Date of Degree
Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures
Paul Julian Smith
European History | Other Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature
Galician Studies, Intellectual History, Luís Seoane, Modernism, Print Culture, Transatlantic Iberian Studies
My dissertation, Un Buenos Aires ibérico: Cultura impresa y modernidades divergentes en el exilio (1936-1959) –Iberian Buenos Aires: Print Culture and Diverging Modernity in Exile (1939-1959)–, analyzes print culture as a site of interaction between the intellectuals and artists exiled from the Spanish Civil War and the Argentinian Cultural Field. This doctoral research uses previously unpublished materials –with texts written in Spanish, Galician and Catalan, ranging from journalism and private correspondence to literary prose and drama; as well as graphic design, illustration and canvases– to engage with current conversations and debates in both the humanities and the general public about matters such as the construction of identity in the context of diaspora, the circulation of ideas and world views as a consequence of migratory movements, and the creation of international networks built on fraternity and solidarity. Based on this diverse body of sources, I argue that exiled intellectuals organic to peripheral Iberian nationalisms during the pre-war period played an influential role in the articulation of modern Argentinian culture during the 1940s and 1950s. At the same time, they took ideas from the debates on modernity that enriched the national cultures and nationalist thinking being shaped underground during Francoism in the Spanish state. Iberian Buenos Aires forges new paths for studying contemporary Iberian Literature and Culture by advocating for the study of modern Spain as the result of the interaction between the different national cultures coexisting within the country and interacting with communities overseas.
This approach is currently present in the U.S. academic context, due to the rise of Iberian Studies. However, there is still the need for articulating this approach with the conceptualization of national collectivities in the diaspora forced into exile by the Spanish Civil War. I am particularly interested in Galician culture in Buenos Aires, and the main reason for this focus are the possibilities offered to me by research using as a conducting thread the unique trajectory of the Argentinian-Galician intellectual Luís Seoane (1910-1979), who played a crucial role in both cultural fields. Seoane’s journey places him in what may be conceived as an intersection of different accents. Indeed, when the Argentinean-born Seoane returned to his country of origin, he did so as an exile from the Spanish Civil War. He and his republican colleagues occupied a position shared during the following decade by hundreds of citizens in the Argentine capital: as exiles seeking refuge from European fascisms. There, Seoane interacted with several networks of intellectuals, including the local anti-fascist cultural movement, the Jewish community in Buenos Aires, the already established Galician community, and the whole community of exiles from Franco’s Spain.
The activities performed by the multi-talented Seoane (artist, writer, journalist, editor, art critic) and the positions he held thanks to the recognition given him by the Argentinean intelligentsia are the starting point of this dissertation. In the first chapter of the dissertation, I explore the negotiations, misunderstandings, and appropriations that intellectuals such as Seoane or the catalan editor Joan Merlí –also studied in this dissertation– experienced because they remained organic to subaltern nationalisms while also taking part in a markedly supra-national movement such as European anti-fascism. In the following two chapters, I analyze how Seoane’s intellectual projects evolved in the modern Argentinean metropolis where cultural hegemonies were very different from those of Republican Spain, when, at the same time, cultural hegemonies were being renegotiated globally after the end of the World War II.
Garcia Martinez, Pablo, "Un Buenos Aires ibérico: Cultura impresa y modernidades divergentes en el exilio (1936-1959)" (2018). CUNY Academic Works.