Gender and Nation in Galicia: A Cultural History

Lead Research Organisation: Bangor University
Department Name: Sch of Modern Languages

Abstract

Studies of national identity in Spain have tended to focus on questions of 'otherness' and the historical role played by Spain's non-European, Moorish and Jewish cultures. As a result, there is little historical and cultural analysis of the discursive formations arising from the tensions between hegemonic Spanish nationalism and insurgent Catalan, Basque or Galician nationalisms.
This project seeks to act as a starting point for work in this area by showing that the relation between Galician and Spanish nationalist discourses is marked by a network of discursive violences that are, for the most part, premised on the logic of sexual difference and on traditional, static notions of masculinity and femininity. Specifically, the project will offer the following arguments:

1) That a reassessment from a gender, postcolonial perspective of the foundational works of Galician cultural and political nationalism -for the most part, a male-authored corpus of histories, literary texts, cultural essays and manifestos- reveals a series of so far unexplored patterns in the history of national discourses in Spain. In the past, and in tune with nationalist historiographical practices, such texts have been studied mostly in isolation as milestones in the progress towards politicization of the Galician nationalist movement. Less attention is granted to how they have interacted with a historically variable network of discourses (Spanish centralist nationalism, patriarchy and discourses on modernisation). Further, the study of these texts from a critical gendered perspective has been delayed by a nationalist Galician scholarly tradition reluctant to criticise the work of its 'founding fathers' and an international Hispanism that has only just started to devote due attention to the specificities of Galician culture and politics. The project aims to overcome this situation.

2) That in this new perspective, discourses about the nation in Galicia in their different historical and ideological manifestations show an interesting distribution of gendered images of Galicia, Galicians and the Galician language. In a nutshell, the texts of Galician apolitical regionalism are laden with images of a feminized Galicia and a definition of national identity that links cohesively with the traditionally feminine realm of the affective. By contrast, the texts of Galician political nationalism are marked by a heavily masculinist discourse that aims to distance itself from sentimental definitions of the nation and adhere to masculine definitions of political citizenship and activism. Such discourse can be read as a compensatory reaction to the debilitating, feminizing tropes used by Galician apolitical regionalism, but also by Spanish hegemonic centralism, for whom the idea of a feminised (submissive) Galicia held obvious political benefits. I will trace instances of these relational discourses in the texts of such disparate figures as Augusto Gonzalez Besada (writer of the first Galician literary history in 1887), Manuel Murguia (founder of Galician nationalist historiography and husband of Rosalia de Castro), Eugenio Carre Aldao (one of the founding members of the Real Academia Gallega in 1906), Anton Villar Ponte (the author of the first manifesto of Galician political nationalism), Vicente Risco (one of the main theoretical ideologues of Galician nationalism in the pre-War years), Antonio Couceiro Freijomil (author of the francoist Diccionario Bibliografico de Escritores Gallegos in 1952), Ricardo Carballo Calero (author of the most influential text of Galician literary history) and Alberto Nuñez Feijoo (the current president of the Galician Xunta government and supporter of what I will call a 'neo-regionalist' approach to Galician culture informed by the persistently colonial views of Galicia held by the Spanish right).

