Antonio Barrenechea is a professor of Literature of the Americas and Cinema. His first book America Unbound: Encyclopedic Literature and Hemispheric Studies (University of New Mexico Press, 2016) merges comparative literature and hemispheric studies by reinterpreting Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851) as a gateway "Great American Novel" to maximalist fiction from the United States, Mexico, and French Canada.
He is coeditor of “Hemispheric Indigenous Studies,” a special issue of Comparative American Studies (2013) proposing an intertribal paradigm. Dr. Barrenechea has contributed writings to Comparative Literature, Comparative Literature Studies, Revista Iberoamericana, Revista Brasileira de Literatura Comparada, American Literature, Leviathan, Telos, the ACLA “state-of-the-discipline” report, and other venues. “Hemispheric Studies Beyond Suspicion” won the 2014-2016 prize for best essay from the International Association of Inter-American Studies.
He is currently writing “One Hemisphere, Many Nations,” a history of Literature of the Americas as an international discipline. It traces neglected scholarship from the Good Neighbor era, through the postwar rise of American Studies, and into the recent “hemispheric turn.” The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley awarded him the 2022-23 Reese Fellowship to conduct archival research for this project.
Following upon a 2016-2017 fellowship at the Institut Américain Universitaire in Aix-en-Provence, France, he is completing a second book project, “Monster, Trash, and Groovy Gothic Cinema of the Americas”, under a publishing contract. It explores the intersection of horror and counterculture in filmmaking capitals of the Western Hemisphere.
Dr. Barrenechea is on the advisory boards of Comparative American Studies: An International Journal and Review of International American Studies.
In 2023, the Southeast chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America awarded him a full scholarship to its yearly Antiquarian Book Seminar. He is also a 2023-2024 M.C. Lang Fellow in Book History, Bibliography, and Humanities Teaching with Historical Sources at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.
His YouTube “spotlight” series highlights rare books in UMW’s Special Collections.