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Mediality and personae in the œuvre of María Rosa de Gálvez (1768–1806) (2022–)

Richard Palomar Vidal, Research Area 1: "Competing Communities"
Doctoral Research Project

This project is centred around María Rosa de Gálvez (1768–1806), a Spanish poet and playwright who wrote during the Age of Enlightenment and Neoclassicism in Spain. Long ignored and overlooked in the canon of Spanish-speaking authors of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Gálvez skilfully wielded various literary media, leaving a profound impact on the literary landscape of her time. She left a rich legacy of texts comprising mostly plays and poetry, aiming to establish and promote a new and developed style of Spanish literature.

It is precisely through writing and publishing in and through these different types of media that Gálvez positioned herself as an author in the male-dominated community of writers of her time, including Ramón de la Cruz, Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, Leandro Fernández de Moratín, and Manuel José Quintana. Through her plays, she brilliantly utilized the stage as a medium to challenge conventions, question norms, and provoke introspection in her audiences. As a poet, she used the Spanish ode as her main medium to write about contemporary issues and topics, dedicating some of her odes to key figures of her personal life and Spain’s contemporary history. Said various written media also attest to her knowledge of literary theory and style, ancient Greek and Latin literature, as well as Spanish and European contemporary culture, literature and history. She also used her works as a means to express other political and social ideas, such as on the role of women in society, a topic that is almost ubiquitous in her literary work.

The project will not only focus on Gálvez's writing and publishing in these different medial contexts but also on how the author's different media practices instantiate different personae.