University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Hispanic Research Seminars > 'Political Thought in Nineteenth-Century Spain: Second-Hand Ideas or Authentic National Creation?'

'Political Thought in Nineteenth-Century Spain: Second-Hand Ideas or Authentic National Creation?'

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This talk will explore Spain’s problematic relationship with Europe: a mixture of misleading opinions and wounded national pride. Since late eighteenth century, Spain found the image of herself mediated by broader European intellectual movements. What the Enlightenment had derided for being mere “backwardness” became celebrated by nineteenth-century Romanticism for being “picturesque” and “authentic”. Supported by this crucial shift in European perceptions, right-wing writers in Spain affirmed the naturally conservative and Catholic traits of the “true” Spanish people. Ideas which questioned this traditional characterisation of Spain were rejected on grounds of their “foreign” and “unrealistic” nature. Ultimately, this talk is a meditation upon the consequences of turning political thought into a banner of nationalism.

This talk is part of the Hispanic Research Seminars series.

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