Dr Cristina Fernández Recasens

Dr Cristina Fernández Recasens

Department of Modern Languages
Catalan Language and Culture Teaching Fellow

Contact details

Address
Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

I completed my PhD in the University of Girona in 2020 on the topic of the possibilities of the use of body movement for the teaching and learning of poetry. I studied Humanities at the University Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona and afterwards completed a master’s degree in Teaching Catalan and Spanish Language and Literature at the University of Girona. I joined the University of Birmingham in September 2017 as a Catalan Language and Culture Teaching Fellow.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts and Education. Specialising in the teaching of poetry trough body movement (2020). University of Girona (UdG), Girona.
  • Master's degree in Teaching Language and Literature. Specialising in Spanish and Catalan Language and Literature (2012), University of Girona (UdG), Girona
  • Degree in Humanities. Specialising in Literature (2007), Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Barcelona

Biography

After completing my degree, I worked as a director of a project for the Memorial Democràtic, a department of the autonomous government of Catalonia which works towards the recovery of the historical memory of the victims of the Franco Dictatorship. The project was about the nineteenth century local society ‘Casa del Poble’, a Catalanist Republican and left-wing political and social organisation. As a result of this research, I co-directed Davant del mar, a documentary which includes interviews with testimonies, and I am still the curator of its historical archive and library. I also coordinated another research project related to the industrialisation process, the Spanish Civil War and the trade unions of the 1970s in my home town. It was a study of Blanes society through testimonies from the old textile factory SAFA. The most part of the interviews from both projects can be consulted nowadays in the Banc Audiovisual de Testimonis’ of the Generalitat, an online public archive of oral history.

In 2010, I moved to Buenos Aires where I took a course in hand making books with cardboard in La Boca district with Eloísa Cartonera’, a social and cooperative publishing project. Afterwards, my first poetry book Aprender a dibujar el viento (2009) was published and awarded with the Poetry Award Rei en Jaume in Calvià (Mallorca).  

Before moving to Birmingham, I worked as a creative writing teacher, as an author of didactic materials and as a secondary teacher in a high school. I also produced the independent film El cor del pi negre (2016) directed by Jaume Pujadas, which was released in Sitges at the International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. In 2017, I moved to Birmingham to work at the University of Birmingham as a teacher of Catalan Culture and Language with the support of the Xarxa Llull, the international public network of Catalan Studies abroad. I work with Dr Elisenda Marcer in the School of Modern Languages and we are responsible for the Catalan modules.

Since 2013, I have been part of the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), a pro-Catalan independence assembly-based political party that works to build a country that is socialist, environmentally sustainable and free from the domination of patriarchy. As a feminist activist, I was part of Sa Pedra Foguera, a Catalan local feminist group, and in Birmingham I have participated in the Women’s Strike Assembly. In 2019, I also joined the University and College Union.

Teaching

First year

  • Beginners Catalan Language, Culture and Translation
  • Spanish Core I Advanced Communicative Skills
  • Spanish Level 1 Languages for All

Second year

  • Gender, New Media and Catalan Identity
  • Intermediate Catalan Language and Translation
  • Spanish Core III Intermediate Communicative Sills
  • Spanish Core III Advanced Communicative Sills
  • Spanish Level 2 Languages for All

Final year

  • Advanced Catalan Language and Translation
  • Advanced Spanish Use of Language

Research

My research explores the possibilities of the use of body movement in the field of the teaching of literature and, more specifically, for the teaching of poetry. It is based on a questioning of the control of the body that traditionally takes place in academic institutions and proposes using body movement to unlock and encourage poetry writing. 

My investigation is both theoretical and practical. It has roots in emancipatory critical pedagogy and in the application of a dialogical learning approach to the field of literature pedagogy. I combine methods from participatory action research, clinical methodologies and a/r/tography to integrate different perspectives of analysis to my didactic interventions. 

My research occurs in an interstitial space between word and movement, between poetry and dance. Its starts with a poetic vision: we can read a poem by dancing it. In my research, I explore this vision with the conviction that classrooms should be spaces for openness and artistic experimentation.

Papers presented at conferences:

  • Poemes amb bigoti (2018) - LXIV Anglo-Catalan Society Annual Conference, University of Bristol.
  • Des crits dits avec les mains. Una aproximació a la didàctica de la poesia des del cos (2017) -LXIII Anglo-Catalan Society Annual Conference, University of Birmingham.
  • Dancing words. A didactic experience (2016) - BIBAC Conference, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

Workshops:

  • Poemes amb bigoti. Una proposta didàctica per a l’aula de català com a llengua estrangera (2019) 33rd International Conference for Catalan Teachers. Universitat de les Illes Balears (Mallorca)
  • Bailando palabras. Del movimiento a la palabra y de la palabra al movimiento (2017). Congreso Internacional Filosofía de la danza, Universidad Compultense de Madrid (2017).

Research residency:

  • Research residency, a thematic stay about dance (2017) Faber Residency. Arts, Sciences and Humanities Residency of Catalonia.

Publications

Articles:

  • Fernández Recasens, C. (2020). Poemes amb bigoti o una proposta didàctica per dessacralitzar la poesia. Monogràfic: Desde la intermedialidad para la intermedialidad: una didáctica de los lenguajes. Bella Terra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. (Accepted, under review)
  • Fernández Recasens, C. (2020). Com qui troba un poema. Una proposta didàctica per a l’aula de català com a llengua estrangera. Resercle Revista de la Societat d’Ensenyament i Recerca del Català com a Llengua Estrangera. (Submitted)
  • Fernández Recasens, C. (2020). I am better when I move. The use of body movement in literature classroom. (Pending submission) 
  • Fernández Recasens, C. and Masgrau Juanola, M. (2017). Dancing words. A didactic experience. BIBAC Conference E-Book. Cambridge: BIBACC Publishing, Faculty of Education, University of Cambrige.

Chapters in books:

  • Fernández Recasens, C. and Masgrau Juanola, M. (2020). Justícia poètica. El cos per intervenir a l’espai públic. Masgrau Juanola, M. (ed.). Art, educació i compromís. (Being edited) 
  • Fernández Recasens, C. and Masgrau Juanola, M. (2020) Ballar Raspall. Un taller de poesia i moviment a l’escola de La Vila de Blanes. Cañabate, D. (ed.). Moviment i llenguatges. (Being edited)
  • Fernández Recasens, C., Masgrau Juanola, M. and Falgàs Isern, M. (2017). Hablar por los codos. Aprender y aprehender poesía con todo el cuerpo. Cañabate, D. (ed.). Movimiento y lenguages. De la experiencia sensoperceptiva a la conciencia y al pensamiento. Barcelona: Graó.