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Wrongdoing in Spain, 1800-1936: Realities, Representations, Reactions


Alison Sinclair is Professor of Modern Spanish Literature and Intellectual History in the Department of  Spanish and Portuguese, and Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. Her research and teaching range covers nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Peninsular literature, culture and intellectual history.

Her publications include a number of monographs. Some of these are on primarily literary topics, such as Valle-Inclán’s ‘Ruedo ibérico’:  a popular view of revolution (1977), The Deceived Husband (1993), a comparative study, focused on the representation of the masculine reaction to the infidelity of wives, with texts ranging across Europe from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, and Dislocations of Desire: Gender, Identity, and Strategy in ‘La Regenta’ (1998), a psychoanalytic interpretation of one of Spain’s greatest 19th-century novels.  Uncovering the Mind:  Unamuno, the Unknown, and the Vicissitudes of Self  (2001) combines elements of intellectual history and textual discussion, situating Unamuno, one of Spain’s foremost novelists and philosophers, in the context of modern European thought, and on the intellectual history of the early twentieth century. Two further monographs have explored areas of Spain’s intellectual and cultural history in the twentieth century: Sex and Society in Early Twentieth-Century Spain: Hildegart Rodríguez and the World League for Sexual Reform (2007), and Trafficking Knowledge in Early Twentieth-Century Spain: Centres of Exchange and Cultural Imaginaries (2009) in which she presents a new view of Spain’s cultural relations with Europe 1900-1936, arguing the degree to which cultural imports from Europe were inflected by cultural imaginaries, and discussing dissemination not only in relation to elite markets, but to the wider hinterland outside the capital. In addition to this she has contributed to Spanish bibliography with Madrid Newspapers 1661-1870:  a Computerized Handbook (1984) and has co-edited collections of papers on the interface between ideas, practices and discourses on the mind and body in contemporary Spain (2004) and on comparative eugenics (2008).

Her current research within the framework of the ‘Wrongdoing’ project has centred so far on 19th-century bandits, and on visual responses to the literature and imagery of wrongdoing, particularly in relation to pliegos sueltos. Future work will include study of popular representations of executions, and the sensationalism or normalising of the pena de muerte.

Alison Sinclair’s CV