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Grant number: FT-254263-17

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José Luis Venegas
Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC 27109-6000)

Modern Conceptions of Medieval Muslim Spain

A book-length project on modern political, religious, and cultural conceptions of medieval Muslim Spain and Spanish national identity.

Inventing modern Spain in the twentieth century meant Europeanizing, but also revising and at times discarding Orientalist images of its southern region, Andalusia, the fabled land of Carmen the Gypsy cigar-maker, the Alhambra Palace, and the Muslim civilization of Al-Andalus. My project, an interdisciplinary analysis of visual art, literary texts, music, and architecture from the late 1800s until the present, will be the first systematic account of how Spanish artists and intellectuals represent Andalusia as a space of encounter between Spain’s modernizing aspirations and its Moorish past. Neither identical nor antithetical to the Arab world, Andalusia challenges ethnocentric notions of Spanish culture while disrupting such oppositions as Oriental vs European and primitive vs modern. In tracing the development of this ambivalent image, the project demonstrates its overlooked yet pivotal role in formulations of national identity in modern Spain.

Project fields:
Cultural History; Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 8/31/2017