What is al-Andalus (Islamic Spain) and how does one define it? The answer to this question varies based on who makes a claim to this heritage, whether they are Arab/non-Arab Muslims, Jews, or Spanish/European Christians. As a result, Islamic Spain, in the words of María Rosa Menocal, has been relegated to scholarship along “single-language lines.”
This panel aims to bring these “single-language lines” together and question the institutionalized, i.e. Eurocentric, paradigms and/or explore alternative narratives surrounding the literary culture and history of Islamic Spain. Rather than adhering to the discourse that this period, which lasted from 711 to 1492, was either a time of convivencia or reconquista, this seminar seeks papers that highlight the assortment of voices that represent medieval Spain or draw upon this past in order to understand, reexamine, or rewrite preexisting narratives of Spanish, North African, Arab, Jewish history, among others. Relying upon Homi Bhabha’s notion of the “third space,” our goal is to gain a more nuanced understanding of the history of Islamic Spain, a region that is rarely discussed in European or Middle Eastern literatures, through multilingual approaches and methodologies.