This essay outlines the history and development of Spanish-American Literature as a subject of university teaching at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. It has a fairly recent history which began when Franco Meregalli, after a long tour in Southern America, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for some lectures in several universities, started a course on Spanish-American literature. During his first period as a university teacher, Meregalli had met Giuseppe Bellini in Milan. So in 1969 he called his former student Bellini, who was by then an expert on Spanish-American authors, to teach Spanish-American Literature in Venice. Bellini stayed in Venice for 16 years and left Ca’ Foscari to go back to his home university (Milan) in 1985. Between 1969 and 1984, many important Spanish-American writers, such as Miguel Angel Asturias, Pablo Neruda, Jorge Luis Borges and several others, came to Venice to lecture on their own works. After Bellini, the Uruguyan poetess Martha Canfield and, later on, Susanna Regazzoni, a former student of Bellini’s, took over the courses of Spanish-American literature, thus keeping alive, with the help of Margherita Cannavacciuolo, the Venetian tradition of Spanish-American Studies.
Spanish-American Studies. Giuseppe Bellini. Franco Meregalli. Miguel Ángel Asturias. Rigoberta Menchú.