Professor Receives Grant for Research in Spain

By Jennise Streaty

Dr. Maria Fernandez-Lamarque’s research proposal for an upcoming book has been selected to receive a grant from the HISPANEX program under the Ministry of Culture, Education, and Sports of Spain. Lamarque is an associate professor in the Department of Literature and Languages at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Over the past seven years, Lamarque has been researching the varying ways the story of “Cinderella” is told in Spain. The grant will go towards Lamarque continuing her research in Spain for her book project, “Cinderella alla Española.” According to Lamarque, she plans to recover different versions of Cinderella from the various languages spoken, other than Spanish, in Spain.

“This research project is not only about the story of a girl who was mistreated and secluded to the ashes, but [it’s] also about human nature and tendencies for one group to construct ‘the other’ as an enemy for its own convenience and out of its own littleness. My book opens a theoretical question on the multiple ‘others’ within Spanish culture represented in Cinderella’s adaptations in Spain,” said Lamarque.

According to Lamarque, the focus of all her research is to demonstrate and examine how myths are produced by every discursive community from four different continents: Africa, Asia, Europe and America. This particular part of the research will go under the Europe section of her research study.

“My examination of this folk tale based on a number of myths from medieval times to contemporary versions of the tale [that] raises a question on human values and human condition,” said Lamarque, who has been awarded three other grants to conduct research for this project.

Lamarque attributes her proposal’s success to a grant writing class she took last spring that was organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP).

“Thank you to Sheri Dave who led a very good workshop class and to Dr. Arlene Horne who supported my research proposal with a letter of recommendation to the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Education,” said Lamarque.

The HISPANEX program functions under the Ministry of Culture and Education section of Ministry of Culture, Education, and Sports of Spain and is a program whose purpose is to promote the different cultures of corresponding, foreign universities.

Lamarque has researched in Spain in 2007, 2009 and 2012, and each time she stayed for a month. She looks forward to continuing her research in the spring of 2015.