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 current book project, Spanish Modernism and the Aesthetics of Youth: From Miguel de Unamuno to “La Joven Literatura”, examines the little-studied relationship between Unamuno and several Spanish writers associated with the so-called Generation of 1927 (José Moreno Villa, Gerardo Diego, Ernesto Giménez Caballero, José Bergamín), 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.

Another book-length project, tentatively titled Faithful Betrayals: Translation and the Critique of Literary Culture in Modern Spanish Writing, 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. Forthcoming in Confluencia.

Review of Michael Candelaria, The Revolt of Unreason: Miguel de Unamuno and Antonio Caso on the Crisis of Modernity. Bulletin of Spanish Studies 91 (2014).

“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.


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 July 2014