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Area and Ethnic Studies > Iberian Studies

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In and Of the Mediterranean Cover

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In and Of the Mediterranean

Medieval and Early Modern Iberian Studies

Edited by Michelle M. Hamilton and Nuria Silleras-Fernandez

Indios en escena Cover

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Indios en escena

La representación del amerindio en el teatro del Siglo de Oro

by Moisés Castillo

Indios en escena engages both the Baroque and Colonial fields of Hispanism in order to reevaluate fourteen major plays of Spanish Golden Age literature from a social-historical perspective. Castillo argues that these plays portray Amerindians not in their “otherness” but as subjects of empire.

The Inverted Conquest Cover

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The Inverted Conquest

The Myth of Modernity and the Transatlantic Onset of Modernism

Alejandro Mejías-López

Modernismo (1880s–1920s) is considered one of the most groundbreaking literary movements in Hispanic history, as it transformed literature in Spanish to an extent not seen since the Renaissance. As Alejandro Mejías-López demonstrates, however, modernismo was also groundbreaking in another, more radical way: it was the first time a postcolonial literature took over the literary field of the former European metropolis. Expanding Bourdieu’s concepts of cultural field and symbolic capital beyond national boundaries, The Inverted Conquest shows how modernismo originated in Latin America and traveled to Spain, where it provoked a complete renovation of Spanish letters and contributed to a national identity crisis. In the process, described by Latin American writers as a reversal of colonial relations, modernismo wrested literary and cultural authority away from Spain, moving the cultural center of the Hispanic world to the Americas. Mejías-López further reveals how Spanish American modernistas confronted the racial supremacist claims and homogenizing force of an Anglo-American modernity that defined the Hispanic as un-modern. Constructing a new Hispanic genealogy, modernistas wrote Spain as the birthplace of modernity and themselves as the true bearers of the modern spirit, moved by the pursuit of knowledge, cosmopolitanism, and cultural miscegenation, rather than technology, consumption, and scientific theories of racial purity. Bound by the intrinsic limits of neocolonial and postcolonial theories, scholarship has been unwilling or unable to explore modernismo’s profound implications for our understanding of Western modernities.

Juan de Segovia and the Fight for Peace Cover

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Juan de Segovia and the Fight for Peace

Christians and Muslims in the Fifteenth Century

Anne Marie Wolf

Juan de Segovia (d. 1458), theologian, translator of the Qur'an, and lifelong advocate for the forging of peaceful relations between Christians and Muslims, was one of Europe's leading intellectuals. Today, however, few scholars are familiar with this important fifteenth-century figure. In this well-documented study, Anne Marie Wolf presents a clear, chronological narrative that follows the thought and career of Segovia, who taught at the University of Salamanca, represented the university at the Council of Basel (1431–1449), and spent his final years arguing vigorously that Europe should eschew war with the ascendant Ottoman Turks and instead strive to convert them peacefully to Christianity. What could make a prominent thinker, especially one who moved in circles of power, depart so markedly from the dominant views of his day and advance arguments that he knew would subject him to criticism and even ridicule? Although some historians have suggested that the multifaith heritage of his native Spain accounts for his unconventional belief that peaceful dialogue with Muslims was possible, Wolf argues that other aspects of his life and thought were equally important, especially his approach to the Bible and his experience at the Council of Basel, where his defense of conciliarism in the face of opposition contributed to his ability to defend an unpopular position and where his insistence on conversion through peaceful means was bolstered by discussions about the proper way to deal with the Hussites. Ultimately Wolf demonstrates that Segovia's thought on Islam and the proper Christian stance toward the Muslim world was consistent with his approach to other endeavors and with cultural and intellectual movements at play throughout his career.

Juanita la Larga Cover

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Juanita la Larga

a Novel

Juan Valera

Juanita la Larga (1896), the third of Juan Valera's eponymous novels with a female protagonist, unfolds in a small town in nineteenth-century Spain and tells the story of a young girl's romance with a wealthy widower many years her senior.

