Assistant Professor of Iberian Studies
Bécquer Seguín is Assistant Professor of Iberian Studies and an affiliated faculty member of the Center for Advanced Media Studies and the Program in Latin American Studies. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, where he was an Andrew W. Mellon and John E. Sawyer Seminar Fellow and Graduate School Dean’s Scholar.
His research explores the cultural, political, and historical events that connect Europe and Latin America in the modern period. In addition to literature and literary history, he also works in film studies, art history, and political theory. His current research focuses on cultural responses to economic crises in modern Iberia, from the nineteenth century to the present. He is presently completing a book on the cultural history of the Great Recession in Spain.
Seguín’s scholarly articles, translations, and reviews have appeared in Hispanic Review, diacritics, ARTMargins, Radical Philosophy, Hispania, Postmodern Culture, and other journals and edited volumes. He is the co-editor, with Ana Sabau, of the forthcoming Political Romanticism in the Americas.
In addition to his scholarship, Seguín writes essays and criticism for The Nation, Slate, Dissent, and other periodicals. He also provides television and radio commentary for WNYC, CNBC, and other stations.
Professor Seguín is currently completing a book, provisionally titled Dream Traffickers: A Cultural History of the Spanish Crisis, on five cultural touchstones in Spain thrown into relief by the Great Recession: intellectual authority, development, populism, colonial nostalgia, and memorialization. It argues that the decade-long struggle over how to address these aspects of Spanish society birthed a number of anti-institutional practices that have today become more general features of the global response to the economic crisis of 2008. Combining literary criticism with media theory, political theory, and intellectual history, the book aims to explain the role of aesthetic culture in transforming Spain into one of the most compelling cases of mass politicization in recent memory.
He is also working on two book projects that explore earlier moments in Iberian history. The first, provisionally titled Intellectual Refuge: Carl Schmitt in Spain, examines the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt’s relationships with the people, institutions, and thinkers of pre- and postwar Spain. It considers, on the one hand, the importance of such figures as Don Quixote, Francisco de Vitoria, and Juan Donoso Cortés for Schmitt’s political philosophy and jurisprudence; and, on the other, the relationships he maintained with Álvaro d’Ors, Enrique Tierno Galván, and others during the Francoist period and the transition to democracy. The second project, tentatively titled The Rebellious Atlantic: Spanish Romanticism and the Imperial Economy, studies how romanticism shaped and challenged Spain’s imperial economy following the Constitution of Cádiz in 1812, including the role romantics played in exporting economic liberalism to Latin America.
Professor Seguín teaches courses on a range of subjects, from modern Iberia and comparative literature to art history and political theory. Below you’ll find a partial list of current and future courses:
- Readings in Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory (Graduate)
- Literature of the Great Recession
- The Politics of Spanish Painting
- The Contemporary Iberian Novel
- Contemporaneity and Crisis (Graduate)
- Political Romanticism in the Americas. Co-edited with Ana Sabau. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies (forthcoming)
Articles and Chapters
- “Podemos and the Ideals of Populist Proceduralism.” Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies (forthcoming)
- “José Zorrilla in Mexico: Transatlantic Romanticism and the Question of Artistic Labor.” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies (forthcoming)
- “The Transatlantic Turn.” In New Approaches to Latin American Studies: Culture and Power, ed. Juan Poblete (London: Routledge, 2017), 206-222.
- “Mute Cries: Louis Althusser Between Wifredo Lam and Roberto Álvarez-Ríos.” ARTMargins 6.2 (2017): 93-109.
- “‘Hitler Wants to be Defeated’: On Borges, Freud, and the Death Drive.” Variaciones Borges 42 (2016): 29-52.
- “Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, and the Specter of Death.” In Cultural Exchanges between Brazil and France, eds. Regina R. Félix and Scott D. Juall (West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2016), 177-192.
- “Podemos and Its Critics.” Radical Philosophy 193 (2015): 20-32.
