Gibraltarian writers recently discussed at the University of Kosice in Slovakia
Gibraltarian writers were recently discussed at the 12th annual ESSE conference held at the University of Kosice in Slovakia between Friday 29 August and Tuesday 2 September, 2014. On 2 September Professor John A. Stotesbury of the University of Eastern Finland delivered a seminar presentation entitled 'Configuring Identity through Memory of Siege: the Rock and the Barbary Macacque in 21st Century Gibraltarian Fiction in English.' Professor Stotesbury's seminar presentation abstract can be read below:
Gibraltar, controlled by the British since 1704, played a major role in British naval strategies in the 19th and 20th centuries, and its colonial status continues to be contested on a regular basis. Its original British colonial status was formalized by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, and since then Gibraltar has endured some 15 longer and shorter military sieges that have repeatedly closed its frontier with Spain. Gibraltar’s populations, both human and simian, have fluctuated considerably in numbers and ethnicities, with a human population of some 30,000 stemming from not only Andalusia, Minorca and the UK but also the Mediterranean region, especially Portugal, Catalonia, the Balearics, Malta, Genoa, Morocco, and several Jewish exclave communities. In contrast, its population of Barbary Macaque monkeys, primarily of Moroccan and Algerian descent and resident in the higher reaches of the Rock, remains fairly constant at roughly 300.
The purpose of this paper will be to trace the role played by constructions of communal memory of mythical, historical and contemporary siege in fiction published by indigenous Gibraltarian Anglophone writers since the turn of the present century. Particular attention will be paid to writing by M. G. Sanchez, and by Sam Benady and Mary Chiappe.