Phillip Swanson, new professor in the Department of Hispanic and Italian studies, wanted to enhance his teaching and research on what he calls the "new novel" and "the boom" in modern Latin American literature. He says the ideal place to do this is here at Albany.
"The new novel is a phenomenon of contemporary Latin American fiction," he said. "It is a reaction against traditional realism." He defines "the boom" as the time period during which the new novel of Latin America emerged and achieved international stature in the 1960s.
He has published five books on the new novel, as well as numerous articles on other aspects of Latin American literature. Most recently Swanson has been doing scholarship in the areas of politics and popular culture, and the fiction of the post-boom during the 1970s and 1980s.
This semester he is teaches a graduate course on the new novel and an undergraduate course on the Evolution of Modernity in Latin American literature.
Among his reasons for coming to Albany were that "the department has a very strong tradition of excellent research and I wanted the opportunity to be part of the team that would build on that tradition."
He said the University offers the serious scholar an excellent balance for engaging and educating the student in the classroom, and conducting critical research as well. He said that he received an "extremely warm reception" when he visited Albany for the first time last winter, and immediately was attracted to the academic atmosphere.
Swanson taught at the University of London, Queen Mary and Westfield College, for three years before coming to Albany. He received his Masters from the University of Liverpool and Ph.D from the University of Attenborough. He has been a professor for 12 years.
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