- “On the Easel of Independence.” Hispanic Review 83.1 (2015): 1-26.
- “Trotsky, Eisenstein y Las Hurdes: Dialécticas políticas en el cine de Luis Buñuel.” Hispania 97.4 (2014): 600-11.
- “The Face of a Nation: Norma Aleandro as Argentina’s Post-Dictatorial Middle Class Icon.” Co-authored with Janis Breckenridge. In Latin American Icons: Fame across Borders, eds. Dianna Niebylski and Patrick O’Connor (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2014), 137-146.
- “Posthegemony in Times of the Pink Tide.” Postmodern Culture 23.2 (2013).
Other Academic Writing
- Translation of Louis Althusser, “A Young Cuban Painter Before Surrealism: Álvarez Ríos.” ARTMargins 6.2 (2017): 110-112.
- Translation of Louis Althusser, “Letter from Wifredo Lam to Louis Althusser.” ARTMargins 6.2 (2017): 115.
- “Cinema, Scenes, Aesthetics: An Interview with Jacques Rancière.” Co-authored with Mozelle Foreman. diacritics 42.3 (2014), 22-35.
- Translation of Álvaro García Linera, “The Communist Manifesto and Our Present: Four Theses on its Historical Actuality.” Co-translated with Bruno Bosteels. In Plebeian Power: Collective Action and Indigenous, Working-Class, and Popular Identities in Bolivia, ed. Pablo Stefanoni (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 17-88.
In addition to his scholarly work, Professor Seguín contributes essays and criticism to The Nation, Slate, Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, The Awl, Dissent, Jacobin, and other periodicals. Below you’ll find a selection of reported pieces, literary and film criticism, essays, and commentary.
- “Spanish Civil Wars.” Public Books, October 5, 2017.
- “The Catalonia Question.” Co-authored with Sebastiaan Faber. The Nation (October 23, 2017), 4.
- “Have Spain and Catalonia Reached a Point of No Return?” Co-authored with Sebastiaan Faber. The Nation, September 26, 2017.
- “Thus Bad Begins.” Full Stop, September 7, 2017.
- “Mortifying Miniatures.” Los Angeles Review of Books, August 25, 2017.
- “Exotic Minutiae.” Slate, July 21, 2017.
- “Soccer for Intellectuals.” Public Books, June 2, 2017.
- “Two Almodóvars.” Los Angeles Review of Books, February 24, 2017.
- “The Many Crimes of Jesús Gil.” Howler (Fall 2016), 99-107.
- “The Spanish-Speaking William F. Buckley.” Dissent, September 28, 2016.
- “Spaniards Confront the Legacy of Civil War and Dictatorship.” Co-authored with Sebastiaan Faber. The Nation, July 18, 2016.
- “Will Catalonia’s Regional Elections Lead to the Break-Up of Spain?” Co-authored with Sebastiaan Faber. The Nation, September 24, 2015.
- “The Spanish Media Are the Worst in Europe. These Upstarts Are Trying to Change That.” Co-authored with Sebastiaan Faber. The Nation, September 15, 2015.
- “Podemos’s Latin American Roots.” Jacobin, March 27, 2015.
- “Can Podemos Win in Spain?” Co-authored with Sebastiaan Faber. The Nation (February 2, 2015), 12-17.
He has also provided television and radio commentary for WNYC, CNBC, and other stations.
- “Tens of Thousands March as Crisis Escalates in Catalonia.” WNYC’s The Takeaway. October 23, 2017.
- “Spain May Be Driving Catalans to Support Independence.” CNBC’s Closing Bell. October 6, 2017.
- “Catalonia Voted for Independence: Now What?” WNYC’s The Takeaway. October 5, 2017.
- “Spain’s Efforts to Shut Down Catalonia’s Referendum.” KPFK’s Background Briefing with Ian Masters. September 28, 2017.