‘Convivencia’ and the limitations of a macro lens

From the Libro de ajedrez, dados tables – Alfonso X; Biblioteca de la Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid     Yes, I’m going back down the well-trodden path. Apologies in advance. Convivencia is probably the most contentious word in medieval Iberian studies. While debate around it and its usage has died down in recent […]

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The politicised rewriting of Spain’s colonial history

Engraving by Thierry de Bry, 1590 (British Library) An article was published in The Guardian earlier this year which reports on Spain’s newly-created Fundación Civilización Hispánica , an historical organisation founded by a select all-male group of businessmen, politicians, writers, journalists and academics. The organisation has simultaneously emerged alongside a new book by Borja Cardelús, once Spain’s […]

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Lope de Vega’s Muslims & the problem with “tópicos convencionales”

From Hadith Bayad (MS Arab. 368, Vatican Library)   I recently read a relatively new dissertation written on sixteenth and seventeenth century Spanish literature that depicts the Muslim, Moorish inhabitants of al-Andalus in the Middle Ages. In their analysis of one particular play, the author – unprompted and not quoting the original text – refers […]

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