Planned Impact

A major study on national discourses in Spain such as this can not only widen our knowledge of the complexity of the conflict among different national identities contained within the Spanish state, but also sharpen our understanding of how gender issues have both underlain and fuelled this conflict. The project will change the parameters for critical debates on the Spanish national question both internationally, in Spain and in Galicia. Within international Hispanic Studies, it will create a new framework in which to consider the tensions and antagonism among different national groups and their associated cultural and political discourses. Within Galician Studies proper, it will offer the first historically informed critique of Galician nationalist discourses as profoundly marked by a gender dynamic. As the debate on Spain's national (re)definition shows no signs of subsiding in the twenty-first century, this project will contribute crucially to a better understanding of the imbalances of power distribution within the Spanish national map; of the discursive forms that such imbalances have adopted over history; and of the future stakes and forms of this debate.
I have a commitment to public engagement and to communicating my research to both academic and non-specialist audiences. Notably through my role as Director of the Centre for Galician Studies in Wales, I have overseen a range of activities in the past five years that are particularly geared at facilitating public engagement, communication and understanding of Galician culture in Wales, the UK and internationally. Among these, I have ongoing collaborations with the Association of Welsh Translators and Interpreters, Academi, the National Writers' Centre for Wales, the Association of Galician Writers, the Centre for the Study of Women's Writing (University of London), the recently-closed Catalan Center in New York, and the London Review of Books' World Literature Weekend.
My project is designed to target a a range of differently-defined audiences:
1) Non-specialist audiences: One of the project's chief outputs is a Galician-language, book-length essay where I will write about my findings in an accessible, controversial and lively manner. I will submit this book to a prestigious National Essay Award, but will seek to publish it with the historical Galician press Galaxia (a book proposal will be produced during the time of the Fellowship). This book's contents have a high chance of being widely read and discussed in Galicia. Given that it will be the first Galician-language study of masculinities and nationalism, it will also become a trendsetter. The project also has a high-profile public engagement event at its core: the hosting of a round-table event during the 2013 London Review of Books' World Literature Weekend. I will seek an active dialogue with media outlets, beginning with a series of press releases in Galicia with regard to several of the project's outputs (mainly the publication of the English- and Galician-language monographs and the LRB event).
2) Academic audiences: Contact with my research will come in the form of my 95,000-word academic monograph; a 70,000-word Galician-language book for a wider readership; one article submitted to a refereed journal; and the organisation of three distinct academic events, fulfilling different functions. These include: 1) hosting the 13th WISPS conference at Bangor (where I will deliver a conference paper on the project's findings); 2) Organising the First Encounter on New Galician Studies with a view to creating a research platform for up and coming researchers in the field; 3) With the renowned gender historian Nerea Aresti, co-organising an international colloquium on gender and national discourses in Spain (to be held in Bilbao, under the patronage of the Asociación Española de Investigación de Historia de las Mujeres).

Publications

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Miguelez-Carballeira, H (2014) A Companion to Galician Culture

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Miguelez-Carballeira, H (2018) La cultura de las emociones

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Miguelez-Carballeira, H 'A Casa de Rosalia, a Rosalia da casa: Historia, Discurso e Representacion na Casa-Museo de Rosalía de Castro' in Congreso Rosalía de Castro no século XXI, Consello da Cultura Galega

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Miguelez-Carballeira, H (2014) Rosalia de Castro: Life, Text and Afterlife

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Miguélez-Carballeira H (2012) "LA LITERATURA ES ESO, LITERATURA": THE RHETORIC OF EMPTY CULTURE IN FRANCOIST AND NEO-FRANCOIST DISCOURSES in Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies

 
Description Through this Project I have been able to demonstrate that Galician intellectual history and political cultures since the mid-nineteenth century up until the contemporary period are deeply shaped by the particular colonial stereotype of Galician sentimentality. Through a close reading of the main texts of Galician literary history, I have been able to show that the stereotype of Galician sentimentality has helped sustain the unequal power relation between Galician and Spain. These findings are instrumental for a new understanding of contemporary Iberian cultures as forming a postcolonial enclave, where different national cultures and imaginaries compete for power and cultural hegemony.
Exploitation Route Three main areas of analysis in my project are currently enabling further research, work both in Galician and Iberian Studies:
1) My historical account of how the trope of Galician sentimentality has been forged out of Galician/Spanish cultural relations has enabled scholars in Galician Studies to investigate what possible manifestations of this trope have also appeared in Galician literature, media and the visual arts. Researchers currently pursuing this line of work include: María Liñeira (Queen's College, Oxford University, Daniel Barreto (Vassar College), Neil Anderson (Texas Tech University).
2) My hypothesis, as laid out in my English-language monograph, that the trope of Galician sentimentality has functioned as one of the pillars of political and cultural consensus in Galicia after the Transition into democracy is currently being tested and developed by several other colleagues in Hispanic Studies, including Joseba Gabilondo (Michigan State University) and Luisa Elena Delgado (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).
3) An essential part of my research findings are applicable to a new feminist understanding of Galicia's national construction and how a particularly masculine definition of the nation has limited the role of women in this process. This line of work is currently being investigated by researchers such as María do Cebreiro Rábade (University of Santiago de Compostela), Manuela Palacios (University of Santiago de Compostela) and Jennifer Rodríguez (University of Liverpool).
Sectors Creative Economy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other

