CFP: Screening the Restoration: the Spanish Belle-Époque on Twenty-First Century Television (Edited Volume)

Wan Tang's picture
Call for Publications
December 15, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Film and Film History, Popular Culture Studies, Spanish and Portuguese History / Studies

Call for papers for an edited volume titled:

Screening the Restoration: the Spanish Belle-Époque on Twenty-First Century Television

Editors: David R. George, Jr. (Bates College) and Wan Sonya Tang (Boston College)

Since 2000, Spanish television audiences have seen numerous dramas, miniseries and made-for-tv movies set in the Restoration, Spain’s long Belle-Époque that begins with the return of the Bourbon monarchy in 1874 and ends with the declaration of the II Republic in 1931. Unlike emblematic TV fictions of the Transition and post-Transition (1975-1992) such as Cañas y barro (1978) or Fortunata y Jacinta (1980), contemporary shows that depict the Restoration are not literary adaptations, but rather original teleplays that oscillate between the genres of the period piece, where history plays a largely decorative role, and historical drama, which focuses on actual historical figures and events. These programs certainly form part of the larger trend of increased production and popularity of shows depicting Spanish history exemplified by the historical drama Isabel (2012-14) and the sci-fi history thriller El ministerio del tiempo (2015- ). Yet, the relatively large number of dramas set during what is by many measures an uneventful and inglorious period of Spanish history begs deeper inquiry. Contributions to this edited volume will examine the historical, political, cultural, and/or aesthetic implications of re-visiting Restoration Spain in television programs produced since 2000. Essays will seek to understand and explain, from a variety of perspectives and approaches, the appeal this particular historical period holds for both a very changed twenty-first-century Spanish television audience, as well as for a diverse international viewership that consumes these programs through new media platforms.

Questions of interest/topics to explore:

  • history as commodity in the Spanish period-piece
  • historical accuracy vs. presentism
  • conservative vs. liberal readings of the Restoration and its relevance for interpreting contemporary society
  • the role of nostalgia and the Restoration as Belle-Époque (a stable period with clearly structured race, class, and gender relations)
  • the Restoration period piece as heritage film
  • the role of wardrobe/props/physical settings in creating a sense of history and connecting to modern audiences
  • differences in publicly and privately-funded productions
  • differences across regional productions and broadcast contexts
  • the marketing of Spanish period dramas beyond Spain and beyond Spanish-speaking audiences, particularly through streaming and social media platforms


We are looking for contributions of between 5,000-7,000 words.  Please send abstracts  of 300-500 words, in English, to David George ( and Wan Tang ( by December 15, 2016.  Final essays will be due by June 15, 2017.

Contact Info: 

Please email questions to Profs. Wan Tang ( or David George (

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