Collegiate Affiliation

Professor Viestenz specializes in modern Iberian literature and culture. He is most recently the author of By the Grace of God: Francoist Spain and the Sacred Roots of Political Imagination. In this book he constructs a theory of the sacred through a cultural analysis of Iberian literature published during Franco's dictatorship, placing the use of the sacred in this time period with current debates related to post-secularism and political theology. Authors studied in the book include Juan Benet, Juan Goytisolo, Mercè Rodoreda, Salvador Espriu, Luis Martín-Santos, and Joan Sales.

Another recent publication is the co-edited volume, The New Ruralism: An Epistemology of Transformed Space, which reconsiders the time-hallowed antinomy of country and city and looks to the rural as a source of new forms of representation and temporal distribution.

He has also published on the concept of auto-fiction and second-language adoption in Josep Pla, contingency and ethics in Javier Marí­as's recent work, the phenomenology of memory in Jesús Moncada, amongst other studies.

Presently, Professor Viestenz is at work on a second book project entitled Beasts of Burden: Bullfighting and other Eruptions of the Creaturely in Modern Spain, which studies the relationship between animal symbolism and political sovereignty, ethics, and human rights.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • B.A.: Spanish, Carleton College, , 2004 -
  • Ph.D: Spanish and Portuguese, Stanford University, , 2011 -


  • Contemporary Iberian Literature and Culture
  • Post-Secularism and the Sacred
  • Bullfighting and Animal Rights
  • Neo-Ruralism
  • Iberian Studies
  • Violence and Cultural Memory