In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

311  Afterword Nicholas Spadaccini In her introduction to this volume, Mabel Moraña argues that the concept and practice of Hispanism ought to be reexamined from a multidisciplinary and transnational perspective, keeping in mind the academic loci from which the dissemination of knowledge related to this field emanate. This very point is also emphasized by several contributors, all of whom are either Peninsularists or Latin-Americanists who practice their craft in the United States. It is the U.S. university system of private and public institutions with their extraordinary resources (some of which, however insufficient, do seem to trickle down to Humanities departments, including Spanish) and the visibility of Spanish as the second most widely-spoken language of the United States, and with the highest language enrollments other than English at our universities, which serve as a backdrop for some of the exchanges that take place in these pages. Moraña underscores the importance of taking into account the role of scholars and writers “in the production of critical discourse related to categories of colonialism, national formation, modernity and identity politics” and stresses the need to reflect on “the project and practices of hispanization. . . . both in Spain and Spanish America, throughout the process of formation and consolidation of national states, and, nowdays, in the context of globalization” (x). And these issues are indeed dealt with by many of the contributors, some of whom focus on the traditional use of the Spanish as both a practical and sym- *MoranaFinalPages.indd 311 12/1/04 7:14:00 PM 312 NICHOLAS SPADACCINI bolic device of subjugation within the Latin American and Spanish contexts. Such of course is not the case within the U.S. where Spanish is the language of a large and diverse minority population and the favorite “second” language at the university level. The question of language colonization is dealt with explicitly in several essays, beginning with Lydia Fossa’s “Spanish in the Sixteenth Century: The Colonial Hispanization of Indigenous Languages and Cultures,” in which it is argued that the hispanization of Andean indigenous languages and cultures in the Sixteenth century went well beyond purely linguistic change as indigenous peoples were required to assume the language, habits, and religion of the colonizer . Fossa points to the pragmatic appropriation by missionaries of indigenous languages such as Aymara, Puquina, and especially Quechua through the importation of Spanish words and concepts, all to the detriment of other indigenous dialects and languages, in order to carry out evangelization (21–22). Her focus on the colonizer’s strategies of domination through the colonization of language leads her to conclusions which are substantiated by meticulous analysis of well-known texts and legal documents. Yet, something equally important is left unsaid, namely, that while the indigenous peoples were often required by colonizer to “cease being themselves” (29), they were by no means passive subjects void of resistivity. The discussion in these pages on language colonization demonstrates the extent to which Spanish is viewed both as a common language between people of various ethnic and cultural background in both Spain and Latin America and as an obstruction to greater autonomy and presence for “other” indigenous languages and cultures. This very point is made by several contributors, among them Ignacio Sánchez-Prado who in his essay, “ The Pre-Columbian Past as a Project: Miguel León Portilla and Hispanism,” analyzes the “Hispanist and nationalist foundations of nahuatl literary studies” in the work of the well-known Mexican historian which focused on the recovery of Bernardino de Sahagún’s methodology, on the appropriation of Las Casas’ advocacy of indigenous causes, and on the role of Spanish as lingua franca, as a unifying force among different ethnic groups (53). Sánchez-Prado is careful to point out that in a later defense of the Spanish language in Pueblos originarios y globalización (México: El Colegio nacional, 1997, 57) León Portilla distances himself from “the exaltation of the linguistic and cultural mestizaje he endorsed in 1962” (53) while continuing to argue that the use of Spanish as a common language between cultures does not negate their cultural specificity (53). Sánchez Prado’s point seems to be that, despite León Portilla’s reassessment, there remains a basic problem: since Spanish is the only language of political interaction in *MoranaFinalPages.indd 312 12/1/04 7:14:00 PM AFTERWORD 313 present-day Mexico, bilingualism can be viewed as an obstruction to cultural independence. From...

pdf

Additional Information

ISBN
9780826591876
Related ISBN
9780826514714
MARC Record
OCLC
69407380
Pages
360
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.