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Disorientations: Spanish Colonialism in Africa and the Performance of Identity

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This book explores from a new perspective the fraught processes of Spaniards' efforts to formulate a national identity, from the Enlightenment to the present day. Focusing on the nation's Islamic-African legacy, Susan Martin-Márquezrquez disputes received wisdom that Spain has consistently rejected its historical relationship to Muslims and Africans. Instead, she argues, Spaniards have sometimes denied and sometimes embraced this legacy, and that vacillation has served to destabilize presumably fixed borders between Europe and the Muslim world and between Europe and Africa. Martin-Márquez analyzes a wealth of texts produced by Spaniards as well as by Africans and Afro-Spaniards from the early nineteenth century forward. She illuminates the complexities and disorientations of Spanish identity and shows how its evolution has important implications for current debates not only in Spanish culture but also in other countries involved in negotiating a modern identity.

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... In contemporary Spain, memory is increasingly playing a dynamic role in how Spanish-Moroccan minorities are collectively responding to the formations of national identity construction and integration. In this respect, Spanish-Moroccan communities are challenging not only the "collective memories" of a hegemonic Catholic Spanish state with their presence but also the process of recreating and reconstructing what it means to be a "Spaniard" in contemporary Spain (Rogozen-Soltar 2012;Martin-Marquez 2014). The history of Islam and the Moors in the Spanish context allows Spanish-Moroccan identities to evolve through the permeable boundaries of inclusivity and exclusivity to reformulate the meanings that restructure and unify the larger Spanish imagined community around their presence. ...
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This paper examines the role of Islamic sacred spaces in Spanish-Moroccan identity negotiations in contemporary Madrid, Spain. In doing so, I explore how these sacred sites produce diverse meanings and practices that resist the Spanish states hegemonic narratives of place. I argue that the multilayered resistance via the “memory” and “place” of these sacred sites ostensibly reconciles and situates Spanish-Moroccans within the larger Spanish imagined community. The paper will first discuss the trans-local experiences of the Spanish-Moroccan community and how their liminal state of being neither “here or there” necessitates an anchor (Muslim sacred spaces) to the new home context. I will then outline a brief historical narrative of the Muslim presence in Spain and then analyze the meanings attached to the sacrality of Islamic monuments and mosques to the Spanish-Moroccan community. Finally, the paper will explore how the historical memories and their discursive meanings attached to these sacred sites allow Spanish-Moroccans to produce counterhegemonic frameworks that challenge and reshape nationalistic spaces.
... In the case of the Maghrib, a special issue of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies entitled "A Forgotten Empire: The Spanish-North African Borderlands" (2011) is, perhaps, the natural, and most obvious, predecessor of this current special issue. Other recent contributions include a special issue of the Journal of North African Studies on "Mediterranean Cross-Roads: Spanish-Moroccan Relations in Past and Present" (2019), and a number of monographs, among them Disorientations: Spanish Colonialism in Africa and the Performance of Identity (Martin-Márquez 2008), The Return of the Moor: Spanish Responses to Contemporary Moroccan Immigration (Flesler 2008), Memories of the Maghreb: Transnational Identities in Spanish Cultural Production (Campoy-Cubillo 2012), Jewish Spain: A Mediterranean Memory (Linhard 2014) and Colonial al-Andalus: Spain and the Making of Modern Moroccan Culture (Calder- wood 2018). ...
... Entre los estudios recientes sobre la huella cultural española en los EE.UU. y el orientalismo del siglo xix cabe mencionar a Kagan (2002), De Guzmán (2005), Martin-Márquez (2009), y Fuchs (2011 Trueba y Cossío, español que escribe con éxito en inglés a imitación de Walter Scott y que prolonga durante una generación más el gusto por el gótico-arabismo español, con obras como Gómez Arias or the Moors of the Alpujarras (1826) o las historias visigóticas recopiladas en The Romance of History. Spain (1830), en especial «The Gothic King» y «The Cavern of Covadonga», relativas a don Rodrigo y don Pelayo respectivamente. ...
... "Staying with the trouble" sometimes involves working on and with troublesome terms. Anzaldúa's/Haraway's mestiza is undoubtedly one such troublesome term, especially in the context of mestizaje's use in Spanish colonialist discourse regarding Africa (Nerín i Abad 1998; Martin-Márquez 2008;Goode 2009;Medina-Doménech 2009). And soas the other contributions in this special issue clearly articulateis the term Global Hispanophone itself. ...
