The Hispanic Institute Between the Wars: The Making of Cultural Networks


Instituto de las Españas Medal . recto

Since its foundation, the Dama de Elche (Lady of Elche) was chosen as the emblem of the Institute, appearing in its publications, letterheads, diplomas, and medals.

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Since its foundation in 1920, the Hispanic Institute for Latin American & Iberian Cultures at Columbia University (initially established as the Instituto de las Españas), has aimed to disseminate research on Iberian and Latin American cultures in all their manifestations and to promote academic and social events that showcase new contributions to Latin American and Iberian cultural production in Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

Focusing on its early decades, this centennial exhibition looks back at the Institute’s contributions within Columbia, the broader seminal influence it has had in the founding of Hispanism and Lusophone studies in the American academy, and the pivotal role it has played in fostering cultural exchange and mediating engagement with academics, writers, and artists abroad and at home. The exhibition also highlights the geopolitical dimension of the Institute and its strategic positioning between the economic expansionism of the United States in Latin America and the project of cultural revitalization of Spain after the loss of its colonies.

Exhibit Curators: Felipe Becerra, PhD Candidate in Latin American and Iberian Cultures and Sócrates Silva, Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian.

With much gratitude to the staff of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Preservation & Digital Conversion, The Barnard Archives & Special Collections, The Hispanic Museum and Library, The Hispanic Institute and staff and faculty of the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures.

Columbia University Libraries / Butler Library / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-7309 /