Judging Maria de Macedo Cover

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Judging Maria de Macedo

A Female Visionary and the Inquisition in Early Modern Portugal

Bryan Givens

On February 20, 1665, the Inquisition of Lisbon arrested Maria de Macedo, the wife of a midlevel official of the Portuguese Treasury, after she revealed during a deposition that, since she was ten years old, an enchanted Moor had frequently “taken” her to a magical castle in the legendary land of wonders known as the Hidden Isle. The island paradise was also the home of Sebastian, the former king of Portugal (1557–1578), who had died in battle in Morocco while on crusade in 1578. His body remained undiscovered, however, and many people in seventeenth-century Portugal—including Maria—eagerly awaited his return in glory. In Judging Maria de Macedo, Bryan Givens offers a microhistorical examination of Maria’s trial before the Inquisition in Lisbon in 1665–1666, providing an intriguing glimpse into Portuguese culture at the time. Maria’s trial record includes a unique piece of evidence: a pamphlet she dictated to her husband fifteen years before her arrest. In the pamphlet, reproduced in its entirety in the book, Maria recounts in considerable detail her “journeys” to the Hidden Isle and her discussions with the people there, King Sebastian in particular. Not all of the components of Maria’s vision were messianic in nature or even Christian in origin; her beliefs therefore represent a unique synthesis of disparate cultural elements in play in seventeenth-century Portugal. Because the pamphlet antedates the Inquisition’s involvement in Maria’s case, it offers a rare example of a non-elite voice preserved without any mediation from an elite institution such as the Inquisition, as is the case with most early modern judicial records. In addition to analyzing Maria de Macedo’s vision, Givens also uses the trial record to gain insight into the values, concerns, and motives of the Inquisitors in their judgment of her unusual case. He thus not only examines separately two important subcultures in early modern Portugal, but also analyzes how they interacted with each other. Introducing a unique feminine voice from the early modern period, Judging Maria de Macedo opens a singular window onto seventeenth-century Portuguese culture.

A King Travels Cover

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A King Travels

Festive Traditions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain

Teofilo F. Ruiz

A King Travels examines the scripting and performance of festivals in Spain between 1327 and 1620, offering an unprecedented look at the different types of festivals that were held in Iberia during this crucial period of European history. Bridging the gap between the medieval and early modern eras, Teofilo Ruiz focuses on the travels and festivities of Philip II, exploring the complex relationship between power and ceremony, and offering a vibrant portrait of Spain's cultural and political life.

Ruiz covers a range of festival categories: carnival, royal entries, tournaments, calendrical and noncalendrical celebrations, autos de fe, and Corpus Christi processions. He probes the ritual meanings of these events, paying special attention to the use of colors and symbols, and to the power relations articulated through these festive displays. Ruiz argues that the fluid and at times subversive character of medieval festivals gave way to highly formalized and hierarchical events reflecting a broader shift in how power was articulated in late medieval and early modern Spain. Yet Ruiz contends that these festivals, while they sought to buttress authority and instruct different social orders about hierarchies of power, also served as sites of contestation, dialogue, and resistance.

A King Travels sheds new light on Iberian festive traditions and their unique role in the centralizing state in early modern Castile.

Kinship and Polity in the Poema de Mio Cid  Cover

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Kinship and Polity in the Poema de Mio Cid

by Michael Harney

This study of the social content of the only surviving Spanish epic provides a means of assessing the motives and intentions of the protagonist and of other characters. Chapters are devoted to such themes as the multifarious significance of kinship and lineage, with special attention to the role of fathers, uncles, and cousins in the world of clan loyalties; amity as a system of fictive kinship, personal honor, and public organization; the importance of women, and the meaning and function of marriage, dowry, and related practices; the emergence of the polity as a rivalry of social, legal, and economic systems; and the implications, within an essentially kin-ordered world, of the poem's notions of shame, honor, status, and social inequality.

Knowing Subjects Cover

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Knowing Subjects

Cognitive Cultural Studies and Early Modern Spanish Literature

by Barbara Simerka

In Knowing Subjects, Barbara Simerka uses an emergent field of literary study—cognitive cultural studies—to delineate new ways of looking at early modern Spanish literature and to analyze cognition and social identity in Spain at the time. Simerka analyzes works by Cervantes and Gracían, as well as picaresque novels and comedias. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, she brings together several strands of cognitive theory and details the synergies among neurological, anthropological, and psychological discoveries that provide new insights into human cognition.

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La corónica: A Journal of Medieval Hispanic Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Vol. 29 (2000) through current issue

La corónica is a refereed journal published every spring and fall by the Modern Language Association’s Division on Medieval Hispanic Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. It publishes groundbreaking articles written in English or Spanish on topics in medieval Spanish cultural studies, literature, and historical linguistics. Devoted to Hispanomedievalism in its broadest sense, La corónica also welcomes scholarship that transcends the linguistic and/or cultural borders of Spanish and explores the interconnectedness of those languages and cultures that coexisted in medieval Iberia. In addition to articles, La corónica features book reviews, reports, discussion forums, professional notices, and special thematic issues.

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