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Rethinking ‘Identities’

Cultural Articulations of Alterity and Resistance in the New Millennium

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Lucille Cairns and Santiago Fouz-Hernandez

This volume sets out to re-imagine the theoretical and epistemological presuppositions of existing scholarship on identities. Despite a well-established body of scholarly texts that examine the concept from a wide range of perspectives, there is a surprising dearth of work on multiple, heterogeneous forms of identity. Numerous studies of ethnic, linguistic, regional and religious identities have appeared, but largely in isolation from one another.
Rethinking ‘Identities’ is a multi-authored project that is original in providing – in distributed and granular mode – a hyper-contemporary and wide-ranging applied analysis that questions notions of identity based on nation and region, language, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion or even ‘the human’. The volume achieves this by mobilizing various contexts of identity (gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nation) and medium (art, cinema, literature, music, theatre, video). Emphasizing the extreme contemporary (the twenty-first century) and the challenges posed by an increasingly global society, this collection of essays builds upon existing intellectual investigations of identity with the aim of offering a fresh perspective that transcends cognitive and geographical frontiers.
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Diego Santos Sánchez: Performing Nationhood: Theatre and Heterodox Identities in (Multi)National Spain

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← 162 | 163 → DIEGO SANTOS SÁNCHEZ

The Spanish State should be considered to be a multi-national state. Its 1978 Constitution grants a great degree of decentralization and regional power to its seventeen so-called ‘autonomous communities’. However, in the text these communities are referred to as regions and nationalities, without a clear statement on which fall under either label. This, in turn, implies that the former lie at the core of Spanishness while the latter are seen as more peripheral. Likewise, the Constitution set up the official status of the Catalan, Galician and Euskera languages in their respective territories. In so doing, the Constitution implied that Catalonia, Galicia and Euskadi (also referred to as the Basque Country) are nations within a broader state. However, the articulation of these national identities within a broader political entity has proved complex and has become central to twenty-first-century Spain. Theatre has not been alien to this process, and both centralist and peripheral voices have used it for their own purposes.

This chapter expands on configurations of national identity of these national communities through theatre. As a historical overview is paramount to understanding the current situation, a survey of the twentieth century will be provided. Materials of various kinds will afford insight into the changing relationship between theatre and nation up to the present moment. Although insights into the situation in the Second Republic and the post-1975 situation will be offered, the chapter will develop a deeper study of the situation during...

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