Imagining Catalonia After 1898: Cuban-Catalan Relations In The 20Th And 21St Centuries

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This dissertation theorizes the nature of the cultural and political relationship between Cuba and Catalonia in the contemporary context. Rather than tracing a linear history, this project explores Catalan-Cuban connections in their multifaceted, fragmented, and shifting aspects from the 19th through the 21st centuries, across a broad range of expressions of culture. In my first chapter, "Modernisme Caribeny in Cuba as an Expression of Catalanitat," I show how Modernisme marked Catalan national space in Cuba and how 1898 begins a new Cuban-Catalan epoch, characterized by the development of political ideology and greater mutual influence. The second chapter, "Listening for the Revolution After the Revolution: Silence and Noise in Manuel Vázquez Montalbán's Y Dios entró en La Habana (1998)," examines Vázquez Montalbán's late piece, Y Dios entró en La Habana, in which he describes the visit of Pope John Paul II to Cuba and presents unique commentary on revolution and contemporary Cuba. My third chapter, "(Re)Imagining a National Project: The Rise of Cuban Nationalism in Carme Riera's Cap al cel obert (2000)," scrutinizes mid-nineteenthcentury relations between Cuba and Catalonia and how Carme Riera (Palma, 1948) reworks this historical relationship in the context of the late twentieth century in her novel Cap al cel obert (2000). Her nuanced manipulation of the historical CatalanCuban connection reveals certain attitudes about contemporary Catalan national identity. The final chapter, "Locating the Catalan Nation in the Twenty-First Century: Immigration and Exile in Contemporary Barcelona," examines the photography of Enlloc (2005) by Juan Pablo Ballester. Ballester portrays identity in exile; however, his use of the Catalan term and his treatment of Catalan symbols depict the challenges of immigration to Catalonia in the twenty-first century. Ballester's establishment of a Catalan "Nowhere" re-enacts cultural and political conflict, even as it seeks to go beyond it. Overall, my research demonstrates how Cuba has affected Catalan identity and politics in the contemporary period in a greater capacity previously indicated by the scholarship, and moreover, that the importance to Catalonia that Cuba held in its colonial struggle against Spain has been re-imagined in literature and arts through the present day.
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Cuba; Catalonia; Transatlantic Studies; Carme Riera; Manuel Vxc3xa1zquez Montalbxc3xa1n; Juan Pablo Ballester; Catalan Modernisme
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Castillo, Debra Ann
Committee Co-Chair
Resina, Joan Ramon
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Gilgen, Peter
Aching, Gerard Laurence
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Romance Studies
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Ph. D., Romance Studies
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Government Document
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dissertation or thesis
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