APSU Spanish teacher examines capitalist society in his seventh book


CLARKSVILLE, TN – In the summer of 2020, when the global COVID-19 pandemic brought down national economies around the world, Dr Osvaldo Di Paolo Harrison, professor of Spanish at Austin Peay State University, decided to read detective novels in Spanish and Latin American authors.

Books weren’t a diversion – a way to avoid the realities of a locked world. For Di Paolo Harrison, they offered him a new way to examine the growing financial toll of the pandemic around the world.

“I started to think, ‘Wow, look at how fragile the capitalist system can be and how it affects the world economy and affects the world in so many dimensions,” he said. “I’m going to look at the literature and see what I can find.”

Last semester, Di Paolo Harrison published his seventh academic book, “Crisis of the Capitalist System in Hispanic Hardboiled Literature,” which explores how detective stories in Spanish present issues such as food scarcity, unemployment, change climate, migration and other topics.

“Each chapter has a particular crisis, so I brought together primary texts from Spain and different Latin American countries, always from the prism of hard Hispanic literature,” he said. “This book analyzes hard works of fiction from the Hispanic world, where there is a critical inquiry into capitalist society. It combines literary studies with socio-political inquiries and it tries to alert the reader that the capitalist system seeks only material income, neglecting nature and human beings, displacing them from their essential place.

The book, written in Spanish, is co-authored by Fabian Mossello, professor at the National University of Córdoba in Argentina.

In 2014, Di Paolo Harrison received the Austin Peay Socrates Award for Excellence in Teaching and the University’s Richard M. Hawkins Award for his significant contributions to scholarship. Her previous book, “Crimes Against Women: The Sexually Sadistic Killing of Women in Literature of the 20th and 21st Century,” explored femicide from colonial times to the present day.

Dr Shelley Godsland, professor at the University of Amsterdam, has previously said that Di Paolo Harrison is “at the forefront of scientific efforts with regard to Latin American literature”.

Di Paolo Harrison is also the author of “Queer Noir Hispanico”, “Noir Boricua: La novela negra de Puerto Rico”, “Negrótico”, “Gemidos y explosiones apocalípticas poshumanas: la novela negra y de ciencia ficción hispana del siglo XXI” And “Cadáveres en el armario: el policial palimpséstico en la literatura argentina contemporánea. ”

More information on Di Paolo Harrison and his work can be found at www.apsu.edu/directory/faculty/dipaoloo.


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