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Maps and Narratives of Spanish Exploration (1567-1606)
Producing the Pacific offers the reader an interdisciplinary reading of the maps, narratives and rituals related to the three Spanish voyages to the South Pacific that took place between 1567 and 1606. These journeys were led by Álvaro de Mendaña, Pedro Fernández de Quirós and Isabel Barreto, the first woman ever to become admiral of and command a fleet.
Mercedes Maroto Camino presents a cultural analysis of these journeys and takes issue with some established notions about the value of the past and the way it is always rewritten from the perspective of the present. She highlights the social, political and cultural environment in which maps and narratives circulate, suggesting that their significance is always subject to negotiation and transformation. The tapestry created by the interpretation of maps, narratives and rituals affords a view not only of the minds of the first men and women who traversed the Pacific but also of how they saw the ocean, its islands and their peoples. Producing the Pacific should, therefore, be of relevance to those interested in history, voyages, colonialism, cartography, anthropology and cultural studies.
The study of these cultural products contributes to an interpretive history of colonialism at the same time that it challenges the beliefs and assumptions that underscore our understanding of that history.
Social and Imaginary Space in Writings by Chicanas
Of interest to informed readers responsive to combined textual and cultural approaches to Chicano/a literature and literature in general, Battleground and Crossroads weaves in various critical and theoretical threads to inquire into the relationship between intimate and public spaces in Chicana literature. Without claiming the borderlands as exclusive of the Chicana/o imagination, this book acknowledges the importance of this metaphor for bringing to view a more intercultural United States, allowing it to become inflected with the particularity of each text. The analyses of Chicana fiction, drama, and autobiography explore the construction of identity through the representation of social space and the transformation of literary space. For discussion of a diacritical territory this volume draws on a interdisciplinary practice that facilitates the journey from the most intimate spaces to the most public spaces of modernity, so that the aesthetic text yields its knowledge of the contingent historical circumstances of its production in material and existential terms. The apparent regionalism and localism of this literature is nothing but a reflection of the relationship between the local and the global, the private and the public, the personal and the political, the aesthetic and the ideological, the subversive and the mainstream. Each text stands by itself while it also reaches out to the sociopolitical imaginary for interpretation through an interdisciplinary methodology that is indispensable to do justice to a politicized aesthetics.
Aspects of Creolization in the Caribbean
The terms ‘creole’ and ‘creolization’ have witnessed a number of significant semantic changes in the course of their history. Originating in the vocabulary associated with colonial expansion in the Americas it had been successively narrowed down to the field of black American culture or of particular linguistic phenomena. Recently ‘creole’ has expanded again to cover the broad area of cultural contact and transformation characterizing the processes of globalization initiated by the colonial migrations of past centuries.
The present volume is intended to illustrate these various stages either by historical and/or theoretical discussion of the concept or through selected case studies. The authors are established scholars from the areas of literature, linguistics and cultural studies; they all share a lively and committed interest in the Caribbean area – certainly not the only or even oldest realm in which processes of creolization have shaped human societies, but one that offers, by virtue of its history of colonialization and cross-cultural contact, its most pertinent example. The collection, beyond its theoretical interest, thus also constitutes an important survey of Caribbean studies in Europe and the Americas.
As well as searching overview essays, there are
– sociolinguistic contributions on the linguistic geography of ‘criollo’ in Spanish America, the Limonese creole speakers of Costa Rica, ‘creole’ language and identity in the Netherlands Antilles and the affinities between Papiamentu and Chinese in Curaçao
– ethnohistorical examinations of such topics as creole transgression in the Dominican/Haitian borderland, the Haitian Mandingo and African fundamentalism, creolization and identity in West-Central Jamaica, Afro-Nicaraguans and national identity, and the Creole heritage of Haiti
– studies of religion and folk culture, including voodoo and creolization in New York City, the creolization of the “Mami Wata” water spirit, and signifyin(g) processes in New World Anancy tales
– a group of essays focusing on the thought of Édouard Glissant, Maryse Condé, and the Créolité writers
and case-studies of artistic expression, including creole identities in Caribbean women’s writing, Port-au-Prince in the Haitian novel, Cynthia McLeod and Astrid Roemer and Surinamese fiction, Afro-Cuban artistic expression, and metacreolization in the fiction of Robert Antoni and Nalo Hopkinson.
