Fakultät für Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften

The Literary and Philosophical Legacy of the Spanish Exile in Mexico

The network “The Literary and Philosophical Legacy of the Spanish Exile in Mexico” combines research from various disciplines on Spanish exile culture in Latin America after the end of the Second Spanish Republic; its specific focus lies on the dialogue between philosophy and literature, and a particular country. The choice of Mexico – among all Latin American countries – can be explained by the public fostering that the exile culture received here, which also helped create sustainable transdisciplinary institutions such as the Casa de España. Max Aub, José Gaos, and María Zambrano are also three authors who have already attracted a good deal of research; this is not the case of the other exiled authors in Mexico, nor with the dialogue of philosophy and literature.

The network will integrate researchers from Germany, Mexico, Great Britain, Spain, Sweden, and the USA, and incorporates several disciplines: in addition to literary studies and philosophy, we include the history of institutions and the history of science. In a series of three conferences, the members and their guests will address the following questions, which are all located at the crossing of the disciplines:

  • How does exile affect the institutional situation of literature and philosophy? What defines the limits between the disciplines, and what makes transitions possible? How does this work in the existing institutional structure in Mexico and how does this institutional network change due to the republican’s exile? These questions run down to an analysis of the history of publishers, magazines, and educational institutions, along with a discussion and comparison of programmatic and essayistic texts by the exiles and their Mexican contemporaries.
  • How is the “exile” itself thought, and what defines the figure of the “intellectual” in the culture of exile? This conference is a contribution to the history of two ideas that are central to the 20th century and that also appear in other regional contexts. The Spanish exile in Mexico offers new approaches (e.g. the concept of the “transterrado”), which are to be reconstructed in detail and compared with other relevant concepts of their time.
  • How is the understanding of “Spanish” literature and culture altered by the change of point of view caused by exile? How is the relationship between Europe and America conceived in Mexican exile and what significance do local traditions have for the culture of exile? The contributions of the exiles are to be reconstructed against the background of other theories of Latin American and Spanish literature or culture, and their specific contribution to this history of ideas is to be determined.

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