David Castillo examines the nature of truth in the works of Cervantes and modern popular culture and how the humanities can save us from the plague of disinformation.
Castillo is a SUNY Buffalo “Scholar on the Road” who has contributed to The New York Times and made appearances in The Voice of America, WBFO, and other media outlets. Castillo received a Licenciatura in Geography and History from the University of Granada and an MA and a PhD in Hispanic Literatures from the University of Minnesota.
In Un-Deceptions: Cervantine Strategies for the Disinformation Age. Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs, 2021, Castillo examines the nature of truth in the works of Cervantes and modern popular culture from a hard-left perspective in six essays with a foreword by William Egginton. Two new essays and four previously published and updated for inclusion in this book are organized into two parts, "Truth in Cervantine Fiction" and "Cervantine Readings of Popular Culture." Castillo weighs in on today's political climate and social conversations through the lens of his knowledge of Spanish Golden Age literature and culture.
What Would Cervantes Do? Navigating Post-Truth with Spanish Baroque Literature. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022 (with William Egginton).
The attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 was a tragic illustration of the existential threat that the viral spread of disinformation poses in the age of social media and twenty-four-hour news. From climate change denialism to the frenzied conspiracy theories and racist mythologies that fuel antidemocratic white nationalist movements in the United States and abroad, What Would Cervantes Do? is a lucid meditation on the key role the humanities must play in dissecting and combatting all forms of disinformation.
David Castillo and William Egginton travel back to the early modern period, the first age of inflationary media, in search of historically tested strategies to overcome disinformation and shed light on our post-truth market. Through a series of critical conversations between cultural icons of the twenty-first century and those of the Spanish Golden Age, What Would Cervantes Do? provides a tour-de-force commentary on current politics and popular culture. Offering a diverse range of Cervantist comparative readings of contemporary cultural texts - movies, television shows, and infotainment - alongside ideas and issues from literary and cultural texts of early modern Spain, Castillo and Egginton present a new way of unpacking the logic of contemporary media.
What Would Cervantes Do? is an urgent and timely self-help manual for literary scholars and humanists of all stripes, and a powerful toolkit for reality literacy.