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In this article, I propose an understanding of the Global Hispanophone as a dynamic of (dis)entanglement, taking as points of departure a global history of science perspective, as well as feminist and decolonial science and technology studies. Discussing conceptual thinking on issues such as the circulation and noncirculation of knowledge and objects in colonial contexts, I develop a number of suggestions with regard to how scholars might study the entanglement (relationality) of different entities in cultural contact zones. I further explore how the hybridity resulting from such entanglement is often rendered invisible by processes of what I call “disentanglement” (denial of relationality). I also suggest how Global Hispanophone studies might trace the ways in which entanglement is prevented from occurring in the first place. While this article focuses on the (dis)entanglement of scientific knowledge, its premise is that this dynamic can also be explored in regard to other forms of knowledge beyond the field of science.
... Many of the readings produced by North-American critics tend to focus on the «multicultural» dimension of the author and her work, against the background of an analysis of the responses to contemporary Mo roccan immigration in Spain that authors such as Daniela Flesler (2008) have carried out. Thus critics like Martín-Márquez (2008) and Sanjuán-Pastor (2015) engage with the «border identity» that El Hachmi constructs in Jo també sóc catalana and the inner, subjective tensions that this identity brings about; others, such as Celaya-Carrillo (2011), relate this essay with the controversies over language and Spanish nationalism in Catalonia, while Ricci (2007Ricci ( , 2010Ricci ( , 2011 takes El Hachmi's work as an example of the construction of a mixed Amazigh-Catalan identity. On the other hand, a significant group of critics perform feminist readings of L'últim patriarca, analysing several aspects related to gender and immigration (Climent Raga 2010, Everly 2011and 2014, presenting the novel as a possible example of Islamic feminism (Elboubekri 2015) or engaging with the sexual politics of the novel (Folkart 2013). ...
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Temporalitats dislocades: immigració, identitat i sexualitat en L’últim patriarca, de Najat el Hachmi La crítica catalana recent ha analitzat l’espai, el lloc i la immigració, però ha ignorat la temporalitat. Tanmateix, les migracions no només tenen a veure amb l’espai (amb moviments demogràfics i reubicacions geogràfiques), sinó amb el temps: la immigració qüestiona la idea dels orígens i la possibilitat d’un futur compartit, i problematitza els ritmes de la vida quotidiana. La temporalitat és crucial en la formació de les identitats i en els conflictes culturals, no només quant als usos del passat i la projecció de les societats cap al futur, sinó també quant als usos normatius del cos. La coexistència de temporalitats asíncrones causada per la immigració és un factor en els conflictes culturals i psíquics. La novel·la de Najat El Hachmi L’últim patriarca (2008) n’és un bon exemple. En aquest text la temporalitat circular, basada en la repetició de cicles, de la societat tradicional del Marroc s’atura de cop a causa de la incapacitat del pare de la narradora de reproduir la dominació patriarcal a Catalunya. Al mateix temps, la novel·la ancora aquesta experiència en referents literaris moderns mitjançant un diàleg amb la tradició literària catalana, i qüestiona la temporalitat entesa com a successió de generacions, tot problematitzant la reproducció biològica i la subordinació de gènere i mitjançant els efectes devastadors de la sexualitat anal. L’article ofereix una anàlisi integrada d’aquestes qüestions des de la psicoanàlisi.
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Ribeiro de Menezes explores the political life of Spain’s Civil War dead in terms of the necropolitics that have shaped public memory and amnesia. Proposing that memory horizons are constantly shifting according to the demands and concerns of the present, the author offers a reading of the main commemorations of those who died in the war—including the iconic stories of José Antonio Primo de Rivera and Federico García Lorca—before noting that remembrance goes hand in hand with forgetting. Celebrated victims can be read within particular paradigms which obscure other victims and war dead. Ribeiro de Menezes thus concludes with a reflection on Moroccan soldiers who fought on both sides in the war and whose memory has been largely ignored in recent memory discussions.
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Article
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This study focuses on the linguistic iconography of Saharaui refugee poets who write in Spanish from a transnational perspective between Spain and its former colonial territories in the Western Sahara. It analyzes the interplay between Western cultural icons and Saharaui iconography in the protest poetry of Bubisher (2003) and Um Draiga (2006) and argues that both works juxtapose traditional Saharaui and Western iconographic forms to critique dominant Western narratives, affirm historical memory, and argue for political and cultural sovereignty.
