Introduction II: William C. Atkinson (1902-1992): Scholar of Spain, Portugal and Latin America

Mackenzie, A. (2018) Introduction II: William C. Atkinson (1902-1992): Scholar of Spain, Portugal and Latin America. Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 95(2-3), pp. 17-43. (doi: 10.1080/14753820.2018.1489031)

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In ‘Introduction II. William C. Atkinson (1902–1992): Scholar of Spain, Portugal and Latin America’, Ann L. Mackenzie conducts a detailed survey of William Atkinson’s life and career, from his beginnings in Belfast, Northern Ireland through to his death, aged ninety, in 1992. Mackenzie’s survey is derived mainly from first-hand research into Atkinson’s memoirs and scholarly publications; she has also utilized obituaries, reviews and documentary evidence preserved in the archives at Queen’s University Belfast, where he obtained his degrees, and at Glasgow University where he was Stevenson Professor of Hispanic Studies (1932–1972). Among his many services to Hispanism, Mackenzie highlights his pioneering role in establishing Portuguese Studies and, especially, Latin American Studies, as principal fields of learning in British universities. He is also remembered for taking over the editorship of the Bulletin of Spanish Studies when its founder-editor E. Allison Peers died in 1952, thereby ensuring its survival. Mackenzie assesses in detail Atkinson’s numerous scholarly publications—not only his books, editions and translations, but also his articles and reviews in major journals. His most influential works, in her view, were his biographical and critical study of the sixteenth-century Spanish Humanist, Hernán Pérez de Oliva, his History of Spain and Portugal and his prose-translation of Camões’ The Lusiads. Among his most memorable activities were the five lengthy visits he made to Latin America between 1946 and 1971: these lecture tours mostly funded by the British Council, took him to all twenty Latin-American countries several times over. Mackenzie also records what he did during World War II, when he was seconded to the Foreign Office. Though based mainly at Oxford, he was sent on several fact-finding missions to Spain and Portugal. Mackenzie also writes about Atkinson in situ at Glasgow University where as Professor and Head of Hispanic Studies, and latterly also as Director of the Latin-American Institute (established in 1966), he showed an exemplary interest in the welfare of his students, and in assisting them to pursue careers in banking, commerce, school-teaching, the Civil Service and, especially, Higher Education. Many of his graduates took up lectureships and professorships in universities, both at home and overseas, where they trained more academics in their turn, as specialists in Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This article is part of an edited volume: 'Studies on Spain, Portugal and Latin America in Memory of William C. Atkinson', ed., with introductions, by Ann L. Mackenzie & Ceri Byrne, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, ISSN 1475-3820, Vol. XCV, Nos 2-3 (February-March 2018)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mackenzie, Professor Ann
Authors: Mackenzie, A.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Journal Name:Bulletin of Spanish Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1478-3428
Published Online:07 August 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Bulletin of Spanish Studies
First Published:First published in Bulletin of Spanish Studies 95(2-3):17-43
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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