International Relations Lecture Series
Dr. Akiko Tsuchiya, Professor of Spanish and of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
13 April, 2021
Topic: Historical Heritage & Racist Art
About Akiko Tsuchiya, PhD
More about Akiko on her University page.
Akiko Tsuchiya is Professor of Hispanic Studies at Washington University and an Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Equity. She received her Ph.D. in Hispanic Literatures from Cornell University. Her research and teaching interests include modern Spanish literature, women’s and gender studies, nineteenth-century women’s transnational literary and cultural networks, race and colonialism, slavery and antislavery, in the Hispanic world. Most recently, she has become engaged in public debates generated around monuments related to colonialism and slavery in Spain. Her recent books include, Marginal Subjects: Gender and Deviance in Fin-de-siècle Spain (U of Toronto P, 2011) and two co-edited volumes, Empire’s End: Transnational Connections in the Hispanic World (Vanderbilt UP, 2016) and Unsettling Colonialism: Gender and Race in the Nineteenth-Century Global Hispanic World (SUNY Press, 2019). She is currently working on a new book on Spanish women in the nineteenth-century antislavery movement and is a co-Principal Investigator of a collaborative research project, “Cultural Legacies of Slavery in Modern Iberia,” which will consist of a scholarly publication and a digital archive of sources related to slavery and its memory sites in the Iberian world.
Links to Dr. Tsuchiya’s recent books: Marginal Subjects: Gender and Deviance in Fin-de-siècle Spain (University of Toronto P, 2011) and two co-edited volumes: Empire’s End: Transnational Connections in the Hispanic World (Vanderbilt UP, 2016) and Unsettling Colonialism: Gender and Race in the Nineteenth-Century Global Hispanic World (SUNY Press, 2019).
About the Presentation
Combating the Legacies of Slavery & Colonialism in Public Spaces
Decolonial and Antiracist Initiatives in Contemporary Spain
The presentation will focus on racist and colonial monuments in Spain that have generated public debates in the past decade, at around the same time controversy was brewing in the US over the removal of Confederate monuments. For example, in March of 2018 the statue of the Spanish slave trader Antonio López y López, originally erected in Barcelona in the late nineteenth century, was dismantled through the popular demand of leftist labor unions and anti-racist groups. Similar controversies have unfolded over the Columbus monuments in Madrid and Barcelona, although they still remain in place. The first part of the presentation will address the questions that these controversies have raised about the politics of memory and representation in contemporary Spain, as the nation finally begins to reckon with its racist and colonial history. The second part will focus on recent artistic and cultural initiatives, whose aim has been to refigure the memory sites of slavery and colonialism, and to transform the ways in which the community experiences history in public spaces.