“Empire’s End: Transnational Connections in the Hispanic World, 1808-1898” will explore the concept of empire in the Spanish-speaking world in the nineteenth century, from the beginnings of the Independence Wars in the early 1800s to the loss of Spain’s last colonies—Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines—in the Spanish-American War of 1898. The various speakers will consider, from a transnational perspective, the complex social, political, and cultural ramifications and consequences of the end of the Spanish empire for the Spanish-speaking world, thus producing new insights into the circuits of intellectual and cultural exchange between Spain and its former colonies. The scope of the conference will be broad-ranging and interdisciplinary, centering on crucial issues such as the mappings of the Hispanic Atlantic, race, human rights, and the legacies of empire, while showcasing the work of scholars in literature, cultural studies, history and art history.
- Conference Program
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Sponsors: The symposium is made possible through support from the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain's Ministry of Culture and United States Universities.
Magali Carrera (Chancellor Professor of Art History, U of Massachusetts, Dartmouth), “Remapping Empire: Mapping Practices of Early Nineteenth-Century Mexico”
Mexico’s independence from Spain in the early nineteenth century required that the new nation define and locate a spatiality that was concordant with political sovereignty. Such spatiality could not be invented; rather, it would arise from transformed and reconfigured viceregal spatiality resulting from late eighteenth-century Bourbon reforms that attempted to consolidate domination over New Spanish territory. At the same time, these reformsintroduced cartographic tools, as well as concomitant social and economic perspectives, for resistance to imperial mapping. Consequently, in late colonial mappings, colonized subjects emerge as active agents and historical subjects. Through analysis of the interplay of domination and resistance in mappings, this paper examines the transition from imperial colony to nation through the formation of new geo-visual paradigms to identify and describe Mexican—not viceregal—spaces and places. These perspectives would coalesce fully in the national atlases of nineteenth-century Mexico.
Sebastiaan Faber (Professor of Hispanic Studies, Oberlin College), “Material Pan-Hispanism and the Problem of Cultural History"
It is easy and appropriate to diagnose Pan-Hispanism—whose various nineteenth- and twentieth-century incarnations stipulate that the political independence of Spanish American nations gave rise to a newspiritual bond among the peoples of the raza hispánica—as a myth, an ideology, or a symptom of imperial nostalgia. At the same time, it is possible to investigate Pan-Hispanism as an actually existing materialphenomenon. This paper looks at the role that José Martí and various Spanish intellectuals played in the formation of a transnationally pan-Hispanic public sphere between roughly 1860 and 1898.
Kirsty Hooper (Senior Lecturer in Spanish & Galician at Liverpool University, UK), “Liverpool-Vigo-Las Palmas-Mundaka: Towards a Geopoetics of the Periphery”
This paper argues for a rereading of the British port city of Liverpool as a crucial pivot in a re-visioned, extraimperial Atlantic space, exploring how Liverpool came to operate during the nineteenth century as an extra-national hub in the global networks of the Luso-Hispanic world. It proposes that Liverpool's century-long history as a pioneer of academic Hispanism is overlaid upon a vibrant but now largely obliterated network of Hispanic lives and works, sites and routes. The paper considers three case studies for recuperating traces of these inter-local networks emerging at the very 'End of Empire': the Liverpool-based Booth Steamship Line's involvement in a forgotten strand of modernizing Galician regionalism; the figure of 'Liverpool' in the emerging Canarian poetic imaginary, and Liverpool's historic Vizcayan community, as remembered in Helen Forrester's 1994 novel The Liverpool Basque. In recuperating the fragments, traces, and absences, both tangible and intangible, of these forgotten networks, we might begin to trace a geopolitics of the periphery, whose complexities can be fully comprehended only by recovering, reclaiming, and re-envisioning the hitherto invisible connections between spaces too often dismissed as local, regional or peripheral to the (post)imperial concerns of the intercontinental Hispanic Atlantic.
Radical Theory from Imperial Formation to Nostalgic Celebration
Joshua Goode (Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and History, Claremont Graduate U), “Not a Problem Since 1492”: How the Rhetoric of Fusion defined Spanish Decolonization and Recolonization in Nineteenth-Century Spain”
In this paper I examine the impact of de-colonization on Spanish and Cuban scientific and social thought in the 1880s and 1890s, comparing this to the simultaneous Spanish colonization in Morocco and the anthropological ideas that were deployed there. I am interested in how the idea of racial fusion came to serve a policy of colonial segregation and warfare. Also, I focus on how the idea of mixture underscored different, contradictory types of social and political systems, a question of interest to anyone exploring race, identity and social thought in a variety of present-day national contexts.
