Jamón and Halal

Lessons in Tolerance from Rural Andalucía

Subjects: Literary Criticism, 21st Century, Religion
Paperback : 9781943208364, 258 pages, 6 x 9, July 2022
Open Access : 9781943208371, 258 pages, 6 x 9, May 2022
See expanded detail +


Contemporary Spain reflects broader patterns of globalization and has been the site of tensions between nationalists and immigrants. 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.

“This is a book that is both a personal account and a rigorous academic study. It is a model for the kind of engaged humanistic work we are now beginning to see as a hallmark of the post-theory moment, and one that remembers the hard lessons of ethnographic fieldwork as well as the challenging foundational work from philosophically-tinged theory.” —Debra A. Castillo, Cornell University

“Filled with rich descriptions and interwoven personal anecdotes of both Civantos and her interlocuters that complement scholarly analysis.” —Jessica R. Boll, Carroll University

Christina Civantos is Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami, Florida. Her work on Hispanic and Arabic literary and cultural studies focuses on migration, empire, nationalisms, historical memory, South-South relations, and language ideologies. She is the author of Between Argentines and Arabs: Argentine Orientalism, Arab Immigrants, and the Writing of Identity (SUNY Press, 2006) and The Afterlife of al-Andalus: Muslim Iberia in Contemporary Arab and Hispanic Narratives (SUNY Press, 2017).