Cuebas said, and in the meantime, she and Cowling “will continue working with several projects, such as organizing a theatre festival; creating a YouTube channel to showcase Siglo Latinx artists; expanding our research to other countries in Latin America, including Puerto Rico and Cuba; co-authoring and publishing additional articles and interviews; and continuing to mentor undergraduate and graduate students.”
Learn more about Nieto-Cuebas and Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of World Languages and Cultures, including its Spanish language offerings, at owu.edu/languages.
Source, Photo: OWU