Alice H Bushee He spent fourteen years collaborating with Alice G. Gulick at the International Institute during the period of San Sebastian, Biarritz and early years in Madrid. He was responsible for the organization and cataloging of the library of the International Institute in 1904. Upon his return to the United States, he developed a brilliant career as a Hispanist and decisively influenced the development of Hispanic studies in that prestigious college. He also promoted the relationship between the International Institute and Wellesley College in various ways, including promoting academic exchanges between the two institutions and offering stays to young Spanish women at that college. 

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on December 4, 1867, she was the daughter of a Congregationalist Protestant minister. The first years of her life were spent in Vermont. She attended Mount Holyoke College, the first of the “Seven Sisters”—then still Mount Holyoke Female Seminary—where she graduated with honors at the top of the class in 1891.

The following year he began his long professional career in the world of teaching. She taught in numerous schools in the US before traveling to Europe as a missionary in 1893. She joined the newly founded International Institute for Girls in Spain (IIGS) in San Sebastian as a librarian and teacher of mathematics and Spanish literature. With occasional trips to the United States in the summer, and a sabbatical, he dedicated the next fourteen years to this institution, following it to Biarritz in its temporary exile until 1902. His most decisive and lasting contribution was undoubtedly the organization of the IIGS library. in 1904 [1].

Following the death of his father, Bushee returned to the United States in 1907. He received a master's degree in Spanish from Boston University in 1909, which he went on to complete his Bachelor of Arts at Mount Holyoke in 1900. In 1911 he joined the Wellesley College faculty, as a Spanish teacher. She would develop the rest of her professional career there, becoming director of the Spanish department and, in 1931, she took possession of the Helen J. Sanborn chair of Spanish literature. In that time, she returned to Spain on several occasions to travel or to investigate; in 1924-25, enjoying a year's leave, she took over the directorship of the IIGS in Madrid. She retired in 1936, going to live with her family in Rhode Island, where she died on April 28, 1956.

Alice Bushee is among the small but select group of pioneers who were so decisive in the spread of the Hispanic language and culture in the United States during the first decades of the 1916th century. Her efforts in this field were recognized in 1924 with her appointment as Corresponding Member of the Hispanic Society of America, an institution of which she would become a full member in 1930. In XNUMX she was named Corresponding Member of the Real Academia Hispanoamericana de Ciencias de Cadiz.

As far as his research work is concerned, his main area of ​​interest was Spanish literature, which did not prevent him from also publishing, in 1917, a grammar of the Spanish language for foreign students[2] . His main contributions in the field of literary studies include the first critical and annotated edition of the Events of Mateo Alemán, published in 1911[3], and various works on Tirso de Molina that appeared in HispanicReview, Hispanic Revue e Hispania, among other specialized magazines, in addition to what she considered her greatest contribution, the critical edition of Tirso's historical drama "La prudencia en la mujer", which was published in 1948.


Image: Alice H. Bushee, International Institute Archive 


[1] See Zulueta, One hundred years of education for Spanish women. History of the International Institute.

[2] Alice H. Bushee, The Fundamentals of Spanish Grammar (BH Sanborn & Co., Boston, 1917).

[3] Alice H. Bushee, “The Events of Mateo Alemán”, in Revue Hispanique, volume XXV, nº 68, pp. 359-457

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