During the 20th-century, Spaniards and African-Americans shared significant cultural memories forged by the profound impact that various artistic and historical events had on each other. Addressing three crucial periods (the Harlem Renaissance and Jazz Age, the Spanish Civil War, and Franco's dictatorship), this collection of essays explores the transnational bond and the intercultural exchanges between these two communities, using race as a fundamental critical category. The study of travelogues, memoirs, documentaries, interviews, press coverage, comics, literary works, music, and performances by iconic figures such as Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, and Ramón Gómez de la Serna, as well as the experiences of ordinary individuals such as African American nurse Salaria Kea, invite an examination of the ambiguities and paradoxes that underlie this relationship: among them, the questionable and, at times, surprising racial representations of blacks in Spanish avant-garde texts and in the press during the years of Franco’s dictatorship; African Americans very unique view of the Spanish Civil War in light of their racial identity; and the oscillation between fascination and anxiety when these two communities look at each other.
Rosalía Cornejo-Parriego received her PhD in Hispanic Literatures from Penn State University, and is currently Professor of Spanish at the University of Ottawa (Canada). She is the author of Entre mujeres. Política de la amistad y el deseo en la narrativa española contemporánea (Biblioteca Nueva, 2007) and the editor of the collection of essays, Memoria colonial e inmigración. La negritud en la España posfranquista (Bellaterra, 2007). She has also co-edited a 2010 special issue of the Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos entitled "Queer Space" and the collection of essays Un hispanismo para el siglo XXI. Ensayos de crítica cultural (Biblioteca Nueva, 2011). Her research project on women intellectuals in the press during Spain's Transition to democracy was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Part of this project is her edition of writer Ana María Moix's journalistic texts, Semblanzas e impertinencias (Laetoli, 2016). She was also editor-in-chief of the Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos (2014-2018).