Monday, March 19, 2012

In Lit House Talk, Spanish Prof Offers 18th Century Journey from Pornography to Eroticism

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The next Tea & Talk event at the Rose O’Neil Literary House, Wednesday, March 21, features Elena Deanda-Camacho, assistant professor of Spanish, discussing that fine line between pornography and eroticism. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. on the enclosed porch of the Lit House, 407 Washington Avenue.

Deanda will focus on how linguistics and rhetoric reflect the transition into works being considered erotic rather than pornographic, using as examples the works of 18th and 19th century Spanish poets including Nicolas Fernandez de Moratin and his son Leandro, Tomas de Iriarte and Juan Menendez Valdes. Her talk, “Eu/Dysphemisms: From Pornography to Eroticism in the Eighteenth Century,” also will apply lessons from the Spanish Enlightenment to today’s porn and its intersections with art, politics, business and the media.

As a scholar, Deanda-Camacho studies the inquisitorial censorship of discourses perceived as obscene in Spain and New Spain from the 16th to the 18th century. In particular, she focuses on the antagonistic and conniving relationship between obscenity and censorship. Besides literature, she has studied philosophy, religion, and medieval studies in Mexico and France. At Washington College, she is enjoying teaching all levels of Spanish language, culture, and literature with a focus on the Spanish Golden Age, baroque, colonial literature, and the enlightenment.
The Lit House “Tea & Talk” series features writers and scholars from Washington College and the Chestertown community sharing the research and topics that interest them personally. Both the tea and the talk are free and open to the public. For more information: