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Transatlantic StudiesLatin America, Iberia, and Africa$
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Cecilia Enjuto-Rangel, Sebastiaan Faber, Pedro García-Caro, and Robert Patrick Newcomb

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620252

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620252.001.0001

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Triangulating the Atlantic: Blanco White, Arriaza, and the London Debate over “Spain”

Triangulating the Atlantic: Blanco White, Arriaza, and the London Debate over “Spain”

(p.178) Chapter Fifteen Triangulating the Atlantic: Blanco White, Arriaza, and the London Debate over “Spain”
Transatlantic Studies

Pedro García-Caro

Liverpool University Press

Challenging the epic nationalist academic framework built around tropes of national origins, colonial emancipation, and independence, this study looks at the early articulation of alternate definitions of Hispanicity and of Spain’s wrestling role within its cultural and economic colonial network. At stake here is the instability between Spain as a signifier and its plural signifieds: through the many issues of “el Español,” José Blanco White sought to resignify “lo español” ie Spanishness as a plural Transatlantic network of cultural connections through the image of a decentralized confederation, a full enfranchisement of criollos, and a questioning of colonial logics which included a refutation of slavery and of peninsular preeminence. Poet and propagandist Juan Bautista Arriaza, by contrast, mobilized a series of tropes (metaphors, allegories, hyperboles) which signified Spain as uniquely peninsular, and redefined Creole agency as subaltern and peripheral, thus reinstating a Eurocentric colonial agenda at a time when the metropolitan Bourbon state had been entirely overwhelmed. The theoretical shift of a postnational Transatlantic Studies with its emphasis on circulation and transit – its inherent challenge of the national epistemic frame – recasts this debate no in nationalist terms but historically within the new network of neocolonial cultural and commercial flows where London had become a prominent metropolis.

Keywords:   Hispanism, Nationalism, Pan-Hispanism, José Blanco White, Latin American Independence, Criollos, Eurocentrism, 1812 Cádiz Constitution, British Colonialism, Juan Bautista Arriaza, London

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