The focus of this book is two-fold. First it traces the expansive geographical spread of the language commonly referred to as Spanish. This has given rise to multiple hybrid formations over time emerging in the clash of multiple cultures, languages and religions within and between great empires (Roman, Islamic, Hispano-Catholic), each with expansionist policies leading to wars, huge territorial gains and population movements. This long history makes Hispanophone culture itself a supranational, trans-imperial one long before we witness its various national cultures being refashioned as a result of the transnational processes associated with globalization today. Indeed, the Spanish language we recognise today was ‘transnational’ long before it was ever the foundation of a single nation state. Secondly, it approaches the more recent post-national, translingual and inter-subjective ‘border-crossings’ that characterise the global world today with an eye to their unfolding within this long trans-imperial history of the Hispanophone world. In doing so, it maps out some of the contemporary post-colonial, decolonial and trans-Atlantic inflections of this trans-imperial history as manifest in literature, cinema, music and digital cultures.
“This book will be a welcome and important contribution to the ongoing re-shaping of Modern Languages in the UK, with an appeal and impact that goes far beyond.”
Chris Harris, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University