My research analyses how intellectual relations between Latin America and Europe in the interwar years played into the crisis of liberal models of nation-building and the rise of introspective forms of nationalism in Latin America. Although scholars have commonly stressed European ‘influences’ in Latin American thought, the ways in which Latin Americans strategically appropriated ideas from the Old World and the networks that facilitated this appropriation have been scarcely studied for the interwar period, despite the intensification and institutionalisation of intellectual contacts in these years. The (often extended) sojourns that virtually all Latin American intellectuals had in Europe before they returned to prominence in their home countries has remained a blank spot in their collective biography. Conceptualising intellectuals as both cosmopolitan mediators and constructors of national identity imaginaries, my study seeks to fill this gap. I will examine, firstly, the institutional bases of intellectual relations with Latin America in Western Europe (focusing on France and Spain) and, secondly, the collective experience of Latin American intellectuals in Western Europe and their writings about this. With this my research will make a contribution to scholarly debates about the nature of Latin America’s crisis of liberalism and rise of inward-looking nationalism in the interwar years and, secondarily, to theories about the nature of intellectual appropriations from the centre in peripheral post-colonial societies and the transnational dynamics of national identity constructions. An Intra-European Fellowship at the European University Institute, by providing excellent training and networking facilities, would help me to develop my career, offering me new research competences in European history, and to thus strengthen my already existing profile as a historian with learning and professional experiences across various European countries.
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