Gibraltar: A Modern Borderland

Episode 43 with Sasha D. Pack

When we think of Gibraltar we think of the British enclave at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, but the straits of the same name encompass much more than a British rock. Sasha D. Pack, a professor of history at SUNY Buffalo and author of the recent book The Deepest Border: The Strait of Gibraltar and the Making of the Modern Hispano-African Borderland, traces the rise and fall of this paradigmatic borderland through examining some of the colorful characters and political intrigues that defined it. After getting a sense of the complicated political status of the region, we discuss tourism in the international city of Tangier and look at some examples of “slipstream potentates,” from a Moroccan bandit to a Spanish gangster. As part of our Historias at BSPHS project, this interview accompanies the review of the book by Benita Sampedro Vizcaya in the latest issue of the Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, and it is also part of our ongoing series on Spain & Morocco. 

The Episode

The Guest

Sasha D. Pack is Professor of History at the University at Buffalo (State University of New York), where he specializes in the history of modern Spain, the Mediterranean world, and the history of travel. He has published extensively on these topics, including two books: Tourism and Dictatorship: Europe’s Peaceful Invasion of Franco’s Spain (Palgrave, 2006), and The Deepest Border: The Strait of Gibraltar and the Making of the Hispano-African Borderland (Stanford, 2019). His current research is on travel and the making of modern Spain.

Suggested Readings

  • Calderwood, Eric. Colonial al-Andalus: Spain and the Making of Modern Moroccan Culture.Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018.
  • Clancy Smith, Julia. Mediterraneans: North Africa and Europe in the Age of Migration, c. 1800-1900 Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.
  • Mateo Dieste, Josep Lluís. La ‘hermandad’ hispano-marroquí. Política y religión bajo el Protectorado español en Marruecos, 1912-1956.Barcelona: Bellaterra, 2003.
  • Madariaga, Rosa María de. Marruecos. Ese gran desconocido.Madrid: Alianza, 2013.
  • Martin-Márquez, Susan. Disorientations: Spanish Colonialism in Africa and the Performance of Identity.New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.
  • Balfour, Sebastian. Deadly Embrace: Morocco and the Road to the Spanish Civil War.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Vilar, Juan Bautista. Los españoles en la Argelia francesa, 1830-1914.Murcia: CSIC, 1989.
  • Hertel, Patricia. The Crescent Remembered: Islam and Nationalism on the Iberian Peninsula.Brighton, UK: Sussex Academic, 2014.
  • Grocott, Crist and Gareth Stockey. Gibraltar: A Modern History.Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2012.
  • Payne, Stanley G. Franco and Hitler.New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.

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