Maxim Rigaux


Postdoctoral Researcher of the ERC-project WINK, Iberian literatures
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Maxim Rigaux is a postdoctoral researcher of the ERC-StG project WINK, hosted at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. As a recipient of postdoctoral fellowships by the B.A.E.F. and the Fulbright Commission, he has been a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago in 2018-2019. Maxim specializes in the cultural and literary histories of the early modern Iberian world. His main interests include the interactions between Latin and the vernacular languages, the relationships between text and image, race and gender studies, and multilingualism.

“In September 2018, I defended my Ph.D. dissertation: Fictions of Lepanto. Visuality and Epic Poetry in Renaissance Iberia (1571-1587). In this project, funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), I explored the tension between writing history and fiction in a series of epic poems dealing with the battle of Lepanto composed in Latin, Spanish and Catalan. I analysed how seven authors from diverse geographical, social and linguistics backgrounds represent a recent military victory in an epic discourse and I argued that our understanding of fictionality in these epics should not be limited to the insertion of supernatural episodes.

In my B.A.E.F. and Fulbright postdoctoral project, Before the Royal Tomb. Juan Latino’s Lyric Poetry, I have elaborated a new reading approach to the poetry of Juan Latino (1517-94), a former black slave and marginal figure of Spain’s Renaissance, that takes into account the author’s role as a city poet. I have explored the material context of his poetry and examined how Latino negotiated the tensions between city and court, the textual and the visual, and the secular and the profane within a ceremonial context.

My current research project, Calliope’s Daughters, deals with women writers and the epic tradition in early modern Spain, Portugal and Spanish America. I am carrying out this research as a member of the ERC-StG project Women’s Invisible Ink (WINK). Trans-Genre Writing and the Gendering of Intellectual Value in Early Modernity, hosted at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

The open vision of RELICS towards European literary identities helps me to tackle questions related to Spain’s imperial project in the early modern period, and especially to explore the role that the Latin language and tradition played in it. RELICS offers me an ideal platform to look at the cultural and literary challenges of the period from a broader perspective. While many of the writers I study differ from each other in many ways, Latin-as a shared cultural legacy that gives individuals certain grip to an ever changing world-is the one element that always connects them.”

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