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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Soledad Fox, professor of Spanish and chair of Romance languages, will present the second lecture in the Williams College annual Faculty Lecture Series on Thursday, Feb. 26. The talk, titled “Biography and its Discontents,” will take place at 4:15 p.m. in Wege Auditorium, Thompson Chemistry. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in Schow Atrium.
Why did Virginia Woolf lament the task of writing biography and say that the biographer “could never be free?” Is biography a form of history, or literature? What is the relationship between biography and autobiography, the two interrelated genres of the larger field known today as “Life-writing?” What guidelines, if any, should biographers consider as they choose subjects, rummage through archives, and interview colleagues, friends, or descendants? What differentiates serious and popular biography? Does a “tell-all” ever tell all? Why has 2014 been “the year of the biopic” in Hollywood? In her talk, Fox will explore questions using examples from British, Spanish, French, and North American cultures. She will also discuss the biography she is currently writing.
Her work focuses on international aspects of Spanish history and culture, namely Spaniards abroad and foreigners in Spain. She is interested in the individual protagonists of the Spanish Civil War and World War II, and the intersections between narrative, memory, and archival materials.
She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has been a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar, and is a member of the jury of the Premios Príncipe de Asturias, Spain’s version of the Nobel Prize. She has published numerous scholarly articles and has been interviewed by the BBC and the New Yorker. Currently, Fox is working on her third book, a biography of Jorge Semprùn.
The Faculty Lecture Series continues on March 5 with associate professor of history Sara Dubow and her lecture “‘A Constitutional Right Rendered Utterly Meaningless’: Religious Exemptions and Reproductive Politics, 1973-2014.”
For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map