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Scholars have long puzzled over the disproportionate role played by Judeo-conversos in the innovative cultural currents of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain. Recently, a number of scholars have developed the idea that outstanding converso thinkers and authors shared a sensibility that anticipated modernity (particularly Jewish modernity). One of the key features of this sensibility was subjective consciousness. This article explores the foundational work of Américo Castro on this subject. Drawing from nineteenth-century orientalist discourse, Castro understood the subjective awareness of conversos to be a renewed expression of ancient “semitic” characteristics discernable in medieval Jewish (and Islamic) writing, as well as in the Hebrew Bible. In Castro’s view, the conversos’ inherent access to their inner life, stimulated by their experience of repression, allowed them to create a literature that became synonymous with Hispanicity. Castro’s conversos, in whom the strongly negative characteristics of his Jews have “disappeared,” are thus harbingers not of modernity, but of a coalescing Spanish national identity. Yet his essentialized view of converso subjectivity has offered support to recent scholarship on “Marranism” and modernity, which follows Castro in its converso-centric apprehension of subjectivity in early modern Europe.
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Thesis
Al-Andalus is the name given to the period of Muslim rule in Spain, which began in 711 and definitively came to an end with the Christian re-conquest of Granada in 1492. But in a broader sense, al-Andalus describes the whole history of contact and coexistence among Christians, Muslim and Jews in the Iberian Peninsula. This history has left a legacy in Spanish culture, the implications of which are still under debate. This thesis seeks to examine this legacy in nineteenth-century literature, by tracing representations of al-Andalus in historical novels, short stories and theatrical works of the period. It argues that writers of the period turned to al-Andalus, as an important historical myth, in order to express a number of contemporary concerns. The nineteenth century in Spain was a turbulent one, as the country navigated a series of political crises: Napoleon’s invasion in 1808, attempts to establish a liberal and constitutional regime, the return of absolutism and the loss of empire in America. These events, along with the tenets of Romanticism, led Spanish intellectuals to question the national past and raise questions about Spanish identity. Through the critical analysis of portrayals of Jewish and Muslim characters in texts of the period, this thesis demonstrates how the metaphorical use of al-Andalus allowed writers to grapple with the events described above. It also shows how the memory of the Jewish and Muslim past played an important role in shaping discourses of nationalism. The thesis reveals that representations of al-Andalus were not monolithic: Spanish writers did not simply accept or reject the Muslim and Jewish past. Rather, responses to the Muslim and Jewish past reflect the wide range of political projects or aesthetic interests of authors of the nineteenth century. It also suggests that nineteenth-century writers relied heavily on archetypes from earlier periods, such as the Spanish Golden Age. Yet it shows, too, that foreign representations of the Other, particularly those promoted by Orientalism, informed Spanish depictions of its own past. This thesis seeks to fill a lacuna in existing scholarship on al-Andalus and to contribute, more generally, to a better understanding of the literature of nineteenth-century Spain. Although some studies on the representation of al-Andalus in the period do exist, their focus tends to be of a historical or anthropological nature. Moreover, where critics have looked more closely at literary manifestations, they have tended to concentrate on a limited number of well-known texts by the period’s more famous authors. Yet little attention has been paid to the vast wealth of material by lesser-known writers, in which al-Andalus is an important theme. This study, with its large and varied corpus, aims to correct this oversight.
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The two Spanish artists José Tapiró y Baró and Mariano Bertuchi Nieto, have been neglected in English-speaking scholarship. They spent nearly half their lives in Morocco; they are not only significant for our understanding of Spanish Orientalism but also relevant to broader theoretical debates about Western attitudes towards Islamic cultures. This article teases out the nuanced subject positions, changing inflections and possible meanings of their representations of Morocco in the ten years prior to and during the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco (1912–1956). Tapiró’s ethnographic portraits have a distancing effect, ranging from suggestions of “primitivity” to “fanaticism,” which resonate with European calls for intervention in Morocco. Bertuchi’s varied practice intersects with Andalucismo ideology and the concept of a “Spanish-Moroccan brotherhood” that was used to justify Spain’s colonial enterprise, including under Franco. On the one hand, the relation between cultural expression and power recalls Said’s theory of Orientalism; on the other, Bertuchi’s visual rhetoric of cultural proximity and its continued appeal to Spanish and Moroccan audiences serve to refigure orthodox understandings of Orientalism based on opposition (us/them). The two case studies further demonstrate that it would be misleading to speak of Spanish Orientalism in the visual arts as a single, unified discourse.
