Department of Modern Languages and Cultures

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Image of Juliet Gryspeerdt

Juliet Gryspeerdt

Teaching Associate in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies,


Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

Representing Al-Andalus: The Contribution of Travel Writing, Regionalist Writing and Oral Traditions to Iberian Cultural Memory

Research Summary

Al-Andalus is the Arabic name for Muslim-occupied Spain and Portugal during the medieval period, the borders of which shifted considerably over the centuries. Today the name evokes not only the place but such aspects as the presence of three Abrahamic religions, and a cultural flourishing of philosophy, architecture, poetry and learning.

This project focuses on how the cultural memory of Al-Andalus developed in the late modern era, focusing particularly on the nineteenth century with its currents of romanticism and orientalism. Travel writing and regionalist writing about southern Spain and Portugal will be examined, as well as the contribution of oral traditions to written cultural productions.

Key to the theoretical approach will be Michael Rothberg's concept of 'multidirectional memory' (Rothberg 2009) which argues that memory is 'subject to ongoing negotiation, cross-referencing, and borrowing'; it is 'productive and not privative' and has an 'intercultural dynamic'.[1]

One of the aims of the project is to examine the contrast between the internationalisation of Spanish Al-Andalus, and the relative obscurity of Portuguese Al-Andalus in the Portuguese, European and international psyche.

Among the key issues to be explored is the relationship between the foreign gaze of travel writers, the domestic gaze of regionalist writers, and the representation of Al-Andalus in nineteenth-century tourism.

As well as Memory Studies, this project will draw on Postcolonial theory, Travel Writing theory, and Landscape, Space and Place.

[1] Rothberg, Michael, Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009), p.3.

Research Interests

· Nineteenth century travel writing about Iberia

· Twentieth century travel writing about Iberia

· Spanish internal travel writing and regionalist writing

· Portuguese internal travel writing and regionalist writing

· Al-Andalus and its representations

· Al-Andalus in oral tradition

· Al-Andalus in tourism

· Cultural memory of Al-Andalus

Research Supervisor/s

Dr Jean Andrews

Dr Rui Miranda

Professor Timothy Youngs

Primary Funding Source/s

AHRC Midlands 3 Cities Doctoral Training Partnership

Academic History

BA Joint Honours French and Spanish, University of Oxford

MSc Translating and Conference Interpreting, Heriot-Watt University

MA Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, King's College London

Additional Information

Former Senior Translation Project Manager

Department of Modern Languages and Cultures

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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