Author: Óscar Iván Useche
ISBN: 9781684483853
Format: Paperback
Extent: 300 pp
Price:  £28.50
Publication: April 2022
Publisher: Bucknell University Press


The Science and Industry of Spanish Modernization

In this ambitious new interdisciplinary study, Useche proposes the metaphor of the social foundry to parse how industrialization informed and shaped cultural and national discourses in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Spain.

Across a variety of texts, Spanish writers, scientists, educators, and politicians appropriated the new economies of industrial production – particularly its emphasis on the human capacity to transform reality through energy and work ´to produce new conceptual frameworks that changed their vision of the future. These influences soon appeared in plans to enhance the nation’s productivity, justify systems of class stratification and labor exploitation, or suggest state organizational improvements.

This fresh look at canonical writers such as Emilia Pardo BazÁn, Concha Espina, Benito Pérez Galdós, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, and José Echegaray as well as lesser known authors offers close readings of their work as it reflected the complexity of Spain’s process of modernization.

Founders of the Future establishes Spain as a vital player in late nineteenth-century discussions of modernization, industrialization, and energy. With a background in engineering and a fine ear for language, Óscar Iván Useche looks beyond well-known works to show how metaphors in popular science writing shaped attitudes toward energy, industrial production, and Spain’s possibilitiesLaura Otis, author of Banned Emotions: How Metaphors Can Shape What People Feel

At the crossroads of industry and ideology, Useche reveals the ‘semiological engine’ of a paradigm shift in fin-de-siglo Spain that spans the discursive horizon of modernization and progress. Attentive to economics, education, labor practices, technology, and the environment, this study explores how coetaneous, often contradictory currents of thought confronted change through new ways of imagining a symbolic advancement that was at once liberating and threatening for Spain’s tomorrow.  Travis Landry, editor of The Fruits of the Struggle in Diplomacy and War: Moroccan Ambassador al-Ghazzal and His Diplomatic Retinue in Eighteenth-Century Andalusia