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This essay explores the possibilities and potential pitfalls of the Global Hispanophone by placing this emergent category in dialogue with recent developments in Hispanic studies and with ongoing debates in comparative literature about the status of the globe (or the world) as an analytic framework. Drawing on these debates, the essay examines the politics, hermeneutics and aesthetics of multilingual hip-hop, focusing on Khaled, a Spanish rapper of Moroccan descent, whose work weaves between languages (most notably, Spanish and Moroccan Arabic) and musical idioms. Khaled's multilingual performances challenge hegemonic positions of race, class, religion and place of origin. They also highlight transnational networks of solidarity between marginalized groups in Europe and the United States. Using Khaled's music as an illustrative example, this essay outlines a tentative vision of the Global Hispanophone, one that focuses on language practices rather than on geography. In what follows, the Global Hispanophone describes the tension between Spanish as a language of imperial power and Spanish as a language that spawns creative responses to power, often through nonstandard uses that throw into question the borders (geographic, cultural and even linguistic) of the language.
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Ángel Ganivet serves as an important political, philosophical, and literary voice in late 19th century Spain. According to certain critics, he serves as a transitional voice between the 19th and 20th century philosophical and literary voices in Spanish nationalist discourses. In this project, I trace his philosophical development from a localized, regional focus to the international considerations that characterize his later writings. I trace this through his early work of Granada la bella, about his hometown, through his sequential works, culminating in the posthumous publication of his letters with Miguel de Unamuno El porvenir de España. El porvenir de España emphasizes that, after the humiliating loss of the Spanish colonies in the Spanish-American War in 1898, Spain’s future glory is to be found in a focus on Africa. I analyze how Ganivet reflects contemporary ideas in his early writings, and how these same ideas evolve as his posts as consular in Belgium and Finland give him an expanded global view. My thesis is that the seed from which his later thought develops can be found in the Alhambra and the Islamic heritage of Granada. This early consideration of the Islamic past of Granada and Andalucía impacts his future international, political and philosophical interrogations.
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This is the first-ever volume appeared on whiteness in the Hispanic and Lusophone Studies and published by Transmodernity in 2018. Overall, this issue offers a thorough and comprehensive interdisciplinary study of whiteness including a fair range of aesthetic forms, periods and traditions. I hope that it will become an intense, enriching, interdisciplinary scholarly dialogue, one that will contribute to the rethinking of how the structures of difference and the processes of legitimization operate and replicate in contemporary societies and towards a revealing of white structures in the context of Lusophone countries and global Hispanism.
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RESUMEN Desde hace una década, la televisión española tanto pública como privada ha presenciado la emergencia de series de televisión ambientadas en el norte de África o en una Andalucía orientalizada. Este nuevo sistema mediático supone un régimen visual que está reproduciendo ciertas lógicas colonialistas centenarias de dominación de un otro étnico mediante estrategias de estereotipación y fetichización. Este artículo analiza dos series que ejemplifican esta tendencia, El Príncipe (Telecinco, 2014 El Príncipe. 2014–2016. Telecinco. [Google Scholar]–2016 El Príncipe. 2014–2016. Telecinco. [Google Scholar]) y Mar de plástico (Antena 3, 2015 Mar de plástico. 2015–2016. Antena 3. [Google Scholar]–2016 Mar de plástico. 2015–2016. Antena 3. [Google Scholar]), para explicar la orientalización que se realiza de ciertos espacios y subjetividades liminales al Estado español, como es la presencia de inmigrantes norteafricanos y ciudadanos españoles musulmanes en Ceuta y Andalucía. La hipótesis de este artículo sugiere que en estas series el romance interracial entre un héroe español, muchas veces perteneciente a las fuerzas armadas, y una mujer perteneciente a otra etnia o religión simboliza la ansiedad centralizadora del Estado español de la dominación de sus otros étnicos. En estas series, el héroe español y su conquista amorosa se presentan como la solución para unificar y reclamar estos espacios a través de su feminización y exotización, representados siempre a través de personajes femeninos. En última instancia, en este artículo se examinan nuevas estrategias de la cultura mediática española de reproducir y recrearse en ficciones que revelan discursos racistas provenientes de lógicas coloniales.
