Current Projects

Acis&Galatea Project

ACIS&GALATEA. Research Activities in Myth Criticism (ref. H2015/HUM-3362), funded by the Autonomous Community of Madrid and the European Social Fund. Duration: 1.I.2016-31.XII.2018

 

Presentation

The Acis&Galatea Project aims to demonstrate the intimate relationship that has linked mythology and the contemporary cultural configuration of the region and the city of Madrid, of Spain, and of Europe (and of Western civilization, if the research requires it) in the 20th and 21st centuries. To this end, this Project will focus on examining myths and legends as manifested in tourism, in festivities, and in the cultural and entertainment industry. By doing this, the more specific aim pursued is to determine the social impact that mythology and legends have today upon entertainment, tourism, festivities and the environmental attitude of citizens from different social strata and social associations from Madrid, Spain and Europe.

 

Groups Involved

The Project is fundamentally interdisciplinary. This is due to the composition of the different groups that are integrated in it, but also because of the different media analyzed, namely: literature, fine arts, performing arts and folklore festivities. 66,95% of our members are women, 33,05% men, all coming from 10 countries and 30 universities.

The Project is made up of ten beneficiary research groups: ACIS (Research Group for Myth Criticism), CIL II (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum), ETICASGRIEGAS (Influence of Greek Ethics on Contemporary Philosophy), GIAP (Research Group for Heritage and Popular Culture), GIECO (Ecocriticism), IAI (Image, Innovation and Analysis), INTRA (Studies on Discourses and Texts for Interpretation and Translation), POETICS (Poetics in English), RECEPTION (Resarch Group for Reception Studies), and SIIM (Studies in Intermediality and Intercultural Mediation). These groups are ascribed to different universities from Madrid, namely: Complutense (3), Alcalá (3), Autónoma (1), Francisco de Vitoria (1), Pontificia de Comillas (1), and to CSIC (1). The Project is also integrated by three associated research groups: CLE (U. of Lausanne), CRLC (Paris-Sorbonne University) and EFI (U. of Zaragoza).

Six non-profit associations have joined the Acis&Galatea Project (ADIREL, ARTE, ASTERIA, AWM, CLAI and SEEC); also, two foundations (PASTOR and PONS), three companies (BRISMAR, LIBFRAN and NORA) and—in agreement with the BOCM 176, Tit. 1, Art. 5, 1, c, p. 37—five researchers from our field of research (R. Gualberto, J.-J. Wunenburger, Mª J. Martín, L.A. Pérez and H. Jennings), under the acronym DORIS (Group of Associated Researchers).

Acis. Myth Criticism Research Group

The Research Group “ACIS. Myth Criticism Research” was established on 28th October 2009 with the following objectives:

  • Theoretical and practical study of the reception of ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary myths in contemporary literature, in visual arts and in performing arts.
  • Detailed analysis of mythification processes experienced by people, events and intellectual productions in contemporary society.
  • The training of young researchers in the field of myth criticism in order for them to do masters and doctoral theses with an unquestionable scientific quality guarantee, as well as individualized tuition to obtain local, national or international grants.

Amaltea. Journal of Myth Criticism

Amaltea is a myth criticism online journal. It offers a free annual issue about the reception of ancient, medieval and modern myths in contemporary Western literature.

The languages used are English, Spanish and French. The journal does not have its own critical approach. Amaltea only publishes original articles. The high standard of the editorial process which has been used in the selection of the original articles guarantees the quality of the journal. The journal is published by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Asteria, International Association of Myth Criticism

The specific aim of the Association is to promote, encourage and support studies of myth criticism, regarding both the development of new theoretical and epistemological tools that may strengthen this discipline, as well as the presence of classical, medieval, modern and contemporary myths in contemporary literature and in the visual, performing and audiovisual contemporary arts. It will also pay attention to the creation, disappearance and impact of myths in contemporary society.

Finished Projects

New Forms of the Myth: an Interdisciplinary Methodology

Research project: New forms of the myth: an interdisciplinary methodology (2012-2015). Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, ref. FFI2012-32594

 

Scientific Objectives

The purpose of this project is to constitute an innovative mythocritical method which would allow a satisfactory study of myths in contemporary culture, characterized by features that haven’t been systematically considered by the critic up until now. Among the factors of high social impact that affect the generation and modification of myths, the project focuses on three major factors: globalization, immanence and consumerism.
 
