Anglo-Catalan Society Conference: An excellent experience

November 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

The 59th Annual Anglo-Catalan Society Conference was held in the University of Manchester (1st– 3rd November). The programme was plenty of interesting activities and sessions to which I could assist, as I was invited to participate in a round table on cinema and television in contemporary Catalonia. I had also the chance to meet new colleagues working in very close fields to my own interests.

Friday 1st I could listen Kathryn Cramery (University of Glasgow), presenting a paper on “National Heroes in the Novels of 1714”. She compared several works, including Albert Bosch 1714 and Sánchez-Piñol Victus, and how historical characters are performed in the fiction. In the afternoon I was listening Anna Vives (University of Leicester), who delivered a speech on poetry exposition in the ‘mitgeres’ of Barcelona (lateral building walls exposed to passers by). She focused in the works of Papasseit (Formigues) and Brossa (A – Z) to offer a relevant reflection on urban space and poetry.

Later, I was glad to be in the speech by Marina Massagué (University of Oxford), who I already knew as she was teaching at Universitat Rovira i Virgili, as well as working in Tarragona. She is doing a discursive approach to the on-line information about Catalan language courses to foreigners in Barcelona. It was relevant to see that there are few well-communicated experiences in this type of learning services.

Saturday 2nd was the time for the Joan Gili Lecture, delivered by Isona Passola (Acadèmia del Cinema Català) to which all delegates assisted. The room was almost full and Passola offered an insightful approach to cinema since the democratic transition to current times. She also introduced the consequences for the cinema sector of the current process towards a self-determination referendum. Delegates were very active introducing questions and relevant comments on the speech.

In the afternoon, we all could transfer to Cornerwall Cinema in the city center, where Pau Subirós presented the film “La Plaga”, which has been recently nominated to LUX Award 2013 for documentary cinema. The film is a well-worked piece about stories of human overcome in hard times. The following discussions rose topics on the nature of the documentary, which indeed mixes fictional and non-fictional features.

Finally, I was participating in a roundtable with Kathryn Crameri, Jaume Martí-Olivella and Pau Subirós on cinema, television and identity, in which I had the chance to introduce a reflexion on the role of public television in promoting social cohesion and Catalan culture. The moment was also a chance to introduce the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies to an audience of young scholars researching on literature, popular culture and cinema and focused on Catalan productions.

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