This volume seeks to advance the conceptualization and definition of the field of Iberian and Latin American Transatlantic Studies with three goals in mind: to discuss its function within our pedagogical practices, to lay out its research methodologies, and to explain its theoretical underpinnings. One central aim of Transatlantic Studies: Latin America, Iberia, and Africa is to make the case for an understanding of transatlantic cultural history over the last two centuries that transcends national and linguistic boundaries, as well as traditional academic configurations, focusing instead on the continuities and fractures between Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, and Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Africa.
We have decided to limit the scope of this volume to the postcolonial period, that is, the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, in part due to the extensive transatlantic research that has already been done on the colonial period—including the comprehensive collection Theorising the Ibero-American Atlantic edited by Harald E. Braun and Lisa Vollendorf (2013)— but also to the epochal trends and patterns that can be ascertained around the Atlantic rim from the time of the first modern revolutions (1776–1821). The 35 essays comprising the present volume are geared towards an audience of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty colleagues who teach transatlantically oriented courses, and they cover nearly every decade in the last two centuries: from the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in the spring of 1808 and the subsequent movements of Latin American independence, through the transatlantic avant-garde, to current migration movements between Latin America, Africa, and the former Iberian metropoles. While each essay addresses a specific topic, our contributors also open up new questions for discussion and research, point to further readings, and suggest specific primary sources that can be used in the classroom.
Across the United States, an ever-increasing number of academic departments are incorporating Transatlantic Studies as a critical and productive approach to the fields of Latin American, Iberian, and Spanish and Lusophone African literary and cultural studies. A number of US-based university departments of Spanish and Portuguese have come to embrace Transatlantic Studies in their graduate programs as well. These include the University of South Carolina, University of Southern California (Dornsife), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern Florida, University of California, San Diego, the Ohio State University, Georgetown University, New York University, University of Oregon, and Brown University.