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The C.A.S.T.L.E. Project

Cultural Atlas for the Study and Teaching of Literatures in English

This interactive atlas began in 2002 as a pilot project to tie in with the subject "American Literature I: From the Colonists through Independence". With the help of four UAM Teaching Assistance grants to date (Eva Ardoy, Ana Belén García, Irene Hernández and María Platas), the first volume of the C.A.S.T.L.E. atlas offers a series of computer maps, chronologies, commentaries, plates, texts and quotes relevant to the understanding and/or construction of the New World in Great Britain, 16th through 18th centuries. A working version of this volume is now available on the Web, free of charge, for the use of staff and students. ( Future volumes include:

  • Vol. 2: The 18th century in Great Britain. It is designed to tie in with the NLP.
  • Vol 3: North-American literature in the 19th century


    The Whitestone Players were founded in 2004, and took their present name a year later. They seek to perform theatre in English and to use theatre to practice English. In 2006, as part of THE WHITESTONE PLAYERS' SECOND SHOWCASE, the group put on stage Richard Brinksley Peake's play Presumption, or: The Fate of Frankenstein; a Melodrama in 3 Acts. First performed in London at the English Opera House on 28 July 1823, this was the first melodrama version based on Mary Shelley's novel, which had appeared only six years earlier. The cast and crew of our original performance in May 2006 (two acts only) were as follows:

    Direction, Celia Marqués; coordination, Manuel Aguirre; lighting design, Beatriz Sánchez and Carmen Muñoz; original music composed by Germán Ponte, based on melodies composed by Manuel Aguirre; incidental music selected by Germán Ponte; light technician, Silvia Arévalo; sound technician, Carmen Muñoz; poster and programme design, Carmen Muñoz. Players: Manuel Aguirre, Paula Barreñada, Ana Isabel Blázquez, Laura Dolado, Jorge Galué, Julio González, Sofía Pérez, Sofía Rodríguez, Beatriz Sánchez.

    For the second (complete) performance on 29 March 2007, the cast was modified to include Beatriz Aparicio, Carlos Benedicto, Lidia Creus, Ángela Fiol, Celia Marqués, Maya Qazi, María Sánchez, Paloma Taheri. Lighting, Jorge Amich; sound technician and live music, Paula Crespo; poster and programme design, Lidia Creus and Carmen Muñoz.

    As several members of the Whitestone Players are involved in
    The Northanger Library Project, it seemed appropriate to select a Gothic play. Melodrama was in its time a major form of entertainment, comparable to the effect cinema has on us now. But the techniques of timing, movement and stage designing used by traditional melodrama have come down to us via silent movies, slapstick comedy, grand guignol or expressionist cinema, and they are, today, the language material of all animation films. In looking for the elements of melodrama that are still entertaining today, Tim Burton's films have been a source of inspiration to us. In this line, we deliberately avoided realism: we did not want our stage to look like Geneva, we wanted it to look like a theatre stage. A report on the problems involved and techniques used is in the making by director Celia Marqués, and will be appearing in this site.

    cartel_frankenstein cartel_ventana

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    (ref. BFF2000-0093)

    In the transition from the dominance of Structuralism to that of what is currently known as Post-Structuralism, awareness has emerged that semiotic systems are never autonomous. This new perspective forces the scholar to examine contact zones, zones of friction, passage, transition and emulation between systems. In a spatial metaphor of the literary system, the chief site of scholarly enquiry is the threshold; the theoretical concept central to its study, that of liminality. Directed by Manuel Aguirre and funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, this project (January 2001-December 2003) sought on the one hand to explore and refine the notion of the threshold as a theoretical instrument and, on the other, to apply it in specific studies that would help articulate the theory. This project continued earlier concerns and studied folk and medieval narrative structures, collage, visual poetry, African-American literature, Gothic and horror fiction, the theme of Sovereignty, and others. Seven volumes and over forty articles and two PhD theses were the outcome of the project. Some major undertakings were:

  • The Liminality Seminars (since May 1998), an informal series of lectures and debates for colleagues and research students
  • The International Seminar on Liminality and Text, a biennial event. Five encounters have so far taken place (for details, click on The LIMEN Page):

    - A Place That Is Not A Place (15-16 March 1999)
    - Betwixt-and-Between (2-3 April 2001)
    - Mapping the Threshold (24-25 March 2003)
    - The Dynamics of the Threshold (14-15 March 2005)
    - Liminal Poetics (26-27 March 2007)

  • THE GATEWAY PRESS, the first independent academic press publishing in English in Spain (for full catalogues of its first two series, Studies in Liminality and Literature and The TRELLIS Papers, click on THE GATEWAY PRESS),
  • The LIMEN Research Group (for more information on this see The LIMEN Page).

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    This was a pilot project begun in 2004 with the help of three grants from the Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid (CAM). The students' main task was to transcribe material from microfilm onto computer. A collection of novellas and bluebooks was thus obtained, the texts of which will be appearing in The Northanger Library Project by and by. Meanwhile, they were passed to students in the postgraduate course "The Roots of Gothic Fiction" who, for their final course papers, were asked each to produce an analysis of one particular story. Some of the results merit reworking into publishable form. For the academic year 2005-6 The Gothic Library Project was redefined to offer both transcription and analysis on the basis of specific criteria. Five students, two of them with CAM grants, have worked on this project (Carlos Benedicto, Estíbaliz Suárez, Marta Marín, Diana Luque, Irene Hernández). THE GOTHIC LIBRARY PROJECT became The Northanger Library Project in 2006 when it received official support from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.

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    The TRELLIS Papers

    This is a series of working papers designed as the logical venue for publishing research produced in The TRELLIS Seminar and elsewhere, by both students and staff.

    TRELLIS is an acronym for "Teaching Research in English-Language Literatures, Intermediate Stage". The TRELLIS Project was part of a wider programme designed to gradually introduce the concept of research in the literatures written in English into the three study cycles. Its name of course alluded to the interlace of initiatives it set in motion among the three cycles.

    Begun in 2002, the project was officially launched in 2003 with a Teaching Innovation grant from the UAM. Meanwhile, the 'trellis' concept has outgrown its original intention and now has the full function suggested by the word: an interlace of efforts which, in bringing together various types of research at different levels of complexity, seeks to reinforce and disseminate results, thus hoping to create a feedback loop throughout the three Cycles. One practical aim of The TRELLIS Papers is to provide a flexible, reasonably speedy method of publication by editing each paper independently. For a catalogue of titles, click on

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