Trash and Rubble in Contemporary Culture, Spanish Erotica, and Collaborative Work

Researcher: Maite Zubiaurre

Maite Zubaiurre is presently writing a book on the visual and textual representations of trash and rubble in contemporary culture. Maite Zubiaurre has taught a graduate seminar funded by the UHI (Urban Humanities Initiative) on rubbish, and an undergraduate seminar for the Honors collegium on the same subject (to be taught again in Spring of 2015) (For more information on the courses, see two articles published in the Daily Bruin and in UCLA Today). She is also involved in producing work with and on refuse as a self-taught visual artist –the photographic collage on the screen is a piece of her series “Roadkill”–, and particularly interested (scholarly hat back on) in exploring the intersections of the discarded and the virtual.

In 2012, she published a book on early twentieth century Spanish erotica (Cultures of the Erotic in Spain, 1898-1939, Vanderbilt University Press).  She has just recently adapted and translated (in that order) Cultures of the Erotic…into Spanish, and Cátedra (Spain) has been quick in publishing it (Culturas del erotismo en España. 1898-1939, 2014). Also, Cultures of the Erotic/Culturas del erotismo are two “real” books that share a virtual sister: with the generous support of a DHC fellowship, Maite Zubiaurre was able to create and maintain a webpage <> that contains a wealth of visual and textual materials on fin-de-siecle Iberian erotica, such as erotic postcards, photographs, and illustrations; erotic magazines and nudist reviews; erotic novels and novellettes; sexological treatises; and philosophical works on love and desire.  These materials complement and add to the ones included and/or discussed in the books, and are meant to be an ever-dynamic and accessible research tool for scholars interested in Spanish and European modernism, sexuality studies, gender studies, visual culture, and popular culture during the first half of the twentieth century. In fact, the website has just been updated, and has received a radical facelift as we speak (in August 2014), and thanks to graduate student and mentee Wendy Kurtz. The number of digitized erotic novelettes in particular has increased dramatically: it is worth to take a look.

A book on the representation of urban space and setting in the realist novel (Europe and Latin America), was published in 2000 (El espacio en la novela realista. Paisajes, miniaturas, perspectivas, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico DF). And an anthology (the first one of its kind so far), co-edited with Roberta Johnson that compiles the main theoretical contributions to Spanish feminist thought, from the eighteenth century to now (Antología del pensamiento feminista español, Madrid: Cátedra, 2013).

In addition, she enjoys collaborative work, and to put together the aforementioned Anthology has been very rewarding. In fact, it served as inspiration to further joint ventures. Maite Zubiaurre has co-edited five critical editions of notable Spanish novels, novelettes, and a collection of short novels with her graduate students and mentees.  And then, there is this other, even more complex and subtle collaboration, known as translation: for a while (a long one), and before she moved to New York and started her Ph.D., Maite Zubiaurre was a literary translator from novels in German into Spanish for the Spanish publisher Alfaguara. To translate Der Stechlin, German realist writer Theodor Fontane’s last novel, was the greatest challenge of all, without a doubt. But it was a lot of fun; and to this day, translating remains one of Maite Zubiaurre’s undying passions.