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Accepted Paper:

On the Periphery of Europe: Andalusian Muslims and Catholics in Contemporary Spain  
Shirley Veronica Anghel (Washington University in St. Louis)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyzes the interplay of aesthetic production, political activism, and religious practices in a contemporary Spanish movement that aims to recover Islamic legacies in present-day Spain, drawing on both the tools of literary-cultural analysis and ethnographic methodologies.

Paper long abstract:

Against the backdrop of a xenophobic Spanish public sphere, contemporary texts depicting migrations from the Middle East and North Africa to Spain such as Lourdes Ortiz's "Fátima de los naufragios" illustrate the role of class and gender in forging Muslim-Catholic solidarities. Narratives such as this one participate in what Charles Hirschkind calls andalucismo, a cultural and political movement whose participants - from intellectuals to musicians and writers -recuperate Andalusia's Islamic legacies obliterated through the racial-religious ideology that culminated in the expulsion of Muslims and Jews from Spain in 1492. Drawing on Hirschkind's insights, I analyze the role of class, gender, and faith in producing solidarities amongst working-class Andalusian Muslims and Catholics. Defiant of conservative iterations of Spanish history, these Andalusian Catholics located on the peripheries of Spain identify neither with the secular left, nor with the Christian right bent on defining Spain in opposition to Islam. Over and above a close reading, I aim for my analysis of texts such as Ortiz's to invite scholars to consider an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Islamic-Christian relations in contemporary Spain, one that combines the tools of literary analysis with the insights of anthropology. By tracing Muslim-Christian interactions, both literary and real, in the context of aesthetic collaborations and pro-immigrant activism taking place in contemporary Andalusia, I show how these figures work to create solidarities in ways that could be viewed as co-constituting a shared Mediterranean sensibility while unsettling linkages between religion and right-wing politics.

Panel P137b
Religion, Political Participation, and Civic Engagement
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -