I want to be independent, not only of negative people in my life, but also of the fear that others will regard my work as less relevant to my field. It is somewhat ironical that I feel marginal within my own field, given that I am so successful within it. I shouldn't even worry that I am bucking the trend: that is what gives my work its distinctive identity. Nobody else does what I do within US Hispanism.
Briefly, the main tendency is toward an ideological positioning of Spanish identity. The hot topics are things like nationalism, identity, historical memory, and immigration. The main evidence is drawn from novels, films, and popular songs. My approach, obviously, is oriented toward poetry and poetics. I also deal with forms of Spanish cultural identity, but I take the position that modernist literary principles remain valuable. Hence I don't tend to deal with culture as a kind of symptom or source of data about political issues, but as the most valuable thing that human-kind has ever created.