Jorge Abril Sanchez
B.A., Universidad de Oviedo, Spain, 2001
M.A., University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2004
Honors' thesis, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain, 2014
SPAN 403: Review of Spanish
SPAN 503: Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 503H: Intermediate Spanish I, Honors
SPAN 504: Intermediate Spanish II
SPAN 525: Spanish Civilization and Culture
SPAN 525H: Spanish Civilization and Culture, Honors
SPAN 595: Practicum
Jorge Abril Sánchez is a lecturer in Spanish at the University of New Hampshire-Durham, where he teaches courses on Spanish language and the culture, the civilization and the literature of Spain. His scholarly interests range widely, from the study of legends in the Middle Ages; and, heresy, folklore and treatises of demonology in Renaissance Europe; to the description of idolatry, paganism and demonolatry upon the exploration and conquest of America and Asia by Spaniards. Abril Sánchez focuses his research on the literature and culture of Medieval and Early Modern Spain, often from a comparative perspective that covers the works of authors on both sides of the Atlantic and their influence on other neighboring nations: Rojas, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Tirso de Molina, Sor Juana, Miguel de Luarca, Shakespeare, Dryden, Settle, Behn, Molière, Corneille, etc. Abril Sánchez is especially interested in the occult, magic, the Hermetic tradition, alchemy, astrology, mythology, and the interconnections between the Church and the State during the religious persecutions of the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe and the American territory.
His Ph. D. from 2017 is from the University of Chicago. Cervantes scholar Frederick A. De Armas has directed his dissertation. Its title is “Goblins, Ghosts, Werewolves and Witches: The Palimpsestic Demonology of Miguel de Cervantes.” In this project, he focuses on the subversive power of magic and the dark arts in the works of the alcalaíno novelist in the context of Counterreformation Spain. Over three chapters, he discusses the conflictive use of scenes of necromancy, demonic possessions, idolatry, witchcraft and shape-shifting of humans (into wolves) as tools to criticize imperial enterprises, chivalric pursuits, patronage, public executions, religious persecution and autos de fé in Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Abril Sánchez is finishing his second Ph. D at the Universidad de Oviedo (Spain) in English Renaissance Literature for 2017. The title of the dissertation is “Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Astrologer, in the England of Charles II: Calderonian Stargazers in John Dryden, Elkanah Settle and Aphra Behn.” In this project, Abril Sánchez explores the tremendous influence of the astrological theater of Calderón in the English dramatists of the second half of the seventeenth century. He defends the hypothesis that this group of dramaturges altered and manipulated the Spanish plot in order to challenge the positive astro-political associations made at the Crown in Madrid, and also to debate about the free will of mankind in cosmological and religious terms.
Abril Sánchez is the author of several articles on Cervantes, books of chivalry and war, ekphrastic sexuality and prostitution, and demonolatry and demonology, published in peer-reviewed magazines—such as Celestinesca and Lexis—and in collections of articles edited in prestigious editorials—such as Juan de la Cuesta, Peter Lang and Brill. Abril Sánchez is also an active reviewer of theatrical performances and he has evaluated modern adaptations of Don Quijote by Assaf Benchetrit, Olga Sánchez and Jérôme Savary. These reviews have been published in Comedia Performance.
Currently, he is working on two monographs entitled Modern Don Quixotes in Japan: Manga Comics, Kyogen Theater and Japanese TV, and Playing with the Bard: The Sportification of the Shakespearean World in 21st-century Film and Theatrical Adaptations and (Mal)Appropriations; and a translation of Walter Scott’s Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft into Spanish, together with Alfredo Moro, among many other projects.