A Dangerous Romance: Spain, France, and Orientalist Cultural Spectacles

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2006

Project Description/Abstract

I will conduct research for my second book, Globalization, Topographies of Desire, and Fetishism in Spanish Film and Arts: Transgressing Cultural Spectacles of Gender and Nation. I develop an original exploration of orientalism as it informs Spain’s conflictual relation to Europe, its Latin American colonies, and its own syncretic body politic. I examine Spain’s orientalizing by Europe, and especially France, as a sultry, “foreign” space more African than European--due to its eight-century “infiltration” by suspect Semitic, Middle Eastern, North African foreigners--as against a more civilized, socialized Europe’s uncensored Id. Analogously, both imperial and fascist Spain fetishizes and abjects its own heterogeneous “foreign bodies”—Moorish/Semitic/gypsy/unruly femininity embodied by Carmen--while also marketing these icons/figures/fantasies for consumption. I will conduct archival research in Paris and Barcelona that sheds light upon this orientalism in interwar avant-garde circles, Francoist culture, and post-Francoist art, and interview Spanish artists who reconsider and contest orientalism.

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