Global Removal, Forced Labor, and Subjectivity in the Late Spanish Empire: The Transportation of Identity


As other imperial powers rose to the fore over the long nineteenth century, Spain sought to secure its remaining overseas possessions by deploying de facto penal colonies to syphon off nationalist activists, transporting them from one corner of the global empire to another. This practice, however, had some unintended consequences, as deportees encountered an extraordinarily diverse range of Spanish subjects, and were forced to “place” themselves, strategize politically, and in some cases forge novel alliances in their new circumstances. This paper will focus on narratives published by Cubans deported to the West African island of Fernando Poo from 1869 until the end of the century, exploring their appropriation of a number of existing discursive frameworks (the Black Legend; the Middle Passage; convivencia) to characterize their experiences and renegotiate their identities.

Speaker:  Professor Susan Martin-Márquez, Rutgers University


The Long History of Identity, Ethnicity and Nationhood

Contact name: Dr Elisabeth Bolorinos Allard

Contact email:

Audience: Open to all