Spanish Lessons: Reflections on el 23-F and other Spanish Coup Attempts in the Aftermath of the January 6th Insurrection

This article examines historical parallels between a series of related coups that took place during the 20th century in Spain and the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. It pays particular attention to el 23-F, a failed coup that involved an assault on Spain’s El Congreso de los Diputados on February 23, 1981, and interrogates the content and appeal of its official narrative. Cultural memories of that coup—which flashed up in the wake of January 6th and were mobilized a month later by the Spanish state during commemorations of its 40th anniversary—are posited as Freudian “screen memories” that block recall of more traumatic memories that have been displaced upon them, such as the 1936 coup that ignited the Spanish Civil War. The 1932 coup known as “La Sanjurjada” is also considered in conjunction with the coup it foreshadowed for the lessons they offer to the present global political crisis, the depths of which the January 6th insurrection signified. To that end, the article also draws historical parallels between Francoism and Trumpism and argues that the marginalization of Spain in European studies and world history has contributed to the absence of such comparisons even though they might be more productive than those routinely made between Trumpism and Nazism or Italian Fascism.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn Arrives in Spain: The Gulag Debate and the Transition to Democracy

This article aims to analyze the scandal sparked by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn during his stay in Spain in 1976, when he gave an interview on National TV arguing that Spaniards did not know what a dictatorship was. It will show how the scandal was connected with the convulsive Spanish political context and how the different participating actors blamed or praised Solzhenitsyn depending on the political side they occupied and the project they implicitly wanted for Spain. The controversy took place on the pages of newspapers and magazines whose analysis can help us better identify the diverse political groups that concurred after the death of the dictator. The dispute provoked by Solzhenitsyn brought to light many issues of Spanish political culture, such as the Spanish Civil War, the communist experience or the various conceptions of democracy. Analyzing all these elements, the article aims to give a broad view of Spanish political culture and how Solzhenitsyn’s example had a significant force given the historical conditions the country was going through.

Spanish Inquisitors, Etiquette Culture, and the Brain in the 17th Century

Suggestions to Granada inquisitors and royal judges locked in a 1678 dispute over public courtesies included a series of ambivalent movements to break the impasse. Whether we think of half-bows, moving only one knee if greeted while praying, and even appearing to get up from chair without actually doing so, these subtle gestures were typical of a mannered habitus informing ceremonial etiquette. Considering Spanish inquisitors during the seventeenth century, this article employs an interdisciplinary analysis of the intersection between brain, body, and culture in the formation of such a gestural habitus. After all, seeing and doing precise etiquette gestures brought neurophysiological process, such as visual perception, motor control and social cognition, into interaction with broader expectations and institutional cultures. Ultimately, even in the midst of changing gestural codes and social epistemologies, the inquisitorial performance of etiquette was built on the daily iteration of neurophysiological processes embedded in tribunal life itself.

Review of Raúl Rodríguez-Hernández and Claudia Schaefer, The Supernatural Sublime: The Wondrous Ineffability of the Everyday in Films from Mexico and Spain

Review of Francisco J. Leira Castiñeira, Soldados de Franco: Reclutamiento forzoso, experiencia de guerra y desmovilización militar

Review of Richard Meyer Forsting, Raising Heirs to the Throne in Nineteenth-Century Spain: The Education of the Constitutional Monarch

Review of Rafael Climent-Espino and Ana M. Gómez-Bravo, eds., Food, Texts, and Cultures in Latin America and Spain

Review of Alex Borucki, David Eltis, and David Wheat, eds., From the Galleons to the Highlands: Slave Trade Routes in the Spanish Americas