 
Description My Impact Plan for this project included an intensive portfolio of media engagement, as well as activities and publications destined for non-specialist audiences. I am confident that I have achieved the projected aims in this regard, and that impact activities for this project are still ongoing. I have published opinion pieces in the monthly magazine Novas da Galiza and in two issues issue of the Galician cultural magazine Luzes. I am particularly proud of the piece I wrote for the online daily Praza Pública, '12 propostas para despirolizar GZ', where I made an attempt at writing humorously about the many faces of the culture of homosociability in Galicia. The project's English-language monograph attracted the attention of some Galician media, mainly because it questions historically one of the stereotypes about Galician identity, i.e. Galicians' alleged tendency towards nostalgia or, as we call it, morriña. In December 2013 I was interviewed in the Galician blog for political thought 'Somos Ninguén', where I was asked to elaborate on several of the project's arguments. The main Galician daily 'La Voz de Galicia' covered the news of my book's publication in an article that was among the most-seen during the week of its publication and which triggered a really interesting string of readers' comments. On 26 December 2013 I was interviewed at the Galician breakfast radio programme, 'Galicia por Diante' and in March 2014 I was again interviewed for the Galician online TV channel 'Galiza Ano Cero'. The Galician-Portuguese translation of my book was published in December 2014 and remained the best sold book in Galician for three months (December 2015, January 2015, February 2015). In may 2015 the book was awarded the Best Essay Award of 2015 by the Association of Galician Writers. The book has now gone into its recond print run in Galician and I have been asked to present it in Bilbao (Febraury 2016)
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description Collaboration between PI and Department of Contemporary History at the University of the Basque Country 
Organisation University of the Basque Country
Department Department of Contemporary History
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Project PI is a participant investigator in the project "La experiencia de la sociedad moderna en España: Emociones, relaciones de género y subjetividades (siglos XIX y XX)" (The experience of modern society in Spain: Emotions, gender relations and subjectivities, 19th and 20th centuries), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness and the European Fund for Regional Development.
Collaborator Contribution This major research network comprises 26 researchers, of which 10 are doctoral students. The network includes scholars specialising in three fields mainly: gender studies, the history of emotions and orality studies. The award holder has been invoted on the strength of her research track record in the field of maculinties and emotions.
Impact No outputs yet, the funding has just been awarded.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Collaboration between PI and Research Network "Contested Identities: Cultural Dialogues between Small Nations", funded by The Royal Society of Edinburgh" 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution As core particpant researcher, I attend this networks meetings and events (Glasgow April 2016, April 2017), deliver keynote talks and contribute to the steering of relevant publications
Collaborator Contribution Funded by a grant from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the 'Contested Identities' project aims to bring together researchers based in Scotland who work on Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia. Contributions come from areas of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, including Anthropology, Cultural and Media Studies, Film and TV, Heritage and Museums, History, Literature and Theatre, Politics, Psychology, Sociolinguistics and Sociology. The Network meetings and research activities involve filmmakers, curators, writers, journalists, policy-makers (etc.), in collaboration with Beyond Borders Scotland, a not-for-profit organisation based in Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders. The organisation aims to create a vibrant international platform within Scotland, to break down borders between peoples, and help facilitate wider international cultural exchange, dialogue and reconciliation.
Impact None yet
Start Year 2015
 
Description Collaboration between PI and the Department of Contemporary History at the University of the Basque Country 
Organisation University of the Basque Country
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution On the strength of my research project on Galician identity from a feminist/postcolonial perspective, I was invited by Prof Nerea Aresti (University of the Basque Country) to deliver a presentation at a one-day symposium on new gender approaches to historiography. As a result an ongoing collaboration is now thriving between my institution and the University of the Basque Country, which has materialised in two main outcomes: Bangor's School of Modern Languages has hosted the funded research stay of a visiting PhD student in Basque Studies (September-December 2014); 2) I am currently preparing in conjunction with Prof. Nerea Aresti a special issue on masculinities and national discourses in Spain, to be submitted to an international peer reviewed journal.
Collaborator Contribution The University of the Basque country has funded the research visit of the PhD student in Basque Studies, Ms Ariane Martinez.
Impact See above.
Start Year 2014
 
Description 'Masculinidades e suxeito revolucionario' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a public workshop delivered at at cultural association in Vigo (Galicia) where I presented findings related to the Project, followed by a discussion.

The workshop explained a series of theoretical notions that are integral to my research on gender and national struggle, focusing on the Galician context at a time of heightened political repression on pro-independence activism.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://acboueva.blogaliza.org/files/2012/10/eutam%C3%A9nnavegar1.jpg
 
Description 'Nós e o que se di de nós' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited by the cultural magazine Luzes to write an opinion piece in their first issue. The susbcription base of this magazine is of about 900 readers, which would have the minimum number of people reading my article.