Alda Blanco (Professor and Chair of Spanish, San Diego State U), “Mestizaje and Spanish Racial Thinking”
At the height of the mode of racial thinking that extolled that only blood purity ensured the survival of a race and, moreover, its dominance, forward-looking Spanish anthropologists and ethnographers were proposing that mestizaje was at the core of the so-called Spanish race and that this racial formation was Latin America’s future. This paper explores the ways in which Spanish racial theories diverged from those that were dominant both in Europe and in Latin America. It is an examination of the racial constructs through which Spain imagined America at the turn of the twentieth century.
Joyce Tolliver (Associate Professor of Spanish, U of Illinois, Urbana), “Race, Nation, and the ‘Ilustrados’: The Philippines and the ‘Modern’ Empire(s)”
In the last decade or so of what Alda Blanco has called Spain's “modern” empire, the question of the national unification of the Philippines under the flag of Spain was dealt with in a discourse marked pervasively by references to racial homogeneity. For commentators on “la cuestión filipina” such as Vicente Barrantes or Pablo Feced, the racial heterogeneity characterizing the Philippine population was a fundamental obstacle to the successful colonization of the Archipelago. Feced openly advocated a eugenic “solution” to the Philippine problem, invoking the ideal of Spanish “pureza de sangre.” Ironically, this fantasy of racial homogeneity as an essential characteristic of the nation presents some surprising points of contact with the ways in which Philippine identity was imagined by the Philippine ilustrados, as represented by the national hero José Rizal. In this paper, I explore the vexed question of what Joshua Goode has called “impurity of blood” in the debates about the Philippine nation at the end of one empire and the beginning of another.
Iver Bernstein, Professor of History and American Culture Studies at Washington University, is the author ofThe New York City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics in the Age of the Civil War (Oxford University Press), republished in a new edition in 2010 and considered the definitive authority on that pivotal event in US history. He is now completing a book manuscript on the coming of the US Civil War titled, Stripes and Scars: The Revitalization of America and the Origins of the Civil War (also to be published by Oxford); he has published articles on Lincoln's political use of his own body, on black life in Civil War-era New York and a variety of other topics in 19th-Century US history and the history of slavery and race.
Alda Blanco, Professor and Chair of Spanish at San Diego State U, is the author of Escritoras virtuosas: Narradoras de la domesticidad en la España isabelina (2001) and Cultura y conciencia imperial en la España del siglo XIX(forthcoming). She has also devoted much of her scholarship to the feminist author and social activist, María Martínez Sierra. She is currently working on a monograph that explores the relationship between pageantry and the monarchy in nineteenth-century Spain.
Magali Carrera, Chancellor Professor of Art History at the U of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, teaches courses in the art and culture of the ancient Americas and colonial Mexico. She is the author of numerous publications on the visual culture of Mexico. Her book on the visual culture of eighteenth-century Mexico, Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings (2003), received the 2004 College Art Association/Association for Latin American Art Book Award. Currently, Professor Carrera’s research examines maps and their relationship to nation-building discourses of late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century Mexico. Her new book,Traveling from New Spain to Mexico: Mapping the Nation in Nineteenth-Century Mexico, was published by Duke University Press in May 2011.
Sebastiaan Faber, Professor of Hispanic Studies at Oberlin College, is the author and editor of four books, includingExile and Cultural Hegemony: Spanish Intellectuals in Mexico, 1939-1975 (Vanderbilt, 2002) and Anglo-American Hispanists and the Spanish Civil War: Hispanophilia, Commitment, and Discipline (Palgrave, 2008), as well as some fifty articles on Spanish and Latin American cultural history. His areas of interest include the Spanish Civil War, political exile, historical memory, pan-Hispanism, the institutional history of Hispanic studies, contemporary Spanish fiction and film, and the theory of ideology.
Josh Goode is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and History, Claremont Graduate U. He is the author most recently of Impurity of Blood: Defining Race in Spain, 1870-1930 (LSU Press, 2009) and “Race, Crime and Criminal Justice: Spain” in Anita Kalunta-Crumpton, ed. Race, Crime and Criminal Justice: International Perspectives(Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010). His current research examines the image of the Holocaust and World War II in contemporary Spanish culture and politics.
Kirsty Hooper, Senior Lecturer in Spanish & Galician at Liverpool University (UK), specializes in the culture and literature of Galicia. She is the author of A Stranger in my own Land: Sofia Casanova (1861-1958), a Spanish Writer in the European fin de siècle (Vanderbilt UP, 2008) and Writing Galicia in/to the World: New Cartographies, New Poetics (Liverpool UP, 2011), and co-editor of Reading Iberia: Theory, History, Identity (Peter Lang, 2007) and Contemporary Galician Cultural Studies: Between the Local and the Global (MLA, 2011). She is an editor of Liverpool University Press’s Migrations and Identities book series.