Contemporary culture has experienced two fundamental changes in relation to myths:
  1. It has considerably modified the reception and diffusion of ancient, medieval and modern myths.
  2. It has promoted the creation of a new mythology that coexists with the former.

As a consequence of these changes, the methodology of traditional myth criticism has become ineffective and insufficient. Consequently, what is needed is a new methodology in myth criticism that, without excluding the achievements of traditional myth criticism, would give an account of myth at the present time and propose it as a tool to interprete the contemporary society.

This myth criticism involves, among others, the following requirements:

  1. It has to be interdisciplinary, combining the contributions of literary theory, history of literature, fine arts and new methods of diffusion of the communication era.
  2. It has to approach the object of the study from its interrelation with other human and social sciences, in particular sociology, anthropology and economy.

The project team includes:

  1. Researchers experienced in former projects of myth criticism, who will use the methodologies developed up until now for the study of myth in different arts.
  2. Specialists in communication, anthropology, sociology and economy, who will bring the knowledge relating to their science to the study of myths.

The expected result is the creation of a new myth criticism methodology, non-existent in the present international scene, that will allow us to understand the complexity of the myth and its manifestations in contemporary time.

 

Contemporary Mythical Antropology

Research project: Contemporary mythical anthropology (2007-2011). Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, ref. nº. HUM. 2007 – 62226.

 

Presentation

This is a project of great importance in which I supervised 30 researchers from different fields, including 10 young lecturers and 15 postgraduate students. Together, we successfully analysed the influence of ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary myths in the 20th-century European Literature. Some of the results of this research can be seen in the volume Mito y mundo contemporáneo (see Books). The project concluded with the International Conference on Myth and Subversion in the Contemporary Novel (March 2011), where 90 academic experts from 25 countries have been working on. The minutes of the conference, with a selection of the best presented works, will be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

 

Scientific Proposal

The “Contemporary Mythical Anthropology” Project aims to explore our reception of myths from the end of the 19th century to the present day. The field of study is literature: novels, plays and poetry offer unique insights into the archetypes, symbols and myths which shape our thoughts and our imaginary world. The concept of myth can be used in any of its meanings (philosophical, cultural, ethnological, religious, psychoanalytical or linguistic); the only requirement is that the critical currents should be used consistently in each study.

The project pays particular attention to myths inherited from the ancient world (Narcissus, Phaedra, Orpheus), to the great medieval and modern myths (Faust, Don Juan) and to other mythical formulations: philosophical (the eternal return), religious (the Grail), typical (El Cid) or social (the Empire, the Marxism). As in ancient and modern times, writers of today have turned to mythical imagery to express their aporias and their desires. They do it in a critical, fragmentary or subversive way, but always differently.

This project tries to discern the ways in which myths are adapted to our contemporary mentality (translation, version, rejection, subversion), to identify those myths which are still relevant to women and men today and, finally, to discover why some myths have stopped being applicable, while others, after acquiring a more contemporary veneer, are perfectly suited to represent our aspirations and frustrations.

 A Comparative, Annotated Bibliography of the 17th-Century French-Spanish Literature

Research project: “A comparative, annotated bibliography of the 17th-century French-Spanish literature” (1992-1995). Ref. Spanish Ministry of Education and Science PS91-0182.

The comparison and contrasting 516 works on relations between Spain and France yielded the book  Bibliographie critique de la littérature espagnole en France au XVIIe siècle. Présence et influence (see Books). This book changed the widespread scholarly perception that it was impossible to establish a comprehensive map of the literary relations between two countries in a rational and critical way. This monograph, 80% of which is taken up by theoretical and critical reflection, offered a new conception of the bibliographic genre. This was stressed in several detailed reviews (eg. Literary Research, Revista de Literatura, Modern Language Review, Revue de Littérature Comparée, Les Lettres Romanes, Studi Francesi, XVIIe Siècle, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Review, Papers on French Seventeenth Century Literature). All these reviews underscore the innovative character of the methodology and of the results, which make this work a landmark in a new conception of intercultural relationships. The book can be found in academic libraries all over the world.