2017. November 10th. New Research on Galician Migrations: Half-Day Symposium

10 Nov 2017

November  – ORB. 124


1.45-2.00 Welcome and Introduction

Martín Veiga (Director, Irish Centre for Galician Studies)

2:00-3:00 Galician New York: Migration, Exile, Globalisation

David Miranda-Barreiro (Prifysgol Bangor/Bangor University)

3:00-3:30 Coffee Break

3:30-4:30 Film Screening and Discussion

Apuntamentos para un filme, directed by Margarita Ledo Andión

(48 min. Documentary, 2012). In Galician

4:30-5:30 Migrants, Transmigrants and Postmigrants: the New Galician Diaspora at an Age of Crisis

María Alonso Alonso (University of Edinburgh)

5:30 Closing Remarks and Reception


Galician New York: Migration, Exile, Globalisation

David Miranda-Barreiro (Prifysgol Bangor/Bangor University)

This seminar will examine the case of Galician migration and exile to New York City and the literary accounts of this experience. Whereas the displacement of Galician population to South America has been the object of extensive research, little attention has been given to the presence of Galicians in New York, although they represented the majority of migrants of Spanish origin settled in the city since the nineteenth century. The significance of migration in the articulation of Galician identity has led scholars such as Colmeiro (2009 & 2017), Hooper (2011) and Romero (2012) to argue for Galicia’s operation as a global culture. The presence of Galicia in New York not only confirms this argument, but also makes the Galicia-New York connection productive for understanding and rethinking boundaries between local and global, by looking at the ways in which a minority culture is articulated, contested and celebrated at the core of a global city such as New York. 


Apuntamentos para un filme (48 min. Documentary, 2012). In Galician

Directed by Margarita Ledo Andión

During the first half of the 20th century, thousands of women left Galicia on their own to go to America. Many of them were illegal, with papers that falsified their age and even their identity. Their destiny was to work as servants. Learning self-esteem by filming their words constitutes the backdrop for the documentary that we named Apuntamentos para un filme [Notes for a Film], in which every fragment, every small emotion, the calm expression or the emergence of latent pain build up an atmosphere of ‘eternal present’.


Migrants, Transmigrants and Postmigrants: the New Galician Diaspora at an Age of Crisis

María Alonso Alonso (University of Edinburgh)

This talk is based on Transmigrantes, fillas da precariedade (Axóuxere, 2017), an essay that explores the conditionings and consequences of the new Galician diaspora, a community of young migrants who are sometimes characterised by their highly-qualified profiles. The bidirectionality of migration flows in and out the European national borders over the last two decades has also affected Galicia in a dramatic way, fostering the reinterpretation of the paradigm around the classic Galician diaspora. Thus, an alternative critical perspective should be adopted when approaching this new errant practice so as to question the idealisation of the intra-European migration. My interest in the new Galician diaspora centres on the subaltern experience of this new generation of migrants who have seen no alternative other than to abandon their country in search of a future. Works by Ahmed (2004), Forcadela (2013) and Miguélez-Carballeira (2013), around the cultural politics of emotions, will assist this analysis while pointing out the different challenges that this particular migrant community is facing due to their depreciation as human capital in both their home and host countries. 


David Miranda-Barreiro is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Bangor University (Wales) and co-editor of Galicia 21. Journal of Contemporary Galician Studies. He has published on the representation of American society (New York City in particular) in early 20th century Spanish literature, in the monograph Spanish New York Narratives. Modernization, Otherness and Nation (Legenda, 2014) and in the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies (2013). His main research interests include travel writing and mobility in both the Spanish and the Galician contexts, and Galician exile and migration to the US.


Margarita Ledo Andión has a PhD in Information Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She is a writer and filmmaker and holds the Chair of Audiovisual Communication at the University of Santiago de Compostela.

She coordinates the Group for Audiovisual Studies: content, formats and technology (G.I. 1786) at the University of Santiago de Compostela and has been the lead researcher in the following state-funded research projects (I+D+i) among others: ‘Towards the European Digital Space: the role of small cinemas in original version’ (MINECO, ref. CSO2012-35784), ‘Cinema, Diversity and Networks’ (MINECO, ref. CSO2009-13702), and ‘Lusofonía: Interactivity and Interculturality’ (Xunta de Galicia, ref. INCITE08PXIB212124PR). Her recent publications include: ‘Entre –fonteiras: o cinema como lugar xeopolítico’ (2015), in Lusofonía e interculturalidade, ed. Moisés de Lemos Martins, and ‘El cuerpo, esa insoportable lengua comunal’, in El tratamiento informativo de la violencia contra las mujeres (2015), ed. Inmaculada Postigo and Ana Jorge Alonso in the series Cuadernos Artesanales de Comunicación (Latina).

She is the president of the Federação Lusófona de Ciencias da Comunicação (LUSOCOM) and vice-president of the Asociación Iberoamericana de Comunicación (ASSIBERCOM).


María Alonso Alonso obtained her PhD in 2014 at the University of Vigo, after having graduated with honours in English and Hispanic Philology. She is currently working at the department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Edinburgh, thanks to the awarding of a Xunta de Galicia International Postdoctoral Fellowship, which complements other teaching and research activities at the University of Leeds, Universidad de Las Palmas, IASH, and University of St Andrews. Her first monograph, Diasporic Marvellous Realism: History, Identity and Memory in Caribbean Fiction (Brill), was published in 2015, and in 2017 Axóuxere Editora published Transmigrantes, fillas da precariedade. Apart from her academic interests, she writes fiction in the Galician language. Her first novel, a post-human dystopia entitled Despois do cataclismo (Urco), appeared in 2015, and her second novel will be published in 2018. She is also the author of short stories and poetry featured in different anthologies, and her first literary text in English was recently published by the University of Edinburgh Journal.

Irish Centre for Galician Studies

O'Rahilly Building First Floor - Block B East Room 1.55