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Since 1925 UCLA has honored its most distinguished scholars by selecting them to deliver this special annual lecture. By honoring them in this way, members of the academic community have an opportunity to appreciate these scholars' achievements in a way they may not have otherwise had.


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98th Faculty Research Lecture
Is There An Author In This Text?
Sidi Hamid Benengeli, Don Quijote and the Metafictional Conventions of Chivalric Romance

Carroll B. Johnson
Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

April 26, 2005


Carroll Johnson

Professor Carroll B. Johnson from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese was once described as "one of the few American scholars in Early Modern Spanish studies who can converse with people on both sides of the Atlantic." Another scholar stated that Professor Johnson's work is "so far ahead of its time that when it appears, it is deemed idiosyncratic, even peculiar, by prevailing critical wisdom, only to be resoundingly vindicated over time as having been on the vanguard of a whole new set of critical principles and hypotheses."

A special jewel of our own institution, Professor Johnson received his undergraduate degree from UCLA, and has taught at the university for his entire academic career. A native of Los Angeles, Professor Johnson first came to UCLA in 1955 as a freshman. He graduated with a B.A. in Spanish in 1960, and a M.A. the following year. Following a year as a Fulbright Fellow in Spain, he received his Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard in 1966. He has been a member of the UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese since 1964, and was for thirteen years its chair.

Professor Johnson's latest book, Cervantes and the Material World (2000), examines the effects of materialist practices such as commodification, commerce and exchange on the lives of the characters, their motivations and their possibilities for action. His current project, a study of the presence of the Arab-Ottoman-Islamic world -- and especially the Spanish moriscos (Spanish Moors) -- in Cervantes' works, comes back to the ethnic-religious conflicts of early modern Spanish society.
In his lecture, Professor Johnson will explore the links between Don Quixote and the Morisco culture of the late Spanish Renaissance.

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