Sant Jordi Spring Festival with William Viestenz (University of Minnesota)

Mon April 24th 2023, 12:00 - 6:00pm
Event Sponsor
Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures
Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages
Building 260, Pigott Hall
450 Jane Stanford Way, Building 260, Stanford, CA 94305
German Library, room 252 & Oregon Courtyard

The Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures presents: 

“Skin to Skin: Immunity in Recent Catalan Narrative”
A talk by William Viestenz (University of Minnesota) 


This talk discusses the relevance of the notion of immunity for analyzing recent Catalan literary fiction. With particular focus on Albert Sánchez Piñol’s Victus: Barcelona 1714 (2012) and L’esperit del temps (2019) by Martí Domínguez, the talk will consider skin as one of the primary material bases of biopolitics. Victus links the wounding of skin to textuality, but simultaneously uses the breaking open of the body to highlight community as an assemblage of diverse material actors and agents. L’esperit del temps situates Nazism at the intersection of biology and law, emphasizing how a politics of death relies on what kinds of matter, such as the phenotype of skin, are fetishized, pathologized, and subjected to human-centered techniques of power. The talk will open discussion with the reflections on skin of Donna Haraway and Jean-Luc Nancy, and close by engaging with Haraway’s work on companionship and the ‘illicit fusion’ of beings, particularly in the historical period referred to as the ‘Chthulucene’ in which kinship and multispecies assemblages are viewed as tools for survival.

William Viestenz is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese & Global Studies at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in modern Iberian literature and culture and is most recently the author of By the Grace of God: Francoist Spain and the Sacred Roots of Political Imagination. He is also co-editor, with Katarzyna Beilin, of the volume, Ethics of Life: Contemporary Iberian Debates and with Joan Ramon Resina, of The New Ruralism: An Epistemology of Transformed Space

This talk will be in English and will be 12:00pm at Pigott Hall, German Library (Room 252)Lunch will be served. 

Followed by a Reception with Poetry and Roses at 4:30pm at Oregon Courtyard outside Pigott Hall.  

Come celebrate the Catalan feast of Saint George, the Day of the Book and the Rose, with us!

RSVP here

Lunchtime Talk with Prof. Viestenz: April 24th 12:00pm, 260-252, Pigott Hall
"Skin to Skin: Immunity in Recent Catalan Narrative." Lunch will be served. 

Hors d'oeuvres & Sant Jordi Festival: April 24th 4:30pm, Oregon Courtyard
An afternoon Reception with Food & Drinks, Roses, and a Poetry Recital.  

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Menéndez or Prof. Resina at: lauramen [at] or jrresina [at]

Sponsored by the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures (ILAC) at Stanford University, the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), and the Stanford Catalan Association.