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Title: Representing city, nation and empire in twentieth-century Seville
Author: Gristwood, A.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2003
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This dissertation analyses the involvement of the urban landscape of Seville, Andalusia in the cultural politics of identity formation at different spatial scales in twentieth-century Spain. Two urban spectacles, the Iberoamerican Fair of 1929 and World’s Fair (Expo) of 1992, are used to show how projects of urban re-imaging may have significant implications for wider representational economies of regional or national myth-making. Their articulations of competing visions of the national and imperial past represent and constitute an important part of struggles over the location of Spanish culture and the definition of essential ‘Spanishness’. Three interrelated spatial scales - city, nation and empire - are investigated. Firstly, Seville itself acts as a space of representation for key imaginative geographies of ‘Spanishness’ whose place-images are deployed and transformed by the representational regimes of the two Fairs. Secondly, nationhood is put on spectacular display at the two Fairs as imagined community, territory and historical time are delimited and integrated to define the contemporary nation and its future aspirations. The 1929 Fair’s cultural essentialism is rooted in the nostalgic celebration of ‘hispanicity’, whilst Expo 1992 attempts to negotiate the polyvocality of a multiethnic state by embracing multiculturalism. Thirdly, I address imperialism’s impact on, and expression through, the contemporary cityscape at the two Fairs. The 1929 event’s nostalgic cartographies of empire construct racial harmony around metaphors of hierarchy, family and motherland, whereas the commemoration of ‘Discovery’ in 1992 attempts to repackage imperialism as technological progress within a common European heritage. The concerted orchestrations of memory by both these landscapes of national cohesion have been strongly contested by dissenting voices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available