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Icíar Bollaín’s 2014 documentary, En tierra extraña, represents the experiences of Spaniards who have emigrated to Scotland in the wake of the financial crisis. Following the onset of the crisis in 2008, unemployment rates in Spain reached unprecedented heights, and since then increasing numbers of Spaniards have elected to search for employment opportunities abroad. By relating their experiences, En tierra extraña suggests that this contemporary wave of emigration is the result of Spain’s failure to establish a democracy free from the legacy of the Franco dictatorship. The film puts the experience of twenty-first-century Spanish migrants in dialogue with the history of Spanish emigration of the 1960s under the Franco dictatorship and more recent immigration to Spain beginning in the 1980s. This article focuses on the film’s use of memory and makes two arguments. First, that the film strives to engage the audience in its political project by drawing an empathic comparison between current Spanish emigration and that which occurred during the 1960s. And second, that the film’s less explicit aim of encouraging empathy for contemporary African and Latin American migrants in Spain by comparing them to Spanish emigrants overlooks the ways in which the former group’s experiences are conditioned by questions of race and legal status.
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Throughout the years immediately following the Spanish Civil War, Francoist discourse on the nation was strongly linked to the idea of virility. All the different political cultures of the dictatorship defined the Spanish nation as intrinsically shaped around values that spoke firstly of daring, strength and vigour, but also of self-discipline, restraint and control. Despite the intensity of this discourse, the narrative it presented revealed porosities and elasticities that permitted ambiguous images to filter through that challenged this language of national virility. One example was the imagery of José Gutiérrez Solana, a leading artist of the regime and assiduous participant in its art exhibitions, but one who, with his dark paintings full of beggars, death and fanaticism, presented a substantially different image of the Spanish nation. Beginning with this apparent contradiction, the intention of this article is to examine the discourse deployed around Solana in order to explore the ways in which the profile of the virile and victorious nation was renegotiated to include his work within it, and the degree to which the key to this inclusion lay in a set of reinterpretations intended to extend virility to an artist otherwise close to images of the “feminization” of Spain.
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Acclaimed Catalan writer Jordi Puntí’s fictional memoir Els castellans (2011) offers an important contribution to contemporary debates on immigration and national identity in Catalonia. Set in the 1970s in the small industrial city of Manlleu, this collection of semi-autobiographical vignettes about two rival groups of boys narrates not only Puntí’s adolescence, but also provincial Catalonia’s struggle to integrate large numbers of working-class Spanish migrants who arrived to the region in the mid-twentieth century. Els castellans is groundbreaking in its literary telling of the experience of the 1950s–1970s migratory wave from a Catalan-identified point of view. Adopting a geographical approach to examine how the memoir interrogates the divisions between Catalans and Spanish migrants, this essay argues for reading Els castellans as a coming-of-age allegory of Catalan and Spanish political transitions that provides a much-needed reckoning with Catalonia’s history of immigration. At the same time, the memoir spatially connects the mid-century Spanish migrants to present-day Moroccan immigrants, revealing a recurring fear of mobility. Els castellans counters this fear by articulating a dynamic, bidirectional integration process that transforms the host as much as the migrant.
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RESUMEN El artículo aborda las contradicciones y tensiones generadas por las políticas franquistas de género durante los años 40 a través de una investigación histórica desde la perspectiva de los “star studies”. Se analiza la figura de Sara Montiel, quien a partir de El último cuplé (1957) se convirtió en el primer gran mito sexual del franquismo. Sin embargo, se ha prestado una atención escasa a los primeros años de su filmografía, en los que ya se aprecian algunos de los rasgos que marcarán su trayectoria como actriz. Desde sus inicios, su carrera estuvo vinculada a su cuerpo, como motivo de sensualidad y seducción, comparable a las estrellas de Hollywood, que no gozaban de la protección que se dispensaba a las actrices españolas, a quienes se solía atribuir una superioridad moral. Montiel fue un modelo de ascenso social a través del espectáculo, en un proceso en el que su imagen es cosificada, a la vez que se observa una autopercepción de su propia sexualidad como fuente de empoderamiento personal. A través del análisis de los personajes que interpreta y de su presencia en las revistas cinematográficas, se advierte el tránsito de una joven atractiva a una mujer con rasgos de vampiresa.