Transcultural Traffic and the U.S. National Imaginary
Author: Paul Allatson
A welcome addition to the fields of Latino and (trans-)American cultural and literary studies, Latino Dreams focuses on a selection of Latino narratives, published between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, that may be said to traffic in the U.S.A.’s attendant myths and governing cultural logics. The selection includes novels by authors who have received little academic attention—Abraham Rodriguez, Achy Obejas, and Benjamin Alire Sáenz—along with underattended texts from more renowned writers—Rosario Ferré, Coco Fusco, and Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Latino Dreams takes a transcultural approach in order to raise questions of subaltern subordination and domination, and the resistant capacities of cultural production. The analysis explores how the selected narratives deploy specific narrative tactics, and a range of literary and other cultural capital, in order to question and reform the U.S.A.’s imaginary coordinates. In these texts, moreover, national imperatives are complicated by recourse to feminist, queer, panethnic, postcolonial, or transnational agendas. Yet the analysis also recognizes instances in which the counter-narrative will is frustrated: the narratives may provide signs of the U.S.A.’s hegemonic resilience in the face of imaginary disavowal.
The Politics of Memory in the Spanish Transition to Democracy
Most accounts of the Spanish transition to democracy have been celebratory exercises at the service of a stabilizing rather than a critical project of far-reaching reform. As one of the essays in this volume puts it, the “pact of oblivion,” which characterized the Spanish transition to democracy, curtailed any serious attempt to address the legacies of authoritarianism that the new democracy inherited from the Franco era. As a result, those legacies pervaded public discourse even in newly created organs of opinion. As another contributor argues, the Transition was based on the erasure of memory and the invention of a new political tradition. On the other hand, memory and its etiolation have been an object of reflection for a number of film directors and fiction writers, who have probed the return of the repressed under spectral conditions.
Above all, this book strives to present memory as a performative exercise of democratic agents and an open field for encounters with different, possibly divergent, and necessarily fragmented recollections. The pact of the Transition could not entirely disguise the naturalization of a society made of winners and losers, nor could it ensure the consolidation of amnesia by political agents and by the tools that create hegemony by shaping opinion. Spanish society is haunted by the specters of a past it has tried to surmount by denying it. It seems unlikely that it can rid itself of its ghosts without in the process undermining the democracy it sought to legitimate through the erasure of memories and the drowning of witnesses' voices in the cacaphony of triumphant modernization.
Questioning Cultural Hybridity in the Americas
Volume Editors: Rita de Grandis and Zilà Bernd
Cultural transfer between the Iberian peninsula and North Africa
It is an established historical fact that both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar formed a cultural unity in many different periods. After the military success of Mûs_ ib Nusayr, Islam broght unity to Arabs and many Berber tribes in the Maghrib, but the struggle for independence and the adoption of the eastern Khârijî doctrine always caused struggles. It is a well known fact that the contingent of Berbers among the Muslims of al-Andalus outnumbered considerably the inhabitants from Arab origin. After the decline and collapse of the Umayyads and Hammûdids in al-Andalus, various Berger dynasties seized their power and founded many different kingdoms (Taifas, from Arabic mulûk al-tawâ'if). Arab Andalusi culture flourished, which can be demonstrated by the fact that Arabic became the most important language of the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim rule. On the other hand, large numbers of Andalusis emigrated to the Maghrib in many different periods. Already in the first centuries of Islamic spain, many Andalusis settled in North Africa. These Andalusis fled as a consequence of the drought, or were expelled for having collaborated against the regime or were forced to leave the Peninsula by the Christian Reconquista. Mutual migrations and political unity led to the exchange of many cultural phenomena between the two sides of the Straits. This fourth issue of Orientations focuses on some aspects of the ‘cultural transfer between al-Andalus and North Africa,' and particularly deals with some aspects of Poetry, Politics and Polemics from the eleventeenth to the seventeenth century.