The Philippines and Equatorial Guinea in the Spanish Literary Production of the Early Francoism (1939-1955). 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023


This dissertation project will investigate the representations of race and gender in a selected corpus of Spanish literary works about the Philippines and Equatorial Guinea. These works were written during the early Francoism (1939-1959), a period in which Equatorial Guinea was still a Spanish territory while the Philippines, not a Spanish colony any longer, was the object of imperial nostalgia in Spain. Recent studies have examined the existence of a colonial consciousness in Spanish modern literature although imperialistic dreams became especially pervasive during the Francoist period. At that time, the idea of the former Empire became an organizing symbol of Spanish nationalism and agglutinated several groups with expansionist aspirations. The doctoral student would undertake this project in the context of larger research conducted by the promotor and co-promotor around Peninsular literary works about the Philippines and Equatorial Guinea written between the late 19th century and the independence of Equatorial Guinea in 1968. Studies about the intersections between Spanish (post)colonial identity and its cultural production have mostly concentrated on the portrait of Latin America, while Spanish literary works concerning former and current territories in Asia and Africa have been far less explored. Comparative approaches between the Spanish treatment of the Philippines and Equatorial Guinea are also scarce despite presenting significant parallels as peripheral colonies. Among other parallels, this dissertation will focus on the representations of race and gender, which in these two territories did not respond to the phenomenon of mestizaje developed in Latin America. As part of its analysis on racial representation, this dissertation will investigate how the discourse of La Hispanidad appeared in these literary works. A reactionary ideology deployed by Francoism, La Hispanidad was presented as an egalitarian spiritual community composed of the past and current Spanish colonial territories. This dissertation will explore how these literary texts racialized the colonial other and employed the rhetoric of La Hispanidad. It will examine the tensions, contradictions or rhetorical strategies derived of these discursive coexistence. For its theoretical framework, this dissertation will drew upon numerous scholarly works on gender, race and nationalism in colonial discourse (Burbank and Cooper 2010, Gilroy 1993, McClintock 1995, Stoler and Cooper 1997; Wilder 2007) as well as in recent scholarship (Fischer Tiné) that has remarked the relevance of undertaking colonial discursive analysis from the perspective of affect and emotion theories (Ahmed). The approach will combine a close and distant examination of representation in texts. The distant reading will be done with digital tools and the corpus will be digitized. As a first step, the student will perform a topic modelling of the corpus and then the student will proceed to do a close reading analysis to explain the results of the key topics obtained during the first step.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project