March 16, 2023
We are very pleased indeed to announce that our search this year for a new assistant professorship in Comparative Literature has yielded an offer to Matylda Figlerowicz, and she has now accepted the offer. The unanimous choice of the search committee and of the faculty out of a pool of 294 applicants,
Matylda brings to us an exceptional combination of literary, linguistic, and interdisciplinary abilities. Having received a BA and MA in Spanish in Poland and an MA in Art History in Barcelona, Matylda came to Harvard in 2014 to pursue her PhD in Comparative Literature. Upon receiving her degree in 2021, she began a three-year term at Harvard’s Society of Fellows. While still in Spain, she was already working in Catalan, Galician, and Basque as well as Spanish; in 2015 she published a 200-page revised version of her MA thesis, La memoria en construcción: La experiencia dictatorial franquista y comunista en las literaturas catalana, española y polaca, which won a prize for the best scholarly study that year involving Catalan literature.
After her arrival at Harvard, Matylda began to work extensively in Latin American literatures, including the study of Quechua, Yucatecan Mayan, and classical and modern Nahuatl. She has published many essays in English as well as in Spanish on questions of multilingualism and minority cultures; her dissertation, entitled Anticlimax: The Multilingual Novel at the Turn of the 21st Century, is well on its way to becoming a second book. Through close stylistic analysis, it probes the ways in which minority or oppositional writers use multilingualism to disrupt narrative continuity and resolution in a wide range of contemporary novels, from the Mayan writer Sol Ceh Moo’s Sujuy k’iin to the Quechua novelist Pablo Landeo Muñoz’s Aqupampa to Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 to the Basque novelist Ramon Saizarbitoria’s Hamaika pauso. Having completed revision of the manuscript, she has now embarked on a third book: an archivally grounded history of the life, writings, and image of the midcentury Nahua artist and writer Luz Jiménez in which she brings together her interests in literature and in art.
Matylda will formally join our faculty in July 2024, upon completion of her postdoc at the Society of Fellows. We look forward with great pleasure to welcoming her back to Dana-Palmer.