Centre for the Study of Hispanic Exile

José Rubia Barcia [1914–1997]

Date of Birth: 1914 El Ferrol/ Galicia
Died: 1997 USA (age 84)

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Scholar, university lecturer, literary critic, translator, writer, political activist and essayist exiled in Cuba and the USA.

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1914 El Ferrol/ Galicia
Born in El Ferrol, Galicia.
1931 El Ferrol/ Galicia
Completes his bachillerato. Receives a scholarship for gifted students from the new Republican government to study at the University of Granada.
1932 Granada
The Republican government founds the Escuela de Estudios Arabes and Rubia Barcia is awarded a fellowship.
1934 Santander
Receives a scholarship to attend the Universidad Internacional de Santander, where he meets, among others, Pedro Salinas, Jorge Guillén, Fernando de los Ríos (who had a particular intellectual influence on Rubia Barcia) and Miguel de Unamuno.
1936 Joins the Republican Army.
1939–1947 Exiled first in France, then in Cuba and finally in the United States. In Havana he creates the first Academy of Dramatic Arts in Latin America, and his involvement in Cuban film, theatre and journalism brings Américo Castro to invite him to teach at Princeton University. Visa problems prevent him from renewing his post there after a year.
1947 Begins teaching at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) whilst continuing to work in Hollywood with the film director Luis Buñuel on the adaptation of English films into Spanish.
1950–1970 His anti-Francoist broadcasts and newspaper articles during the McCarthy era result in his expulsion from the US and his incarceration in Canada, under threat of deportation. Colleagues from the UCLA are instrumental in preventing this. Rubia Barcia returns to the UCLA, rising to become Chairman of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Emeritus Professor of Spanish Literature. His scholarly works include books and articles on Valle Inclán, Unamuno, García Lorca and other 20th-c. writers, in addition to a number of political essays.
1979 Los Angeles
His translation, in collaboration with Clayton Eshleman, of César Vallejo’s poetry, The Complete Posthumous Poetry of César Vallejo, receives the National Book Award for translation.
1994 His activities as a Hispanist earn him the Mexican government's José Vasconcelos award.
1997 Los Angeles
Dies in the USA.
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  • Barcia, José Rubia Tres en uno La Habana/ Cuba: La Verónica, 1940.
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Los exiliados españoles y el movimiento teatral cubano
José Rubia Barcia: Ethical Humanist
Biographical article by Roberta Johnson.
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