Between Distant Modernities: Performing Exceptionality in Francoist Spain and the Jim Crow South (Hardcover)

Between Distant Modernities: Performing Exceptionality in Francoist Spain and the Jim Crow South By Brittany Powell Kennedy Cover Image

Between Distant Modernities: Performing Exceptionality in Francoist Spain and the Jim Crow South (Hardcover)

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For centuries, Spain and the South have stood out as the exceptional "other" within U.S. and European nationalism, particularly during Franco's regime and the Jim Crow era when both violently asserted a haunting brand of national "selfhood." Brittany Kennedy explores this paradox not simply to compare two apparently similar cultures, but to reveal how we construct difference around this self/other dichotomy. Thereby Kennedy charts a transatlantic link between two cultures whose performances of "otherness" as assertions of "selfhood" enact and subvert their claims to exceptionality. Perhaps the greatest example of this transatlantic link remains the War of 1898, when the South tried both to extract itself from and be implicated in U.S. imperial expansion and nation-building; simultaneously, it marked the end of Spain as an imperial power. Given the War of 1898 as a climactic moment, Kennedy explores the writings of those that come directly after this period and who attempted to "regenerate" what was perceived as a "traditional" Spain and South in an agrarian past. That desire recurs over the century in novels from writers as diverse as William Faulkner, Camilo Jos Cela, Walker Percy, Eudora Welty, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Ralph Ellison. As these writers wrestle with ideas of Spain and the South, they also engage questions of how national identity is confirmed and contested. Mainly, Kennedy compares these cultures across the twentieth century to show the ways in which they perform national authenticity. Thus she explores not only Francoism and Jim Crow, but varied attempts to define nationhood via exceptionalism, suggesting a model of performativity that relates to other "exceptional" geographies.
Brittany Powell Kennedy is senior professor of practice in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University. Her work has appeared in Comparative Literature Studies, Intertexts, and the French Review.
Product Details ISBN: 9781628461978
ISBN-10: 1628461977
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Publication Date: January 15th, 2015
Pages: 236
Language: English