The Trace

New Critical Approaches to the Trace and Its Application to Recent Literature Written in English

Core team

Rosario Arias (Principal investigator)

Rosario Arias focuses on the renewed interest in the concept of the ‘trace’ in recent criticism and considers how this notion provides ample space to explore contemporary interventions into the (Victorian) past. She intends to conceptualise the ways in which the presence of past cultures is perceived in contemporary literature written in English, by means of vestiges and visible marks, from a phenomenological point of view. Based on her work on the spectre and spectrality, Arias’ research revolves around the question of (in)visibility and presence of past in current literature.

Carmen Lara-Rallo

Carmen Lara-Rallo has published books, book chapters, and articles on different aspects of Anglo-American literature and criticism. Her main areas of interest include contemporary British fiction and comparative literature, and she is currently working on the critical concept of the ‘Trace’, and on the dialogue between literature and other arts and disciplines such as painting, music, and science. Her contributions to the project focus on the revision of the past in recent fiction, and on interdisciplinary dimension of the ‘Trace’.

Nieves Pascual

Nieves Pascual has researched into the relationship between medicine and literature, more particularly the translation of pain into language, the effects of autobiography on the trauma of voluntary hunger and the ways hunger infects our stories. She has published essays and organized seminars related to these issues. More recently she has shown an interest in food studies and the ways food helps recover, discover and cover personal and collective memories. Her contribution to this project and the conference organized at the University of Malaga are in line with these two venues of research.

Marta Cerezo-Moreno

“El concepto de la huella: delimitación, estudio y aplicación a la literatura reciente en lengua inglesa” will intend to analyse the concept of "the trace" in order to construct a theoretical frame to be applied to contemporary English narrative. My study will be inserted within the so-called Disability Studies in direct relation to Gender Studies. I will look into the ways Ricoeur"s different types of trace (written trace, the trace of the soul, and the physical and mental trace) can be also considered as imprints left by disability/gender and into their different narrative potrayals as realities shaped by cultural and social discourses in contemporary English novels.

Sonia Villegas-López

Sonia Villegas-López analyses the concept of memory and forgetting in a selection of contemporary novels in English. Both terms are inherently related to the notion of the trace from a public (historical) and personal (private) domain. The range of novels selected include Hotel World (2001) by Ali Smith, Pharos: A Ghost Story (2002), The Falconer (2008), and The Existential Detective (2010) by Alice Thompson, The Mistressclass (2003) by Michèle Roberts, and Salt Fish Girl (2002) by Larissa Lai. The concept of trace is approached from the perspectives of literary genre, gender and national identity.

Our Project has been funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
( Ref. FFI2013-44154-P )