CFP: “Bares, qué lugares.” Exploring Bacchus’ kingdom.
Irene Domingo Sancho (University of St. Thomas)
Carmen Moreno Díaz (St. Olaf College)
Almudena Marín Cobos (Columbia University)
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone dreaming of traveling to Spain, or any Spaniard conjuring up an image of their home country (or just fantasizing about spending some quality time on its streets) will surely picture themselves in a bar, chatting away while having a beer and probably some tapas. This might be linked to the fact that, according to a recent study, the Spanish State has more bars per person (1:175) than any other country on Earth. Not surprisingly, bars appear in many Spanish cultural representations: from films and TV shows, to novels, songs, short stories, comics, or poems. Spain and bars go hand in hand. However, this relationship has not been explored enough within the field of Cultural Studies, or elsewhere, yet.
Spanish bars––bares, tabernas, tascas––and their cultural representations today elicit a plethora of questions. For instance, why has the bar been such an attractive, versatile, and idiosyncratic space within the Spanish imaginary? Which logic, functions, or behaviors does the bar serve and even promote within particular communities? In this vein, do bars work as society’s mirror? Or what kind of dynamics do they make (in)visible? Lastly, how have these spaces evolved during the 20th and 21st centuries; and how have they been affected by the global pandemic? These are just a few of the many inquiries to be examined.
This panel welcomes papers––both in English and Spanish––that address, but are not limited to, the aforementioned questions in an attempt to explore the contemporary Spanish bar from an economic, socio-cultural, political, ideological, and/or aesthetic point of view. We hope the conversation among panel’s participants will serve as a point of departure for a long-awaited discussion on the cultural tensions surrounding Bacchus’ kingdom.
Keywords: bars, contemporary Spain, cultural studies, national imaginaries.
Carmen Moreno Díaz, Ph.D
Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Romance Languages
St. Olaf College. Northfield, MN