José del Pino is the Dartmouth Professor of Spanish.
This is the fourth in a series of profiles of the 10 new endowed professors in the arts and sciences.
José del Pino has been a professor of Spanish at Dartmouth since 2004, and is a former chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He studies modern and contemporary peninsular Spanish literature and culture. Editor and co-editor of several books and author of numerous scholarly articles, two volumes of criticism, and three collections of poetry, del Pino is currently organizing a fall conference at Dartmouth called “Dalí, Lorca, and Buñuel in America.”
Knowing that the community of your colleagues recognizes and appreciates your work and your scholarship is very satisfying.
One of my next projects will be an edited volume about the relation of three Spanish artists—Salvador Dalí, Federico, Garcia Lorca, and Luis Buñuel—with the U.S. The three of them came to New York in the late ’20s and ’30s. The book will analyze their encounter with the U.S.—their appreciation and also misunderstandings of American democracy, mass culture, architecture, film, etc.—and how that fundamental experience affected their artistic careers.
The three artists would take back to Spain new ideas, infused with a sense of admiration and also distress and rejection. I’m organizing an interdisciplinary conference on this topic that will bring to Dartmouth 13 scholars with the goal of establishing a dialogue that will help us to better understand the phenomenon, offering at the same time their latest scholarship on the topic.
I always try to bring my scholarship to class so students become more involved. I think students get excited and inspired when they get to know other scholars who assist them in expanding what they learn in the classroom. For instance, I will be teaching an upper-level literature and culture course on the topic of the conference, whose content will be integrated into class discussion. In addition, several students from the Neukom Institute’s DALI Lab are working on this project. They will present a montage of images at the library and are preparing a very sophisticated website.
Dalí would love it. He was very excited about incorporating new media and technology into his painting and other work. He was fascinated with cartoons, advertisement, postcards, and popular arts—anything that could be used to spread artistic surrealist agenda among an international audience while at the same time promoting his big ego.
The working conditions for tenured professors at Dartmouth are among the best in the country. The teaching is structured in a manner that allows you to devote generous portions of time for your own research. We have splendid libraries, smart and committed students, and a very active academic environment. The possibility of organizing a conference or bringing scholars to campus is real—you can request funding without the deterrent of excessive paperwork. That’s really exceptional. That doesn’t happen in the same way in other institutions. I feel privileged being a faculty member at Dartmouth and am grateful to the donors for this endowed chair. I consider that this honor also recognizes the splendid work carried out by many of my colleagues at the Spanish and Portuguese department.
Since 1787, Dartmouth has recognized its top faculty with named professorships. These chairs—traditionally supported through endowed gifts from alumni, family, and friends of the College—honor faculty whose scholarship, teaching, and service exemplify Dartmouth’s core mission.
“Endowed professors reflect the best of Dartmouth,” says Dean of the Faculty Michael Mastanduno. “These scholars are not only at the top of their respective fields—they are generous and committed teachers and outstanding citizens of the College community.”
This year, 10 members of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences have been appointed to endowed chairs. In addition, the Tuck School of Business appointed Praveen Kopalle the Signal Companies’ Professor of Management; and Rahul Sarpeshkar joined the faculty this year as the inaugural Thomas E. Kurtz Chair in the William H. Neukom Academic Cluster in Computational Science, with a primary appointment at Thayer School of Engineering.