The MMES Research Seminar

The MMES Research Seminar provides a forum for debate and research that can bring together students and staff; it serves as back-up for Module 1 and accordingly touches on issues of theoretical or methodological interest such as periodization, demarcation, reception, historiography, conceptualization and theory. It consists of a number of specific activities; these are autonomous but integrated within the Seminar:


a) The LinE Lectures A series of formal lectures (followed by Q&A) delivered by members of the MMES staff and invited speakers.

The name is an acronym of ‘Literatures in English’, but the concept of the ‘line’ is understood here in a general sense as designating paths of development and enquiry, as well as cultural areas of conflict, transition or mediation and the processes that take place in these. It therefore epitomizes concerns with the intertextual and the interdisciplinary, with the comparative and the historical. A line may be the Equator crossed by the Ancient Mariner’s ship, or the 49th Parallel which forms part of the border between Canada and the United States; it may be the concept of the ‘Black Atlantic’ appealed to by Paul Gilroy to identify the construction of a transnational culture. Again, the notion of ‘Line of Descent’ brings in areas of study which involve matters of tradition, development and influence, while ‘party lines’ conjure up the notion of roads t o follow or of political agendas to abide by. All such ‘lines’ are sites of activity and production (or destruction), as well as of confrontation and compromise, and constitute some of the most dynamic sites on the cultural and literary maps. This very precise yet extremely general (indeed, currently global) concern—this ‘line of research’—will be the topic of the LinE Lectures.

Since November 2013 two talks have been given:

Manuel Aguirre

‘The Field and the Line: Reflections on an Approach to Text’ (23

Albo Lázaro (UAH):

‘The Reception of English Literature in Contemporary
Spain: Approaches, Trends and Censorships’ (6 Dcember)


b) A series of more informal talks on work in progress (20 minutes each, plus Q&A) to be offered by staff, MA students, PhD students. At least two sessions are foreseen for the academic year 2013-14. Sessions will commence around February 2014. Coordinated by Ana González-Rivas.

c) LINE FIELDS: A Working Papers Series. A publication section in the MMES website designed to publish select materials resulting from the Seminar, course papers, TFMs, LinE lectures, etc. It will serve as work-in-progress forum, and as feedback for further activities. Academic rigour will be a must. See the section LINE FIELDS in this website.