Al-Andalus in Spanish and Moroccan Identity

Episode 30 with Eric Calderwood

Medieval Muslim Iberia, known as al-Andalus, and Morocco have connections dating back centuries, but how did al-Andalus shape debates about national identity in modern Spain and Morocco? Prof. Eric Calderwood finds answers in the Spanish colonial project in Morocco beginning in the 19th century. Bringing together the seemingly unrelated threads of Spanish propaganda during the Hispano-Moroccan War, regional nationalist ideas and the Franco regime’s efforts to win support in Morocco, Calderwood tells a fascinating story of unexpected consequences that culminates in Moroccan nationalists taking up ideas originating with Spanish colonizers.

The Episode

The Guest

Eric Calderwood is an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2011.  He is the author of Colonial al-Andalus: Spain and the Making of Modern Moroccan Culture (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2018), which won the 2019 L. Carl Brown AIMS Book Prize in North African Studies, received Honorable Mention for the 2019 Nikki Keddie Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association, and won Silver Medal for the 2020 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies.  The book has been translated into Spanish as Al Ándalus en Marruecos (Cordoba: Almuzara, 2019).  Calderwood’s scholarly articles have recently appeared in PMLA, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, and The Journal of North African Studies.  In addition to his academic publications, he has contributed essays and commentary to such venues as NPR, the BBC, Foreign Policy, and McSweeney’s Quarterly.  His faculty webpage is:

Suggested Reading

  • Civantos, Christina.  The Afterlife of al-Andalus: Muslim Iberia in Contemporary Arab and Hispanic Narratives.  Albany: State University of New York Press, 2017.
  • Elinson, Alexander E.  Looking Back at al-Andalus: The Poetics of Loss and Nostalgia in Medieval Arabic and Hebrew Literature.  Leiden: Brill, 2009.
  • Glasser, Jonathan.  The Lost Paradise: Andalusi Music in Urban North Africa.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.
  • González Alcantud, José Antonio, ed.  La invención del estilo hispano-magrebí: Presente y futuros del pasado.  Barcelona: Anthropos, 2010.
  • Madariaga, María Rosa de.  Marruecos: ese gran desconocido.  Breve historia del protectorado español.  Madrid: Alianza, 2013.
  • Martin-Márquez, Susan.  Disorientations: Spanish Colonialism in Africa and the Performance of Identity.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.
  • Mateo Dieste, Josep Lluís.  La “hermandad” hispano-marroquí: Política y religión bajo el Protectorado español en Marruecos.  Barcelona: Bellaterra, 2003.
  • Miller, Susan Gilson.  A History of Modern Morocco.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • Stenner, David.  Introduction to “Mediterranean Crossroads: Spanish-Moroccan Relations in Past and Present.”  Special issue, The Journal of North African Studies 24.1 (2019): 7-16.  doi:10.1080/13629387.2018.1459089
  • Wyrtzen, Jonathan.  Making Morocco: Colonial Intervention and the Politics of Identity.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015.

Other Resources

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