Anglo-American Hispanists and the Spanish Civil War: by Sebastiaan Faber (auth.)

By Sebastiaan Faber (auth.)

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Gray of New York University, Samuel Guy Inman of the University of Pennsylvania, and Wesley A. 33 In May, Joseph B. ”34 Among the most vocal supporters of Franco in the American public sphere was Dr. Joseph F. Thorning, Professor of Sociology and Social History at Mount St. 35 Given this involvement of intellectuals and academics, the almost complete absence of American Hispanists in the widespread public discussions over Spain is striking. Hispanists not only shunned participation in the nationwide debates on Spain, however—they even 46 A NGLO -A MERICAN H ISPANISTS AND THE S PANISH C IVIL WAR avoided discussing the war in their professional circles.

The discipline’s evolution is associated with numerical growth and an intensification of rigor, objectivity, discipline, and level of specialization. As the discipline matured, the story goes, it gradually shed its amateurism, ideology, and prejudice. 41 This kind of self-congratulatory account is not limited to literary studies. In their introduction to Spanish History since 1808 (2000), José Álvarez Junco and Adrian Shubert construct a similar narrative with reference to Spanish historiography.

Moreover, we are supposed to be Americans, not Spaniards. We have no business to allow our feelings about international questions, or our sympathy for one or the other side in a foreign civil war, to divide us as Americans so fundamentally that we can speak or even think of each other in bitter terms. It is our first duty to be Americans, champions of American rights and interests. (95) Doyle is not proposing a restriction on free speech—everyone has the right to express their opinion on international issues, even if they do so in an inflammatory way.

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