Research - Prof. dr. E. Helena Houvenaghel

Exile & Migration - Myth & History Rewriting

Networks & Routes

This project foregrounds the literary configuration of transnational spaces and transnational communities by women belonging to the Jewish and Spanish exile in Latin America. The configuration of transnational spaces and communities is grounded in the perception of a common identity and discourse based on cross-border (religious, cultural, ideological, linguistic) unifying features (Keck and Sikkink, 1998).

These spaces and communities form “transnational topographies” (Besserer 2004) on the basis of “the density and the frequency of community practices” in spite of the geographical distance that separates its participants. The daughters and granddaughters of both the Jewish and the Spanish exile occupy a liminal place which makes the creation of transnational topographies even more instrumental for these generations. Hence, this project dedicates special attention to the way second and third generation of exiles create and develop cross-border networks and routes in their literary work.

Although the project focuses on both 20th- and 21st-century writings, it adopts a transnational perspective (Schiller, Basch & Blanc-Szanton, 1992). Even if transnationalism is a recent concept which is associated with new technological means, the phenomenon to which it refers can be traced back far into the past (Green 2019). This insight has given rise to a re-definition of the concept which sees in today’s technological advances a favorable but not exclusive context for transnationalism (Green 2019: 64). The exchange of letters, the interaction in dialogic gatherings and the dynamics of associations of the 20th century were not less effective than today’s chats, Emails and blogs. Hence, the project’s main goal is to contribute to the historicization of transnationalism wihin the context of Jewish/Spanish exile in Latin America.

Axis 1: Rutas
Axis 2: Redes
Axis 3: Congress

Besserer, F.. 2004. Topografías transnacionales. Plaza y Valdés Editores.
Green, Nancy L. 2019. The Limits of Transnationalism. The University of Chicago Press.
Glick Schiller, N.; L. Basch y C. Szanton Blanc. 1992. “Transnationalism: A New Analytic Framework for Understanding Migration”. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 645 (1), pp. 1-24.
Keck, Margaret y Kathryn Sikkink. 1998. Activists Beyond Borders. Transnational Activist Networks. Cornell University Press.