(Re)Foundational Fictions: Writing the Nineteenth-Century Spanish Empire
How did Spain and its remaining colonies come to terms during the nineteenth century with the aftermath of the Napoleonic invasion and Latin American independence? What role did writers and artists play in enabling Spain’s regions and colonies to articulate their relationship to the Spanish state and imagine a different – perhaps even independent – future?
This course explores a range of artistic and literary interventions into Spanish national and imperial reconstruction in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and Latin American independence. We begin by reading works by Spanish authors (e.g. the Duque de Rivas, Blanca de los Ríos) who tried to reimagine the humiliating Napoleonic invasion as an opportunity for national rebirth. We then move on to writers from Spain’s peripheral regions (e.g. Catalonia, Galicia) and overseas colonies (e.g. the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico) who were beginning to envisage their own opportunities for national rebirth, thinking about how they used artistic and literary endeavour as a form of resistance to the Spanish state.
One x 2,500-word essay