Daniel Chamberlain, Spanish and Italian
Daniel Chamberlain, a professor in the Department of Spanish and Italian, has been named a member of the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) delegate assembly.
The MLA is the largest and most important association dealing with the study of language and literature in North America, and its delegate assembly includes representatives from different regions of Canada and the United States.
“We discuss the challenges language, literature and the humanities are facing today,” says Dr. Chamberlain. “I think it’s very important that representatives from Canadian universities and Canadian academia be present in this assembly. Canadian institutions are facing unique challenges, and our solutions need to be unique, so our voice has to be there.”
Dr. Chamberlain was born and raised in Marathon, Ontario, a small town on the north shore of Lake Superior. After high school, he traveled to Mexico in search of adventure and fell in love with the country, its people and its culture. He decided to stay to do his undergraduate degree in Spanish and ended up living in Mexico for 12 years.
“Mexico in those days was a beautiful country,” says Dr. Chamberlain. “I loved the richness of the language, and it was a very exciting environment of painters, writers and sculptors. I wanted to learn more.”
It was there that Dr. Chamberlain began studying comparative literature, completing an undergraduate thesis that compared William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury to a novel by Spanish novelist Miguel Delibes.
“I wanted to develop a literary theory that could accommodate tremendous differences between works of literature and celebrate those differences,” says Dr. Chamberlain.
It was also in Mexico that his interest in oral literature was sparked. He is currently working on a project through the International Comparative Literature Association that examines the lack of recognition of oral traditions in literary histories. Scholars from all over the world are involved in the project.
For more information on the MLA’s delegate assembly visit the website.