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Title: Revisiting empire : the poetics and politics of Spanish contemporary representations of the Philippines
Author: Diaz Rodriguez, Jose Miguel
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This PhD thesis examines the different means through which Spain is revisiting its ex-colonial empire in the Philippines in the 21st Century. The turn of the century was an important time for Spanish international relations, as it marked the launch of a new set of foreign affairs policies towards Asia, which led to the implementation of three major political plans (2000, 2005 and 2009) for Spain to increase its visibility in Asia. This research analyses these plans, focusing on their cultural policies, which, in turn, leads to a discussion on the Spanish approach to cultural exchange in the Philippines, funding politics, and their consequences. In this context, focusing on 7 major exhibitions organised in the period 1998-2012, the ‘poetics’ (narratives and meanings) and ‘politics’ (institutional power) of those Spanish representations of the Philippines are examined. The main argument is that, even though Spain’s intention is to offer a fresh and updated look at the Philippines in exhibitions and cultural events, there is a tendency to refer back and recreate a colonial past. This implies the establishment of relationships based on an ambivalent view of the ‘other’ as both ‘familiar’ and ‘unknown’, characteristics that are closely connected to traditional colonial discourses. The focus on the ‘achievements’ of Spain as an ex-empire in Asia, and the non-problematised, non-conflicted representation of colonialism feeds into a political agenda in which Spain redefined its foreign affairs policies. Through revisiting the Philippines, Spain has represented itself as a nation with a long history in global politics. In this context, the Spanish processes of cultural representation can be understood as political tools, which are at the core of Spain’s intention of revisiting its old empire.
Supervisor: Dosch, Joern ; Barcia, Manuel ; Smith, Angel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available