Abstract

In Jo també sóc catalana (2004) [I am Catalan, too], author Najat El Hachmi narrates her arrival as an eight-year-old to the Catalan city of Vic and her process of establishing roots in Catalan society after leaving the rural area surrounding Nador, in northern Morocco. I argue that El Hachmi has conceived of an identity as a border woman that can be read through the theoretical framework developed by the women of color movement in the 1980s and 1990s. El Hachmi turns to her own experience in order to theorize the everyday struggles that she faces in the “in between” spaces of various social and cultural realities. In my argument, her border thinking is inherently political and filters the way she conceives of her Catalan-Amazigh self. I further suggest that El Hachmi’s narrative of a Catalan-Amazigh identity debunks essentialist definitions of Catalan-ness that are narrowly based on linguistic or cultural assimilation into a dominant Catalan identity. I read her border thinking vis-à-vis other voices within Catalanism who, since the 1960s, have defied such a limited view of identity politics in the context of the internal debates about immigration, as well as the definition of Catalan national identity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2326-067X
Print ISSN
0078-7469
Pages
pp. 25-43
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-06
Open Access
No
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