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Two Sides of One River: Nationalism and Ethnography in Galicia and Portugal

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Volume 5

European Anthropology in Translation

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Two Sides of One River

Nationalism and Ethnography in Galicia and Portugal

António Medeiros
Translated by Martin Earl
Foreword by James W. Fernandez, University of Chicago

388 pages, 17 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-724-0 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (January 2013)

View CartYour country: - edit Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Imagination and intrigue guide the reader through the tour de force that is Two Sides of one River… [It] presents an academic encounter for scholars and those passionate about national identity creation through historiography, anecdote, scholarly research, and exceptional and extensive layering. It is a must-read for those who intend to know the true nature of the Galician nation and the identity of Portugal among its counterparts in the Iberian Peninsula.” · Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change

“Medeiros gives us a series of careful, multiple readings of past and present activities of Galician nationalists. His ethnography is fine-grained..., and his analysis is subtle, close,a bit like his writerly style… This is a splendid, intricate ethnography, in an interesting series, dedicated to the translation of European ethnographies into English.” · Anthropological Forum


Galicia, the region in the northwest corner of Spain contiguous with Portugal, is officially known as the Autonomous Community of Galicia. It is recognized as one of the historical nationalities making up the Spanish state, as legitimized by the Spanish Constitution of 1978. Although Galicia and Portugal belong to different states, there are frequent allusions to their similarities. This study compares topographic and ethnographic descriptions of Galicia and Portugal from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to understand how the integration into different states and the existence of nationalist discourses resulted in marked differences in the historical representations of these two bordering regions of the Iberian Peninsula. The author explores the role of the imagination in creating a sense, over the last century and a half, of the national being and becoming of these two related peoples.

António Medeiros teaches in the Department of Anthropology of the Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE-IUL) and is a research fellow at CRIA-ISCTE. He is the author and editor of several books, and was cofounder of the journal Etnográfica. His current projects include a multisited ethnographic research project in Spain and another in Istanbul.

Subject: Anthropology (General)
Area: Southern Europe


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