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Marina Herbst

Proyecto Ensayo Hispánico

A (Re)View Backwards and Forward


Proyecto Ensayo Hispánico:
external linkhttp://ensayo.

José Luis Gómez-Martínez
University of Georgia
Department of Romance Languages
Gilbert Hall 212
Athens, GA 30601-1815
Tel. +1 (706) 542-3123
Fax +1 (706) 542-3287
emailjlgomez@ensayo. rom.uga.edu
external linkhttp://ensayo.rom. uga.edu/jlgomez


external linkArchive of Iberian and Latin American Philosophers and Essayists

external linkAnthology of Hispanic Essay

external linkTheory and Criticism
General Studies

external linkOther Projects

external linkLinks


  Challenge, growth, ideas – these terms define Proyecto Ensayo Hispánico (PEH). The essay is the chosen genre for the project, a fact that correlates with the main objective of PEH: to serve as a learning tool, provoking (and challenging) readers to (re)think, and question both ideas and thinkers. The internet assists Ensayo Hispánico in this mission: a systematic attempt to eliminate the perception of philosophy as an all-exclusive academic commodity by familiarizing a wider international community of thinkers with Spanish and Portuguese-speaking philosophers. Since its creation in November of 1997, PEH has undergone a steady growth not only in content, but also in technological sophistication, a fact that has been publicly recognized by organizations such as external linkLatinWorld, external linkEl Literonauta and external linkDobleU.com in the form of awards, and reviews in journals such as external linkHispanista (1999), and Concordia (1999). The number – more than 10,000 a week – and diversity in origin of the visits attest to the impact of the site.


  Proyecto has three main sections that define the areas of interest and research: the Archive of Essayists, the Theory and Criticism section, and an Anthology. The sections for classes, and special projects, accessible by password, express the commitment to education, this term understood in its broader sense: individuals in context, ideas in dialogue. The Archive offers a wide selection of works by essayists and philosophers from different parts of the Spanish-speaking world. Each entry consists of at least four sections: an introduction to the person and his/her work, bibliographies of and about the person's work, a selection of essays or articles, and at least one scholarly study. The introduction is not limited to biographical information, but offers substantial contextual and ideological material and establishes relationships with other philosophers and philosophies.


  In some cases, as it occurs with external linkOctavio Paz and external linkLeopoldo Zea, a chronological table of the writer in (national and international, political, philosophical, and literary) context is also included. In other cases, as it is with external linkArturo Andrés Roig, papers presented at homage conferences, and complete books are also included. All this contributes to a closer understanding of both the person and his/her context and work. The two bibliographies, one of the author's works and one of the works written about his/her production, are of great help in establishing the formation and development of the author's ideas. The selection of essays (in full text), together with the scholarly/critical study complement and complete the entry, inserting both writer and work in context, facilitating the reader's apprehension of the ideas in question.

Theory and Criticism.
General Studies:

external linkGeneral studies on the History of Philosophy and of the Hispanic Essay

external linkStudies on the Theory and Rhetoric of the Genre

external linkLiterary and Philosophical Proposals

external linkEcological Ethics

external linkPhilosophy of Liberation

external linkTheory and Criticism


  The section of Theory and Criticism - General Studies is yet another proof of the ongoing dialogue between thinkers. At the moment this section consists of six main topics, General studies on the History of Philosophy and of the Hispanic Essay, Studies on the Theory and Rhetoric of the Genre, Literary and Philosophical Proposals, Ecological Ethics, Philosophy of Liberation, and Theory and Criticism. The studies contain not only the history and rhetoric of the genre, but also include documents of cultural and political significance that have influenced thinkers and writers. This is the case of the external linkDocumentos Finales de Medellín, or the external linkDogma Socialista of the Asociación de Mayo, or the external linkManifiesto Inaugural of the Latin American Group of Subaltern Studies, as well as new theories and modes of thinking, such as Ecological Ethics.


  At present, the topic of Theory and Criticism includes four areas: external linkIntercultural Philosophy, external linkPhilosophy of History, external linkHermeneutics, and external linkTheories in Debate. Writings such as these express the interrelationship between individuals and the contexts in which they are immersed through their apprehension of the essence of that context. Ideas that might be challenged, but that through that very questioning assert to a thinking reader or writer. Ideas are at the center.


  The Anthology offers a wide selection of essays from different periods, some of which do not fit in the traditional notion of essay; the ideas, together with the style state to their classification as such. Since one of the purposes of the Anthology is to serve as a teaching resource, all the texts are in full. Whenever possible, at least two editions are compared and used, giving credit to the corresponding parties. All this entails a considerable effort, especially when taking into consideration the process of obtaining permission as required by copyright laws. This Anthology is easily accessible: the essays are organized not only in alphabetical order, but according to date and origin, the Iberian Peninsula, or the (Spanish)American continent, as well.

Marina Herbst
is Teaching Assistant for Spanish at the University of Georgia, Atlanta, where she is currently writing up her PhD-thesis.


  José Luis Gómez-Martínez, a specialist in Hispanic Essay and Thought at the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Georgia, is the creator of the project and together with an Advisory Board of scholars, works towards developing PEH further, broadening the areas of expertise, and establishing relationships with other disciplines. Perhaps one of the most significant aspects of Proyecto Ensayo Hispánico is the fact that it welcomes contributions from all Spanish-speaking essayists and thinkers, independent of ideological orientation, a fact that stresses the emphasis on the exchange of ideas.

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