Author Archive for James D. Fernández

An apocryphal obituary of a fictional character

August 31, 2012
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An apocryphal obituary of a fictional character

In his massive novel La noche de los tiempos, Antonio Muñoz Molina crafts an unforgettable fictional character named  Judith Biely.  The daughter of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Judith grew up in New York, did doctoral work in Spanish Literature at Columbia, and traveled to Spain in the early 1930s to conduct doctoral research.  In...
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Mike Nash, RIP

July 26, 2012
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Mike Nash, RIP

I have just heard the heartbreaking news of the death of Michael Nash, Director of the Tamiment Library and the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at NYU. Over the years I had the good fortune of being able to work with Mike on a number of ALBA-related projects and on several occasions we co-taught...
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La Colonia: Spanish Immigrants in New York, catalog and videos

July 14, 2012
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La Colonia: Spanish Immigrants in New York, catalog and videos

The photo show that I curated –La colonia:  A photo album of Spanish immigrants in New York, 1898 – 1945– is currently on display in León, Spain, thanks to the city of León and the University of Washington, Seattle, which has a program and a site there.  The show originally opened in New York,...
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Message in a Bottle

July 12, 2012
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Message in a Bottle

In a recent exchange with a commenter on this blog, I mentioned how sometimes, when posting here, I feel like a hopeful child throwing a message in a bottle into the vast cybersea.  And occasionally I experience the thrill of confirming that the message has arrived to an intended (if unknown) recipient. Those moments...
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Unfinished journey: U.S. Spaniards face the Civil War

July 2, 2012
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Unfinished journey: U.S. Spaniards face the Civil War

On March 27, 1938, Avelino González Mallada, former mayor of the Asturian city of Gijón, died in a car crash on a country road in Woodstock, Virginia. The next day, The New York Times explained that “Señor Mallada was in this country on a sixty-day permit granted to him by the Department of Labor after...
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Memory and Oblivion in the Spanish Diaspora (2)

July 1, 2012
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Memory and Oblivion in the Spanish Diaspora (2)

It wasn’t until I began scanning the old crumbling panoramic photograph that I started to become suspicious.  The image is spectacular: a large crowd of Spanish immigrants poses for a picture at some kind of picnic.  The owner of the photo and several of the Spaniards I’ve been interviewing in Monterey told me that...
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Memory and Oblivion in the Spanish Diaspora

June 30, 2012
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Memory and Oblivion in the Spanish Diaspora

I’m back in Monterey, California, following up on the story of the Spanish immigrants who settled in this area in the early decades of the 20th century.  I’m constantly surprised both by the ubiquity of photographs, stories, and objects related to the Republic and the Spanish Civil War, and by the relative oblivion into...
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Treasures in the Archives: Shapiro SCW Scrapboook

June 22, 2012
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Treasures in the Archives:  Shapiro SCW Scrapboook

I had the pleasure of visiting the ALBA archives a couple of weeks ago with Alan Levine, a New York-based civil rights attorney with a longstanding interest in the Lincolns.  In the early 1960s, fresh out of Yale Law School, Alan took a job on Wall Street, a decision which he soon regretted.  In...
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La diáspora española en EEUU y la Guerra Civil Española

June 16, 2012
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La diáspora española en EEUU y la Guerra Civil Española

En inglés aquí. 1937.  Una gira campestre en Toro Park, a 15 kilómetros de la ciudad de Monterey, California.  Varios centenares de inmigrantes españoles que se han establecido en la Península de Monterey y en el Valle de Santa Clara disfrutan de un ameno “picnic”.  Pero los puños en alto nos recuerdan que en...
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The Spanish Diaspora in the US and the Spanish Civil War

June 15, 2012
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The Spanish Diaspora in the US and the Spanish Civil War

En español aquí. 1937.  A picnic in Toro Park, 9 miles from Monterey, California.  Several hundred Spaniards from the Monterey Peninsula and the Santa Clara Valley enjoy a pleasurable get-together.  But the raised clenched fists remind us that a war is going on in Spain, and that this social gathering 6,000 miles away in...
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