In the Light of Medieval Spain

In the Light of Medieval Spain


SKU: 9781403983893


If the idea of the medieval has been widely deployed in the colonial and neocolonial West as a marker of cultural backwardness, the Anglo-American perspective has often regarded Spain as part of a historically underdeveloped world and as a late-comer to Protestant/Enlightenment traditions of democracy, tolerance, and progress. Yet the many cultural dimensions of medieval Iberia make it pressingly relevant to current critiques of western modernity. This volume, which brings into dialogue historians and literary scholars in medieval and modern Iberian cultures, interrogates the contemporary significance of the distant Spanish past, particularly in regard to tensions in the relationship between the West and Islam. Rejecting an illusory space of neutrality, the search for relevance is envisioned as an ethically and politically necessary form of inquiry. 

Simon R. Doubleday is Associate Professor of History, Hofstra University and Executive Editor of the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies. He is the author of The Lara Family: Crown and Nobility in Medieval Spain and co-editor of Border Interrogations: Crossing and Questioning the Spanish Frontier.

David Coleman is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History, Eastern Kentucky University and author of Creating Christian Granada: Society and Religious Culture in an Old-World Frontier City, 1492–1600, which won the 2004 Best First Book award from the Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies.

“The word light in the book’s title hints at the intention of the editors and the contributors alike, the desire to shine a new light on the history of Spain, a reconception that acknowledges the continuity and pertinency of its medieval past…This collection offers much material for debate and reflection, and the essays are well written, well edited, and well integrated with each other. This is an exceptional read.”–Sixteenth-Century Journal“The reviewer cannot begin to do justice (in the space allotted) to these thoughtful, boundary pushing and provocative essays, none of which would ever appear in Speculum. What binds them so as to warrant their publication together in a book? We can read them as a collection of case studies on the nexus of society and culture in medieval Iberia and modern Spain, the complex, slipppery relationship between past and present, and the textual and social agency of historical memory. The editors and authors are to be thanked for making medieval and early modern studies speak to a broader audience of humanists, not by facile analogy or drawing superficial parallels but rather by effectively employing critical vocabulary, theory, and thinking central to the broader trajectories of humanistic research today.”–Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos“What can we learn from the Spanish Middle Ages? After 9/11, the discourse on Spain’s multicultural medieval past—long the object of ideological use and abuse and, for most of the twentieth-century, at the heart of an intense Historikerstreit—is more politically charged than ever. This groundbreaking collection of essays offers a series of refreshingly new, daringly diverse, and boldly political ways of reading the Spanish Middle Ages today, making a forceful case for the continued relevance of Spanish history for our conflict-ridden world.”–Sebastiaan Faber, Professor of Hispanic Studies, Oberlin College and author of Anglo-American Hispanists and the Spanish Civil War
The Currency of the Past–Simon R. Doubleday * Juan de Segovia and the Lessons of History–Anne Marie Wolf * Reading Don Quijote in a Time of War–Leyla Rouhi * Memory and Mutilations: The Case of the Moriscos–Mary Elizabeth Perry * Expulsion from Paradise: Exiled Intellectuals and Andalusian Tolerance–Denise Filios * Ghostly Returns: The Medieval ‘Moor’ and the Contemporary Moroccan Immigrant–Daniela Flesler * Spain’s New Muslims: A Historical Romance–Lisa Abend * The Persistence of the Past in the Albaicín: Granada’s New Mosque and the Question of Historical Relevance–David Coleman * Postscript: Futures of Al-Andalus–Gil Anidjar

Additional information

Weight 1 oz
Dimensions 1 × 6 × 9 in