In this episode, I interview Dr. Christina Civantos (University of Miami, FL, USA) about her open access book Jamón and Halal: Lessons in Tolerance from Rural Andalucía (Amherst College Press, 2022). This case study examines a rural town in Spain’s Andalucía in order to shed light on the workings of coexistence. The town of Órgiva’s diverse population includes hippies from across Europe, European converts to Sufi Islam, and immigrants from North Africa. Christina Civantos combines the analysis of written and visual cultural texts with oral narratives from residents. In this book, we see that although written and especially televisual narratives about the town highlight tolerance and multiculturalism, they mask tensions and power differentials. Toleration is an ongoing negotiation and this book shows us how we can identify the points of contact that create robust, respect-based tolerance.
Christina Civantos is a professor of Hispanic and Arabic literary and cultural studies at the University of Miami in Florida (USA). Her research focuses on Arabic-speaking immigrants in Hispano-America and Spain, South-South relations between Latin America and the Arab world, empire and coloniality, nationalisms, memory studies, and tolerance. She is the author of Between Argentines and Arabs: Argentine Orientalism, Arab Immigrants, and the Writing of Identity (2006), The Afterlife of al-Andalus: Muslim Iberia in Contemporary Arab and Hispanic Narratives (2017), and Jamón and Halal: Lessons in Tolerance from Rural Andalucía (2022), as well as numerous essays.
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