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Monday, April 26, 2021

Dividing things up

There are all these ways of combining things. Iberian studies would be all the languages and cultures of the Iberian peninsula, including Portuguese, Catalan, and Arabic for the period before1492. 

Transatlantic Studies is Iberian studies plus the new world.  In other words, Spain and Portugal seen through the colonial and neocolonial lens. 

Hispanism traditionally is just Spanish (Castilian) but also in the New World. Latin American Studies includes Brazil, though the Brazilians don't always know it. Lusophone studies includes parts of Africa too. 

I am in favor of all these things. I do read Portuguese and Catalan, and can suss out Galego using my Portuguese. Yet is won't usually be one person doing all of it at once. After all, we don't only have to be transatlantic and multilingual, but also multidisciplinary. In practice, we can't all be great philosophers, art historians, musicologists while specializing in all parts of the world where three languages are spoken. I'd rather do a few things well. 

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