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In Spain's last colony, Western Sahara, both efforts by the colonial power to stimulate development and the negative impacts of colonisation intensified between the end of the Ifni-Sahara War (1957–58) and the Spanish withdrawal in 1975. Spanish economical and geopolitical interests triggered an important industrial and urban development of the territory. Cities such as Laayoune, Villa Cisneros, Smara, and the Bou Craa phosphate deposits were to showcase Spanish modernising colonial policies. However, the effects of war, the control of colonial frontiers, and severe droughts during the 1960s strongly affected Sahrawi society. In this context, the Spanish colonial state developed new forms of control over the Sahrawi population, which included the progressive (forced) settling of nomadic people around military posts and Spanish cities, bringing about the adoption of new economic paradigms. Not only did the Francoist government distribute subsidies, both money and goods; it furthermore implemented policies aimed at controlling the Sahrawi way of life, particularly in the areas of hygiene, education, and gender relations. The essay analyses these “carrot-and-stick” strategies at the intersection of colonial control and forced sedentarisation with regard to the implementation of a market-oriented economy in Western Sahara.
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Abstract: This article analyses the causes and consequences of the sociocultural discrimination and exclusion of Equatoguinean women in Spain. The starting premise is that a notable familiarity with Spanish culture (language and religion) as a former African colony and a long period of settlement in Spain that dates back to the 1940s should have favoured greater social advancement of this group. However, the fieldwork shows that they have been held back by the marginalised position of Equatorial Guinea in Spain's current collective imaginary of its colonial past, as well as by the socio-laboural precariousness they have experienced since their arrival. Based on the body of thought of postcolonial theory, and from a predominantly anthropological and historical standpoint, this article analyses the heavy burden of social invisibility and unequal economic opportunities that these women carry. The paper concludes that migrant memories must be incorporated into the Hispano-African narrative to create a more trustworthy account of the shared Spanish and Equatorial Guinean past, and that there is an urgent need to implement policies in Spain that promote equality regardless of ethnicity, race, and gender. I acknowledge support of the publication fee by the CSIC Open Access Publication Support Initiative through its Unit of Information Resources for Research (URICI). This article is part of the special issue edited by Andreas Stucki. 2020. Violence, Migration, and Gender in the Portuguese- and Spanish-Speaking World, 1945–2019. Itinerario.
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The aim of this article is threefold: to call for a reassessment of Canarian literature and the novela negra, both of which have been undervalued to date, and to accord critical attention to the talented Lanzarotean author, Miguel Aguerralde. It sets out to fulfil this via the first close study of Claro de Luna, examining the ways Aguerralde employs the novela negra framework and other narrative devices to engage readers with the interconnected themes of identity, solitude and place. It demonstrates that in this complex, multi-layered novel, the narrative technique is used to subvert expectations and the choice of setting, the use of cultural allusiveness, together with the presentation of authority and gender can be related to questions concerning “a sense of place”, the “decentring” of Peninsular Spain to focus on the Canary Islands. Simultaneously, Claro de Luna transcends the specificity of its setting and the limitations of the novela negra by ambitiously tackling questions of universal relevance, exploring identity in relation to mental health and stability and interrogating the nebulous notions of fantasy and “the abnormal”. In-so-doing, Aguerralde questions the validity of objective constructs such as identity vis à vis subjective perceptions and poses questions about the islands’ future.
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Se estudia la fortuna de la mezquita de Córdoba entre los arquitectos neoárabes de finales del siglo XIX y principios del XX, proponiendo un periplo de formas que, partiendo de la Exposición Colombina de Chicago del año 1893, germinaron con cierto éxito en La Habana, Lima y, finalmente, en Chile. Se remarca la importancia de este fenómeno de reinterpretación historicista, menos investigado, frente a la omnipresencia del alhambrismo. Finalmente, se publican datos inéditos y material gráfico sobre estructuras neoárabes chilenas, hasta ahora nunca o escasamente analizados.
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Through the views of Francisco Franco’s major adviser on African Affairs, this paper reveals a hitherto neglected aspect of the long-standing interaction between competing ‘imperial projects’ in the twentieth century. Tomás García Figueras’s (1892–1981) speeches, writings and personal archive provide a long-term and well-informed Spanish perspective on the British and French colonial systems, offering us a model to make sense of three major aspects of inter-imperial relations: emulation, competition, and opportunism. Through this insight into the dynamics of imperial interaction, and the ever-evolving dialogues and exchanges between ‘empire projects’ from around the European peninsula, this article provides some key elements to answer the long-standing question of what motivates empires to expand, adapt, or contract. It illuminates the ways in which officials engaged in the day-to-day running of European empires looked at each other, in search for examples and counter-examples, emulation or, simply, opportunities. Crucially, it illustrates how ‘empire projects’ of varying clout interacted with each other, within the limits of realpolitik but well beyond linguistic obstacles, as the multilingual material assembled in the García Figueras archive clearly attests. It also charts, among national and socio-cultural circles hitherto neglected, the evolution in thinking about colonialism and decolonisation throughout the twentieth century.
