National and Individual Memories in Spanish Urban Society and Landscapes


Spanish/Portuguese / Cultural Studies and Media Studies

Monserrat Garcia (Georgetown University)

Alexandra Mira Alonso (Georgetown University)

Since Foucault conceptualized the notion of “heterotopy” as those ephemeral or stable places in relation to the parameters of exclusions of the dominant groups, the emergence of the internet and social media has further transformed traditional heterotopias. Spanish cinema and television shows challenge our ideas about nostalgia, loss, memory, and identity and how the country faces them today, often linking those concepts to urban spaces. Recent TV shows such as El Ministerio del Tiempo (2015-) or last Almodóvar’s film Dolor y Gloria (2019) address collective and individual processes of remembering and historical facts by linking them to physical places—public as well as private—and are also reimagining the way in which memory is dependent on and projected onto the locus of the city or a specific place.

This panel explores topographies of memory and architecture as a powerful force for cinematic storytelling, cityscapes’ psychosis, etc. As part of the special session, we are looking for contributions examining and analyzing diverse relationships between cinema, television, architecture, and memory and their links with contemporary Spanish media and identity. Submissions in English and Spanish, although we recommend the latter.