Global Avant – gardes in the Spanish and Lusophone Speaking World: A Decentred and Social Network Approach

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Diana Roig Sanz
Laura Fólica


For decades, debate over the centre – periphery model, dominant over dominated, North versus South has raged amongst scholars, and a consensus on the role of Southern Europe and non – European regions in modern cultural processes has been established. New modernist studies moved beyond a Euro – US American – centred view and consider global modernisms instead. However, studies addressing the transnational nature of modernism tend to deal with Anglo – American, French, or German modernism, overlooking global Spanish and Lusophone avant – garde as a research object. This paper proposes to use some examples related to the deve¬lopment of modern cultural processes in the Spanish – and Lusophone speaking world to push forward the theoretical and conceptual discussion on how to entangle cultural transfer and global literary studies in a dialogue that can include new analytical categories to grasp the trans – regional, trans – historical and trans – cultural realities of other spaces beyond North America and Central Europe. Specifically, I will test the agency of Ibero – American cultural mediators (Spain, Portugal, and Latin America) being active individuals or collective agents (in literary journals, translation or cultural institutions) to examine how the experience of movement and the formation of social historical networks impacted in the production and distribution of knowledge. All the examples are grounded on the following assum¬ptions: 1) an understanding of global literary history as decentred, dynamic, and characterized by multiple spaces where cultural goods flow and circulate in different directions and channels; 2) a flexible comprehension of time that allows us to work with multiple temporalities and non – linearity; 3) a multi – scale analysis of cultural mediators with a special focus on women, and 4) the study of movements (physical and intellectual), networks, connectivity, intersections, and their resulting effects, that can be measured in terms of relations, impact, success, or failure. In this respect, I will show how Ibero – American mediators questioned this centre and periphery dynamic, as well as built a transnational and mobile elite, helping them revitalize European culture, but also their local milieu.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Global Avant – gardes: Centre, Periphery and Beyond