Dec. 11, 2023

On Friday, December 8, 2023, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese hosted the third lecture of the talk series “Smells, Sounds, and Textures of Iberian Modernity,” organized by Lucia Filipova (G-5) and Renee Congdon (G-4). With co-sponsorships from eleven departments and programs on campus, the series invites a reconsideration of Iberian modernity from an interdisciplinary lens focused on the senses.
Eric Calderwood, Associate Professor of Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented his talk “The

Eric Calderwood book signing

Harmonious al-Andalus” on musical and interfaith harmony in Spanish-Moroccan cultural relationships, using the example of “Macama Jonda” (1983), widely recognized as the first production to bring into dialogue flamenco and Arab-Andalusian music, and what he has termed “strait flow,” a lyrical practice that draws its energy from the movement of people, languages, and sounds across the Strait of Gibraltar. Calderwood approached this topic from a sensorial perspective using the method of differential listening, which encourages tuning into a variety of nuances, perspectives, and underlying meanings of the presented music clips. Furthermore, he highlighted that al-Andalus operates as a lens through which we see the world today, which is why his research focuses on how these stories circulate far away from their original geographic location.
This talk was based on Eric Calderwood’s recent book publication, On Earth or in Poems: The Many Lives of al-Andalus (Harvard UP, 2023), that addresses numerous ways in which visions of al-Andalus vary across geographic and cultural contexts. After the event, more than a dozen complimentary copies of the book were signed by the author and distributed to participating students and faculty members from sponsoring departments and programs. Moreover, Calderwood’s talk fostered interdisciplinary collaborations within the Humanities at Princeton University, bringing together

Eric Calderwood, Associate Professor of Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign posing for photo with Renee Congdon and Lucia Filipova and 3 other academics

students and faculty members from the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese, Near Eastern Studies, Comparative Literature, History, Religion, and Music.
We are delighted to announce that “Smells, Sounds, and Textures of Iberian Modernity” will continue into the spring semester. Happy Holidays and, as always, stay tuned for updates!