Ignacio Infante

Ignacio Infante

Chair, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
Professor of Comparative Literature and Thought and Romance Languages and Literatures - Spanish
Co-Director, Center for the Literary Arts
Study Abroad Coordinator, Comparative Literature and WU Madrid Abroad Programs (RLL)
PhD, Rutgers University
research interests:
  • Modern Poetry
  • Modernist and Avant-Garde Poetics
  • Iberian Cultural Studies
  • Transatlantic Literary Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Translation Theory/History
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    Ignacio Infante's main fields of research include modern poetry, modernist and avant-garde poetics, Iberian cultural studies, transatlantic literary studies, comparative literature, and translation theory/history.

    Professor Infante is the author of After Translation: The Transfer and Circulation of Modern Poetics across the Atlantic (Fordham University Press, 2013). After Translation examines from a transnational and interlingual approach the role of translation in the transatlantic flow of modern poetry and poetics, including chapters on poets Fernando Pessoa, Vicente Huidobro, Federico García Lorca and the Berkeley Renaissance, Haroldo and Augusto de Campos, and Kamau Brathwaite. Infante’s After Translation explores —from both a theoretical and a practical point of view—how translation articulates differing but interconnected modes of circulation in the work of writers originally from different geographical areas of transatlantic encounter, such as Europe, Latin America, North America, and the Caribbean. More recently, Infante has published his second monograph  A Planetary Avant-Garde: Experimental Literature Networks and the Legacy of Iberian Colonialism (University of Toronto Press, 2023). A Planetary Avant-Garde explores how experimental poetics and literature networks have aesthetically and politically responded to the legacy of Iberian colonialism across the world. The book examines avant-garde responses to Spanish and Portuguese imperialism across Europe, Latin America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia between 1909 and 1929, extending geopolitical dimensions of the historical avant-garde into a wider transnational and planetary framework: it analyzes the relation between Portuguese futurism and European colonialism in West Africa, the Latin American avant-garde’s critique of European historicism, the development of Brazilian modernism in relation to the European avant-garde, the comparative poetics of modernism in the Philippines, and the 1929 Barcelona World’s Fair. Grounded in extensive archival research, A Planetary Avant-Garde provides a new understanding of the historical avant-garde from a global and multilingual perspective.

    Professor Infante’s research articles have been published in scholarly journals such as the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies (Routledge), Variaciones Borges (Pittsburgh) Revista Hispánica Moderna (U Penn Press), Comparative Literature (Duke UP), The Comparatist (UNC Press), Translation Review (Routledge), and KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge (University of Chicago Press). Within the field of Translation Studies he has guest-edited a special issue of the journal Translation Review (issue 95, 2016) on contemporary translational literature, as well as published book chapters included in Lawrence Venuti’s edited volume Teaching Translation (Routledge, 2017), and in Kelly Washbourne and Ben Van Wyke’s The Routledge Handbook of Literary Translation (2018, co-authored with Annelise Finegan).  A literary translator, Prof. Infante has also translated into Spanish John Ashbery’s poetry collection A Wave/ Una Ola (Lumen/Penguin Random House, 2003, reissued in 2023), Will Self’s novel How the Dead Live / Cómo viven los muertos (Random House Mondadori, 2002), as well as co-translated with Michael Leong into English Vicente Huidobro’s Skyquake: Tremor of Heaven, in a tri-lingual edition published by co.im.press in 2022.

    Per his joint appointment in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature, Prof. Infante regularly teaches in both units.  Prof. Infante’s courses in Spanish/Hispanic Studies have generally focused on 20th-century Iberian and modern transatlantic literature. Some of these courses include the surveys SPA 311 (Hispanic Culture and Civilization, Summer Institute in Madrid), Debating Cultures: Redes/ Networks: Digital Cultures in 21st- Century Spain (SPA 3213), Researching Cultures. Urban Iberian Cultures: Barcelona and Madrid (SPA 3611), as well as the graduate seminars “A Planetary Avant-Garde,” “Global Hispanic Studies” and “Poetics and Politics in Democratic Spain.” Prof. Infante’s courses for Comparative Literature have recently included “World Literature” (CL 211), “World-wide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology” (CL 394), and the graduate seminar “Literary Translation II”.

    Professor Infante has been the recipient of Fulbright, and Getty international fellowships, and was honored in 2020 with the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award, among other academic grants, fellowships, and awards. He has served as International Relations Chair of the Modernist Studies Association, MSA (from 2016-2018), and is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Translation Review. At Washington University he has served as Reviews Editor (Peninsular) of the Revista de Estudios Hispánicos (2016-), co-director of graduate studies in Comparative Literature, Director of the WU Summer Language Institute in Madrid, Associate Director of the Center for the Humanities (2018-2023), and as founding Co-Director of the WU Center for the Literary Arts (2023-).

    After Translation

    After Translation