Lecturer in Spanish and Translation Studies at the University of Surrey.
Dr Lucy Bell is a lecturer in Spanish and Translation Studies at the University of Surrey. She has published widely in literary studies, critical theory and Latin American Studies. Her first book, entitled The Latin American Short Story at its Limits: Fragmentation, Hybridity and Intermediality, is under contract with Legenda. She has recently started working on a project on art, waste and recycling in Latin America.
Perhaps surprisingly, though, at the heart of a self-reflexive play that explores altered states of consciousness and sets out to 'challenge the materialist view' lies something very tangible, material and immediate: the corporeal, present experience.
Debates surrounding bullfighting are inextricably linked with the territorial and political reality of a nation-state comprised of seventeen autonomous regions, and the personal and ideological idiosyncrasies of 8,000 mayors.
Eighty percent of the world's population speak just 83 of our 7000 languages. With over fifty percent of these projected to be lost by the end of the century, indigenous communities and linguists are working together to preserve some of the world's most endangered communication systems and unravel some of their complexities while there is still time.
The case of inflectional classes in Oto-Manguean languages, however, is just one small example of the vital role indigenous languages play in informing our understanding of language. Not all indigenous languages enjoy the same status as those of Mexico, yet each one is as valuable as the next.
Fighting against growing levels of precarity, unemployment, poverty and homelessness - in Spain and, contrary to what our government claims, in the UK - also requires us to reclaim what should belong to the state and its citizens, to us.
So I would say that Riotta's article attracted a large amount of attention not only because he brought the hot topic of relationships and romance into the less media-friendly (but nonetheless extremely important) topic of language-acquisition, but also because - very simply - there are a lot of bilinguals out there. And following on from Riotta's logic, a lot of good lovers.
We are constantly being told Britons are 'bad' at languages... Brits do not have some kind of freak genetic indisposition that hinders them from learning foreign languages. The drop in uptake of languages is not the result of a lack of ability, but of a complex mix of factors.
31/07/2014 16:10 BST
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