Novel by Angeles Selected for Penguin Random House’s program; Algaier Publishes Book on William James, Serves as James Scholar in Germany

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Novel by Ángeles selected for Penguin Random House’s program

Monmouth College professor Francisco Ángeles has experienced a problem common to successful Latin-American authors – their books sell well in their native countries but often not in other Spanish-speaking countries.

In Ángeles’s case, his novels have done well in his native country of Peru, including his critically acclaimed fourth novel, Adiós a la revolución (Goodbye to the Revolution), which was published earlier this year.

Now readers outside Peru will have greater access to his book, thanks to the “Map of Languages 2020” program by publisher Penguin Random House. The program, which was announced earlier this month in Mexico at the world-famous Guadalajara International Book Fair, seeks to break down boundaries that exist between the literatures of the Spanish-speaking countries in the world. The project will begin with books by 12 Spanish-speaking authors, including Ángeles.

“It’s really hard to enter certain markets,” said Ángeles, who joined Monmouth’s Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures in 2017. “Outside of a core group of readers in a certain country, gaining a wider audience there is a really hard thing to do.”

Ángeles used Peru’s neighboring country of Chile as an example. He has received positive feedback on Adiós a la revolución from a Chilean film director, but noted that as someone involved in the fine arts, the director is part of that “core group” that is already being reached.

“You can reach a limited audience,” he said, “but I’m hoping that this new program will increase sales to a wider audience in countries outside Peru. Publishing houses have had to fight against this resistance for years.”

The project consists of disseminating the work of Spanish-speaking writers beyond their respective native countries, with the intention that readers can find the works and become more interested in foreign authors’ titles. The project’s long-term goal is to internationalize 60 titles within five years. The circulation for each country will have to be evaluated, but it is estimated that each nation will receive up to 1,000 copies of each featured book.

Ángeles broke through with his first novel in 2008. His second and third novels were published in 2014 and 2016, respectively. He said his latest novel ties together several themes, including love and eroticism, politics, philosophy, the relationship between the United States and Latin America, and the relationship between men and women. Perhaps most important, though, is another concept.

“This book gets into the idea of theory vs. practice,” he said. “A lot of radical scholars and people on the far left – their lives are different from the way they write. This book is about living according to your ideas – putting into practice your ideas. Is it possible?”


Algaier publishes book on William James, serves as James scholar in Germany

A Monmouth College professor recently notched two impressive achievements in his work on American philosopher William James.

Visiting Assistant Professor Ermine Algaier has published a book about the personal library of James, one of the most influential U.S. philosophers and often called “the father of American psychology.” Algaier also recently served as a scholar-in-residence at one of Germany’s top universities.

Titled Reconstructing the Personal Library of William James: Markings and Marginalia from the Harvard Library Collection, Algaier’s book was published as part of the American Philosophy Series by Lexington Books.

In November, Algaier served as the 2019 William James scholar-in-residence at the James Center at Universität Potsdam in Germany. He was the eighth scholar to receive the honor.

“I gave one talk on my book, and there were two workshops,” he said. “One of the workshops was on an essay I recently published in an edited volume on James and morality. The other is a paper I’ve been working on that addresses the issue of marginalization from the standpoint of James’s conception of religion.”

Algaier was impressed by his reception, as well as by the university’s setting.

“The workshops were wonderful,” he said. “They were well attended by faculty and students who read my work very carefully. We had some really interesting and productive discussions about James’s life and works. I am very grateful to Professor Dr. Logi Gunnarsson and hope to continue working with him and the James Center in the future.”

Algaier said that Universität Potsdam was the summer palace of Francis the Great, King of Prussia, who ruled in the 18th century.

“It is staggeringly beautiful,” he said. “Overall, it was an incredible experience. It is such an honor to follow a group of amazing scholars-in-residence who have produced a significant impact in the field of Jamesian studies.”

Earlier this year, Algaier was named general editor of William James Studies, an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing scholarly articles related to the life, work and influence of James.

Algaier earned his bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Youngstown (Ohio) State University, his master’s degree in philosophy from Brock (Ontario) University and a doctorate in religious studies from Temple University. He came to Monmouth in 2017 from Harvard Divinity School, where he was a postdoctoral fellow.

***Report Courtesy of Monmouth College***

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