Leslie Harkema

Leslie J. Harkema is an associate professor in the department of Spanish & Portuguese at Yale. Her teaching and research focus on modern Iberia (18th-20th centuries), with particular interests in literary and cultural history, comparative literature, modernism, and translation in the Iberian context. She has published articles and essays on topics ranging from Spanish romanticism to the Spanish avant-garde, the contemporary representation of the 1920s in Spanish media, and the relationship between feminism and translation theory in Iberian Studies. Professor Harkema is the author of "Spanish Modernism and the Poetics of Youth: From Miguel de Unamuno to La Joven Literatura" (Toronto Iberic, 2017), which examines the little-studied relationship between the essayist, novelist, and poet Miguel de Unamuno and several Spanish writers associated with the so-called Generation of 1927. There she argues that the twentieth century’s reimagining of adolescence and youth—particularly as it influenced Unamuno’s poetic thought and his legacy—played a central role in the development of literary modernism in Spain. At present she is preparing a second book manuscript, tentatively titled "Translation within the Nation: Linguistic Diversity and Literary Modernity in Spain." In this project, she considers how the multiple languages and literary traditions present within Spain contributed to (or resisted) the construction of a national literary identity for the country from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth. She asks to what extent Iberian multilingualism, underscored by the renaissance of Catalan, Galician, and Basque cultures in the nineteenth century, led modern Spanish writers to reconceive or re-map literary space. Drawing from the field of translation studies, she reframes the history of Spain’s literary modernization is a history of intra-national translation, and studies Iberian writers and translators such as Antoni de Capmany, Víctor Balaguer, Rosalía de Castro, Miguel de Unamuno, María Lejárraga, and José Ortega y Gasset.