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Although the Spanish colonial discourse openly rejected the existence of biological racial differences, Africans internalized racial thought in Equatorial Guinea between the 1890s and 1960s. Spanish rhetoric reinforced colonial domination upon the basis of cultural differences. Ultimately, the identification between Spanish culture and power led to the construction of two distinct racial categories: the White ruler and the African subject. The analysis of relevant secondary literature and Spanish archival sources reveals that the nature of racial discourse in colonial Equatorial Guinea—indeed, in any African colony—cannot be understood without reference to the specific dynamics that informed the development of racial thought in Europe and, in particular, in the respective metropoles. Spain’s sense of inferiority vis-à-vis other European nations contributed to the extreme vilification of African cultures in Equatorial Guinea. In many respects, this was the most effective undertaking of Spanish colonialism in this part of Africa.
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Language and intertextuality create a radical feminist space for El Hachmi's protagonist to deconstruct traditional notions of home, place and gender.
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Western Sahara has recently been termed the last colony in the world and the largest prison in the world. This essay will attempt, by focusing on daily points of transit, to assess the ways in which the regional conflict that has unfolded there is negotiated from within, and to reckon with the pervasive failure of decolonial logic, through the prism of geographic border crossings. It will further assess how, through border management and movements, the relationship between Western Sahara, Morocco and Spain is constantly reconfigured by the conflating geopolitics of human circulation and human containment. The unresolved colonial conflict in Western Sahara cannot be disassociated from former Spanish colonial interventions and the current Spanish possessions of Ceuta and Melilla. Some of these legacies will be explored through the lenses of two video essay exercises by Ursula Biemann: Europlex (2003) and Sahara Chronicles (2006–2009). Both projects engage in a visual theoretical analysis of the confluence of the politics and economics of mobility and migration, on the one hand, with contention and confinement on the other, as displayed in these territories. Europlex follows the trade routes and the daily border crossings and transactions between Morocco, the Spanish colonial strongholds of Ceuta and Melilla and the Straits of Gibraltar, as a metonymic passage between two continents. Sahara Chronicle follows various concurrent West African migration routes towards Europe stopping at pivotal sites of both passage and containment, including two heavily transited points at either end of Western Sahara: in the south, the Guantanamito migrant detention center of Nouadhibou in Mauritania and, in the north, the Cárcel Negra deportation prison in Laayoune. The two documentaries invite us to rethink patterns of migration and transit in relation to signifiers of the Spanish colonial presence in North Africa: Ceuta, Melilla and Western Sahara.
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Buena parte de la discusión historiográfica acerca del proceso de construcción nacional en la España del siglo XIX ha girado alrededor de la cuestión de la débil nacionalización. Sin embargo, el hecho de que España haya sido un imperio ultramarino hasta 1898, y aun después de esta fecha siempre ha jugado un papel secundario en el debate. En este artículo, y desde una perspectiva que resalta el carácter transnacional de todo nacionalismo, se aborda un aspecto concreto de la interacción entre imperio y construcción nacional en la España de la primera mitad del siglo XX. ¿Hasta qué punto la evolución de la cuestión colonial en el Caribe y Filipinas influyó en el desarrollo del debate territorial entre centralización y descentralización en la España metropolitana?¿Hasta qué punto los emergentes regionalismos y nacionalismos subestatales ibéricos miraron hacia las colonias o las antiguas colonias españolas, qué aprendieron de sus experiencias, y qué relación aspiraban a mantener con esos territorios?
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Since the September 11 attacks, Islam has provided an anti-imperial idiom for many subordinate groups in the West, as "Islamic" forms of culture filter into the West through Latin America and through racial or ethnic minorities. In fusion with hip-hop, and drawing upon the African-American experience, this "Islamic" culture is slowly seeping into the mainstream. Subsequently, many of the cultural and protest movements in the West today have Islamic undercurrents. As Western nationalists portray Islam as a threat to freedom, minorities in the West are reaching for Islamic precedents, like Moorish Spain, that they hope will make the West more compassionate and free.