I have received personal communication from the magazine readers about how my article helped them understand the different national imaginaries in Spain in a different way.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.revistaluzes.com/artigos/numero-01/miguelez-carballeira-helena/nos-e-que-se-di-de-nos
 
Description 'O que quer dizer que Rosalia e de todos' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited by the Galician cultural magazine 'Novas da Galiza' to write an opinion piece on my project findings in relation to the canonical Galician author Rosalia de Castro. The magazine has a subscriber base of circa 900 readers, which would have been the minimum number of people reading my article.

I have received personal communications after publishing this article on how its content has changed individuals' view of the political uses of the legacy of Galician iconic author Rosalia de Castro. I am now included as one of the international experts on this author in the database created by the Galician cultural institution: Consello da Cultura Galega.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.novasgz.com/pdf/arevista57.pdf
 
Description A morriña galega, un mito nacido no XIX 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The main Galician daily, La Voz de Galicia, published the news of the publication of my book, as well as of the first book launch I conducted at the University of Vigo in November 2013. Their article remained among the most seen ten articles during the week of its publication.

The publication of this article in the newspaper's online version elicited a string of comments from the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia/sociedad/2013/11/13/morrina-galega-mito-nacido-xix/0003_201311G...
 
Description Book discussion on Galician translation of my monograph in Bilbao 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A Galician association based in Bilbao (the Basque Country Spain) asked me to deliver a talk/discussion on my book "Galiza, um povo sentimental? (2014). I gave an introduction to the book's contents, which was followed by a lively discussion on its implications for contemporary Galician culture and politics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.facebook.com/galizaleak/photos/a.1527695074150845.1073741828.1495010767419276/1655080638...
 
Description Book launch of Galician translation of project monograph atBarcelona's Centre for the Study of Non-State Cultures (CIEMEN) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The prestigious "Centre internacional Escarre per a les Minories Etniques i les Nacions" invited the project PI to present her monograph "Galiza, um povo sentimental?' at the Centre on the 22 of March 2016. Miguelez-Carballeira was intriduced by the Galician Studies scholar Dr Sonia Varela (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) and the Catalan parlamentarian Eulalia Reguant (member of the Catalan pro-independence party). The event was attended by ca. 20 people, including university scholars, students and members from the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ciemen.cat/2016/03/22/presentacio-del-llibre-galiza-um-povo-sentimental/
 
Description Extended online interview (published bilingually in Catalan and English) about research project by Catalan political affairs magazine "Nationalia" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Catalan onlien political affairs magazine "nationalia" requested to interview project PI on matters related to her research on Spain's non-state natiosn and independence processes. The interview includes an explicit reference to the project's monograph and its reception in Galicia, Spain and internationally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nationalia.info/interview/10810/the-country-of-countries-which-podemos-is-calling-for-har...
 
Description Interview for Galician online TV channel 'Galiza Ano Cero' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Fifty-minute online interview on the contents of the project's major research outcome (monograph: Galicia, A Sentimental Nation).

The interview covered topics that are integral to my research and for which I am now considered the main specialist, i.e: postcolonial and gender approaches to Galician/Spanish relations. According to the figures provided to me by the online tv platform r
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Interview on Galician radio breakfast show 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was interviewed on the public Galician radio, during a prime time breakfast show, to dicuss the contents of my English-language book.

Members from the radio audience personally comunicated to me their interest in my interview and how it has made them think about the stereotype of Galician sentimentality in a different way.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.crtvg.es/rg/destacados/galicia-por-diante-galicia-por-diante-do-dia-26-12-2013-722144
 
Description Seminar at the University of Barcelona's seminar series in Galician Studies "Non so Rosalia" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact During my stay in Barcelona in March 2016, I was invited by the director of the Centre Dona i Literatura, Dr Helena Gonzalez, to deliver a seminar as part of the Seminar Series in Galician Studies "Non so Rosalia", jointly organised by the university of Barcelona and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Staff and students from both institutions attended the event, as well as members form the public with an interest in Galicia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Unha ducia de propostas para despirolizar GZ 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited by the Galician online newspaper Praza Publica to contribute to their popular article series 'A Dozen Proposals'. I chose to focus my contribution on 12 proposals to end sexist cultural practices in Galicia. My article was widely shared on social media and it was announced as the most-seen article of the series in 2013.

This online publication has had considerable impact. Several writers and cultural commentators have used my proposed terminology in order to criticise various aspects of Galician cultural sexism.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://praza.gal/ducia/48/propostas-para-despirolizar-gz/