CFP: Reel Iberia (March 27-28, 2020)

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    Eric Calderwood

    Dear members of the Global Hispanophone Forum:

    I’m writing to let you know about an exciting conference that I’m organizing with my colleague Javier Irigoyen-García.  The conference, scheduled for March 2020, will explore film and television representations of Iberian history.  We are hoping for a diverse group of papers, covering many geographic areas and historical periods.  For members of this forum, I want to highlight that we’re particularly interested in papers that address Spain’s relationship (past and present) with Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  I’ve pasted the full CFP below. Please consider submitting an abstract for the event!


    Eric Calderwood



    “Reel Iberia: Media Representations of the Iberian Past”

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, March 27-28, 2020

    In recent decades, Iberian history has often been represented in film and television, not only in Spain and Portugal but also in North Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and other geographic contexts. This trend speaks to the cultural diversity of Iberian history, which contains elements and episodes that appeal to diverse audiences and constituencies: the idealization or demonization of a mythical al-Andalus that serves as a stage for the coexistence between Jews, Muslims, and Christians; the rise and decline of the Spanish and Portuguese empires; the colonization of the Americas; and the Spanish Civil War as a prelude for World War II and the fight for democracy, to name only a few salient examples. Between nostalgic idealization and demonization, the way we imagine the Iberian past reveals our own ideological coordinates and our efforts to respond to questions of religious and cultural hegemony as well as racial and national identity.

    This conference explores how contemporary audiovisual representations of Iberian history have been produced and consumed in the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. Reel history either reflects nostalgia for a past of grandeur or rejects it as a burdensome legacy that is perceived as incompatible with modernity. But historical representations are primarily interventions in contemporary debates, such as immigration, sexual and civil rights, or cultural identity. Stories about the past tell us a lot about the present.

    Proposals for presentations of 20 minutes that address any of these or related questions will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary organizing committee. Papers that consider audiovisual representations of history as social and political interventions are especially welcome. The conference language is English.

    Please send a 250-500 word abstract along with a 1-page CV by September 1, 2019 to the organizers:

    Javier Irigoyen-García (Department of Spanish and Portuguese):

    Eric Calderwood (Comparative & World Literature):

    For more information, visit

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