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Sexual relations in Middle Eastern societies have historically articulated social hierarchies, that is, dominant and subordinate social positions: adult men on top; women, boys and slaves below. The distinction made by modern Western "sexuality" between sexual and gender identity, that is, between kinds of sexual predilections [and] degrees of masculinity and femininity, has, until recently, had little resonance in the Middle East. Both dominant/subordinate and heterosexual/homosexual categorizations are structures of power. They position social actors as powerful or powerless, "normal" or "deviant." The contemporary concept of "queerness" resists all such categorizing in favor of recognizing more complex realities of multiple and shifting positions of sexuality, identity and power.
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On November 8, 1930, Géérard Fleury, an amateur cinematographer in Normandy, went out at dawn to film Lake Thuit. He was never seen or heard from again. On August 20, 1940,Barcelona-born Stalinist Ramóón Mercader assassinated Leon Trotsky in Mexico. After spending 20 years in prison, he was buried in Russia under a tombstone marked Ramóón Ivanovich Lóópez. Fleury and Mercader are "uncanny" protagonists of two fascinating Spanish documentaries that explore transnational identity. Functioning as database narratives whose search engines generate a unique network of stories, they excavate lost histories that could potentially change our understanding of the transnational 1990s.
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The Spanish colonial enterprise in early twentieth-century North Africa was coloured by ambiguous perceptions of cultural purpose and identity. Because Spaniards have tended to view their primary focus of recent imperialist activity, Morocco, as more of a historical frontier — or even as an extension of the metropole — than as home to a fully oppositional Other, they have not been able to place as much emphasis on cultural, historical, and racial distinctions between themselves and the colonized as have many other Westerners. On a practical level, the contradictions that underlay Spain’s ‘civilizing mission’ in the Maghrib left a clear imprint on the military-administered Hispano–Arabic schools, which eschewed any attempts to evangelize and instead sought to impart the teachings of the Koran and what it perceived to be true Muslim values to Moroccan children. The programmes of the Spanish schools for Moroccan children also illuminate the strong contrast between Spanish colonialist ideologies in North Africa and those of the French in Morocco and Algeria.
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This article takes one representation of male homo-sexuality in Spain - the ‘fairy’ (or marica as he was often termed at the time)1 - in order to assess its importance with respect to framing other expressions of homosexuality and masculinity in general in the years 1850-1930. The argument here, following the work of George Chauncey with respect to New York gay sub-cultures, is that the effeminate form of homosexuality, as discursive representation and actual lived experience, can be viewed by the historian as a kind of benchmark by which many other forms of homosexuality were considered in the major Spanish cities by the 1920s.
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Throughout nineteenth-century Europe, constitutional monarchy was considered the 'natural' framework within which to effect the political stabilization of post-revolutionary liberalism, yet historians have paid little attention to the cultural assumptions behind the political naturalization of this framework. This article explores the life of the first Spanish constitutional monarch and the first woman ever to reign alone on the Spanish throne: Queen Isabel II (1830-1904; ruled as queen 1843-68). Never a passive and submissive woman in her private life, and publicly erring from the notion that the monarch reigns but does not govern, this Spanish queen systematically subverted the deep cultural connections between the symbolisms associated with constitutional monarchy and female nature. In many ways she can be seen as the alter-ego of Queen Victoria, who became a strongly cohesive cultural icon because of her flawless representation of the classic female virtues of the time. By contrast, Isabel II's repeated marital infidelities, her overt sexual and political activities, her capricious personality, and her patrimonial understanding of the crown conjoined in a powerful narrative of inadequacy that was structured around her inability to stand simultaneously as both woman and queen. The materials that made up this narrative of queenly inadequacy and its proximities to, and distances from, nineteenth-century European culture at large are explored. This approach may generate some new and useful questions regarding the conditions leading to success or failure among the various constitutional monarchies of post-revolutionary Europe and Spain.
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While painting Massacres of Chios in 1824, Eugène Delacroix wrote in his journal that ‘The mulatto will do very well.’ This paper asks why a ‘mixed-blood’ would figure in a picture painted on behalf of the Greek War of Independence and argues that Chios must be understood as material evidence of the history of France's imperial aspirations, as a vestige of its confusions as well as its experiments. To broaden the geopolitical horizon of interpretation of Chios is to appreciate the extent to which global politics were performed and remembered in the studio space of an ambitious, insecure and sexually preoccupied young French male painter.