This symposium celebrates the life and work of J B Trend, the first Professor of Spanish in Cambridge, and a central figure in the history of Hispanism. Trend was an unusual figure: he was shy, but a clear enthusiast, and memorably gifted in inspiring enthusiasm in others; his first degree was in Natural Sciences; his studies of modern Spanish culture and intellectual life in the early 1920s are still a fundamental point of reference; he moved into musicology in an unofficial manner while still a student, later becoming a prime figure in Spanish musicology helping to bring it into a wider international arena; he was central to the development of a tradition in British Hispanism that was wide-ranging in its interests, and driven by similarly wide-ranging curiosity. There were important consequences of what he did and how he did it. Trend frequented Spain assiduously between his first degree and his appointment to the Chair. His contacts there memorably included the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid, in some ways an institution that could be considered as a version of CRASSH, crossed with a University college or hall of residence (Trend referred to it as ‘Oxford and Cambridge in Madrid’). The cultural openness of the Residencia is mirrored by the cultural openness of Cambridge in these years. Trend’s contacts contributed to a strong tradition of the reception of contemporary poets in Cambridge (Salinas, Cernuda, Dámaso Alonso, Muñoz Rojas among others), and other prime figures such as Unamuno. The coming of the Civil War made Trend quietly significant in the reception of fleeing intellectuals. The symposium will include papers on the varied activities and aspects of Trend, and two concerts.
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