restricted access Introduction: Mapping Hispanism
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ix  Introduction: Mapping Hispanism Mabel Moraña In the context of current debates on postcolonialism and multiculturalism, a collective reflection on ideologies of hispanism seems to be in order. And yet, this is a daunting task, given the ambiguities and complexities involved both in the mere definition of the topic and in the demarcation of its theoretical and epistemological boundaries. Indeed, the extension and transformation of cultural and ideological practices associated with Hispanism suggest the impossibility of confining the analysis to a specific period or modality. It indicates the need to explore, from multidisciplinary and transnational perspectives, the various ways in which Hispanism has functioned as a dominating political force, as an interpretive and representational cultural model, and as an epistemological paradigm, throughout the entire development of Spanish America’s and Spain’s cultural histories. At the same time, the topic points to the disciplinary level in which the different perspectives on Hispanism articulate. Within Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. academies, disciplines constitute localizing spaces for the appropriation , legitimization, and institutionalization of Hispanism, as well as sites from which the global dissemination of knowledge related to this field is actually implemented.A collective reflection on the ideologies of hispanism entails, then, *MoranaFinalPages.indd 9 12/1/04 7:12:43 PM x INTRODUCTION the examination of the intertwined connections between power, cultural institutions , and cultural production, as well as an analysis of the changing role played by writers and scholars in the production of critical discourse related to the categories of colonialism, national formation, modernity, and identity politics that constitute the basis of the post-colonial debate. Without a doubt, the project of hispanization evokes, in the first place, the historical experience of imperial expansion in the so-called New World, and the strategies of resistance implemented by the colonial subject in order to counteract the violence of material and symbolic domination. The array of problems associated with what Aníbal Quijano has called the coloniality of power are inextricably related to linguistic colonization, that is, to the imposition and dissemination of the predominant imperial language for the purposes of control and submission of dominated cultures, the reduction of differences, and the symbolic appropriation of autochthonous imaginaries. Intertwined with the project of Christianization, as well as with the overarching purposes of economic profit and political legitimization, the Spanish language became, from the first stages of colonization, one of the most refined and versatile technologies of power in America. In the Iberian Peninsula, the consolidation of Castilian hegemony over all other cultural identities also indicates the crucial role of enforced monolingualism in the projects of political unification and cultural dissemination of imperial Spain within its own primary territories. But far from being limited to the period of imperial expansion, the project and practices of hispanization have also played a key role in the postcolonial scene, both in Spain and Spanish America, throughout the process of the formation and consolidation of national states, and nowadays in the context of globalization. Over the centuries, the Spanish language has constituted, both in Spain and in Spanish America, a distinct space for symbolic struggle, for the construction of collective memories and subjectivities, and for the perpetuation of a cultural and economic linkage between the old metropolis and the former colonies. The transnational impact of Hispanism can also be traced at the academic level, in the disciplinary fields associated with the transmission of Spain’s cultural heritage or with the study of cultures derived from the Spanish conquest. Factors as diverse as the rapid expansion of the Spanish language, particularly in the United States, the focus on social and cultural migrations promoted in the framework of postcolonial and cultural studies, and the articulation of Spain to the European Community, have considerably contributed to increasing the attention on Hispanism, from different perspectives, and to reinvigorating *MoranaFinalPages.indd 10 12/1/04 7:12:44 PM INTRODUCTION xi transnational debates about its political content, cultural value, and political significance. The use of language both as a pragmatic and a symbolic device of domination —as well as a key element of cultural resistance—is one of the most important issues studied in this book. In the Spanish American colonies, translation is not only the main procedure for transculturation but also is one of the most important recourses for the appropriation and subjugation of subaltern imagination . Lydia Fossa analyzes in this volume the manipulation of linguistic codes in the Andean...