This essay sets the politically circumspect response to the Spanish Civil War embraced professionally by Federico de Onís, as well as institutionally by the Casa de las Españas, which Onís directed, against the backdrop of emphatic, vocal opposition from the New York Hispanic community. By analyzing a series of open letters between Onís and Hispanic activists published in the New York Spanish-language Leftist daily La Voz (1937-39) and depictions of Onís and the Casa de las Españas that circulated in the city's antifascist print culture, such as the poetry collection Bombas de Mano (1938), this essay demonstrates the growing divide between the city's Hispanics, who were overwhelmingly working-class and committed antifascists, and the city's Hispanists, such as Onís, who refrained from public political activism, in favor of advancing a cultural agenda that purportedly transcended the politics of the time. Ultimately, as the essay argues, this schism, which was anchored in competing visions of the role of culture and its relation to the political terrain, provides early, constitutive underpinnings to the institutional divide between the fields of Hispanism and what would later become U.S. Latino Studies.


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pp. 81-94
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