Leslie Harkema

Leslie Harkema's picture
Assistant Professor of Spanish and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Spanish
Ph.D. Boston University (2012)

Areas of interest: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Peninsular Literature; modern Hispanic poetry; literary responses to religious, political, and scientific discourse; tropes of youth and age in European modernism; literature of exile; theory and practice of literary translation.

Professor Harkema’s first book, Spanish Modernism and the Poetics of Youth: From Miguel de Unamuno to La Joven Literatura (forthcoming from University of Toronto Press), examines the little-studied relationship between the renowned essayist, novelist, and poet Miguel de Unamuno and several Spanish writers associated with the so-called Generation of 1927, focusing on youth as a central concept in their aesthetic thought and self-fashioning. The poetic tradition that binds these writers together—traced through Unamuno’s early poetry, the edition of his essays by the Residencia de Estudiantes, the 1927 homage to the Golden-Age poet Luis de Góngora organized by the younger writers, and the appropriation of Unamuno’s ideas by both right-wing and leftist writers in the late 1920s and early 1930s—brings to light the central role that the twentieth century’s reimagining of adolescence and youth played in the development of literary modernism in Spain.

She is currently working on a second book-length project, tentatively titled Faithful Betrayals: Translation and the Critique of Literary Culture in Modern Spanish Writing, which undertakes to examine Spain’s relationships to its European neighbors in the 19th and 20th centuries—as well as the internal dynamics of interactions between regional nationalisms during this period—through the lens of Spanish writers’ attitudes toward and practices in literary translation.

Selected Publications:

“Empire, Emotion, and Ethics: Reading the Fin-de-Siècle Essay on National Identity.” Review of Javier Krauel, Imperial Emotions: Cultural Responses to Myths of Empire in Fin-de-Siècle Spain (Liverpool, UK: Liverpool UP, 2013). Confluencia 30.1 (2014): 216-18.

“Escritura adolescente y anti-textualidad: Nuevo Mundo de Miguel de Unamuno.” Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea 39.1 (2014): 33-59.

“‘¿Y memoria?’: Larra y la resistencia al olvido.” Revista Hispánica Moderna 62 (2009): 41-56.


“An Essay on Poetry”; “To Write About Writing Poetry”; “Parra and Concrete Poetry.” Translations of Eduardo Milán, “Un ensayo sobre poesía”; “Escribir sobre escribir poesía”; “Parra y la poesía concreta.” In Eduardo Milán: Selected Essays. Edited by Antonio Ochoa. Bristol, UK: Shearsman Books, 2016.

Miguel de Unamuno, “Poetic Creed” and “The Cathedral of Barcelona.” Image 65 (2010): 22-26.

Miguel de Unamuno, “Salamanca.” Literary Imagination 11 (2009): 77-79.

Websited Updated September 2016