Gwen Kirkpatrick is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Georgetown University. Her publications include The Dissonant Legacy of Modernismo, Women, Culture and Politics in Latin America (co-authored), and edited books on Argentine literature. She has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Latin American literature and is currently President of the Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana and a member of the Executive Committee of the Latin American Studies Association.
William Luis is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Spanish. He has published thirteen books and more than one hundred scholarly articles. His authored books include Literary Bondage: Slavery in Cuban Narrative (1990), Dance Between Two Cultures: Latino Caribbean Literature Written in the United States (1997),Culture and Customs of Cuba (2001), Lunes de Revolución: Literatura y cultura en los primeros años de la Revolución Cubana (2003), Juan Francisco Manzano: Autobiografía del esclavo poeta y otros escritos (2007), and Las vanguardias del Caribe: Cuba, Puerto Rico y la República Dominicana (2010). Luis has also written introductions or forwards to numerous anthologies and books on Latino identity and is the editor of the Afro-Hispanic Review.
Alejandro Mejías-López is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Indiana University-Bloomington. He specializes in nineteenth-and early twentieth-century Latin American literature with an emphasis on modernism and transatlanticism. He is the author of The Inverted Conquest: The Myth of Modernity and the Transatlantic Onset of Modernism (Vanderbilt UP, 2010); his articles on Latin American modernism and Transatlantic studies have come out in Modern Language Notes, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, Revista Iberoamericana, and Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, among other venues.
Yuko Miki is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Washington University in St. Louis. Her work focuses on the intersection of black and indigenous histories in nineteenth-century Brazil. She is the author of "Fleeing into Slavery: the Insurgent Geographies of Brazilian Quilombos (Maroons), 1880-81", forthcoming in the Americas in Spring 2012; and "Diasporic Africans and Postcolonial Brazil: Notes on the Intersection of Diaspora, Transnationalism, and Nation," published inRevista Unisinos, 15.1 (2011). She serves as secretary for the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) and is the organizer of the African Diaspora Reading Group at Washington University during 2011-12. She teaches courses on Modern Latin America, Latin-American Revolutions, the African Diaspora, and Race & Nation in Latin America.
Paul Ramírez joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in 2010 after receiving his Ph.D in History from the University of California, Berkeley. His research centers on the involvement of laypeople in disease prevention campaigns in Mexico in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and considers the ways this involvement was refracted in the policies of the colonial state. An article on the resurgence of a shrine devotion after Mexico City's 1776 earthquake will appear next spring in Hispanic American Historical Review.
Chris Schmidt-Nowara is Professor of History and Prince of Asturias Chair in Spanish Culture & Civilization at Tufts University. His most recent book is the forthcoming Slavery, Freedom, and Abolition in Latin America and the Atlantic World. Among his other publications are The Conquest of History: Spanish Colonialism and National Histories in the Nineteenth Century (2006); “Imperio y crisis colonial,” in Juan Pan-Montojo, ed., Más se perdió en Cuba: España, 1898 y el fin de siglo (2nd ed. 2006); and “Spanish Origins of American Empire: Hispanism, History, and Commemoration, 1898-1915,” International History Review (2008). With Josep M. Fradera he is currently editing a book on slavery and the slave trade in the Spanish empire. He is also at work on a study of the Blanco White family and its experience of imperial crisis in the first half of the nineteenth century.
Lisa Surwillo is Assistant Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures at Stanford University. She is the author of The Stages of Property (Toronto 2007) and several articles on intellectual property, legal personhood, race and abolitionism in nineteenth-century Spain. Her current book project, “Monsters by Trade” explores Spanish attitudes towards slave traders and Spain’s imperial policies in Cuba in the century following the international outlawing of the transatlantic slave trade.
Joyce Tolliver is the author of Cigar Smoke and Violet Water: Gendered Discourse in the Stories of Emilia Pardo Bazán (Bucknell, 1998), co-editor of Disciplines on the Line: Feminist Research on Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. Latina Women (Juan de la Cuesta, 2003), and editor of “El encaje roto” y otros cuentos de Emilia Pardo Bazán (MLA, 1996). Her recent work examines gender and race in writings about Spain’s empire in the late nineteenth century.
Michael Ugarte, Middlebush Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Missouri, Columbia, has written extensively on modern Peninsular Spanish literature. His latest book, Africans in Europe: The Culture of Exile and Emigration from Equatorial Guinea to Spain, was recently published with the University of Illinois Press-World Migrations Series (2010).
Amy E. Wright, Assistant Professor at St. Louis University, specializes in transatlantic Hispanic studies of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with specific interests in popular print culture and theory of the novel. Her current work is on role of the serial novel in the construction of national identities in the Hispanic world. Her most recent publications appear in Revista Iberoamericana (2010), Anales Galdosianos (2010); Building Nineteenth-Century Latin America (Vanderbilt, 2009); and Siglo Diecinueve (2007).