Adrián J. Sáez García
Spanish literature

What do you teach at Ca’ Foscari? What are your main research interests? 
I am Adrián J. Sáez, and I was born in San Sebastián but grew up in Pamplona (also Spain). I graduated and got my PhD at the Universidad de Navarra and then got a second PhD at the Université de Neuchâtel (Switzerland). I also worked at Universität Münster and Universität Heidelberg (Germany) and arrived at Ca' Foscari somewhat by chance, with a Progetto Montalcini in 2018. I teach Spanish literature and my research interests are varied, as I specialise in the Spanish Golden Age (especially Cervantes, Quevedo, Calderón), but, being very curious, I have also studied the relations of literature with other subjects (art in general, diplomacy, nationalism, etc.), as well as contemporary poetry (Luis Alberto de Cuenca).

What are your professional role models / references?
Apart from ideas taken from texts (which can also serve as a model), I have had three official teachers who introduced me to the study of literature - Juan Ramón Goya and Maria Luisa Delgado in high school and Ignacio Arellano at the Universidad de Navarra - and above all three other teachers of choice: in alphabetical order, Luis Gómez Canseco (Universidad de Huelva) for giving life to the classic teach and delight, Pedro Ruiz Pérez (Universidad de Córdoba) for his extraordinary vision and Antonio Sánchez Jiménez (Université de Neuchâtel) for his endless curiosity and work ethic. Next to these, for all aspects of life, there is my uncle Moncho, a model of a good man, which is really the most important aspect.

Have you always known that this was going to be your path?
Not all my life, because as a child I remember having the most varied dreams, but when I began my university career I became passionate about studying and therefore worked hard to be a teacher and researcher of Spanish literature. Undoubtedly, the key word is passion: the love for the subject of study, which must be renewed with daily effort and try to communicate with students (and colleagues) in an enjoyable way. Because culture, literature and university can - and must - be fun and alive, not just museum notions and ideas. In short, we study, research and teach better with a smile on our face.

What does teaching and researching mean to you?
Learning, sharing and having fun: learning, because all-round curiosity keeps you intellectually engaged and leads to ever-new challenges that make you grow; sharing, because constant contact with students during and outside classes is a win-win relationship, which must be nurtured and contribute to research; having fun, because - as I have already said - I see my job as a party, for which you have to prepare as best you can (study, study, study) and then try to make the meeting (conference, lecture, research trip) enjoyable. And if that wasn't enough, contact with other cultures and opportunities for mobility are the icing on the cake.

Why Ca’ Foscari and Venice?
Changing the order, I confess that it is for Venice and Ca' Foscari: the most beautiful city in the world has a unique charm (in terms of art, culture, identity and history), but it is also an ideal place to feel at home, thanks to a sparkling community (and not only because of prosecco); Ca' Foscari is a very dynamic university that has a tight bond with the city and a great international orientation, and therefore offers a thousand possibilities to develop a very stimulating teaching and research activity.

Last update: 28/02/2023