Dr Elisabeth Bolorinos AllardBack to People

Department: Medieval and Modern Languages (Spanish)
College appointment: Fellow by Examination
Phone: 0794 0241485.


Elisabeth Bolorinos Allard received her BA in History and Economics from the University of California Berkeley, her Masters in History from the University of Edinburgh, and her Doctorate in Modern Languages from Trinity College, Oxford. She was a lecturer in Spanish at Balliol College, Oxford in 2016-17 before joining Magdalen College as a Fellow by Examination in January 2018.


I am interested in how ideas about race, cultural lineage, and national identity took shape in the Iberian Peninsula from the end of the nineteenth century onwards and how these ideas were influenced by Spain’s colonial and post-colonial relationship with North Africa and Latin America. My first book, Spanish National Identity, Colonial Power, and the Portrayal of Muslims and Jews during the Rif War, 1909-27 (Tamesis, Boydell and Brewer) examines Spanish portrayals of Muslim and Jewish cultures in colonial Morocco in the early twentieth century, drawing out the anxieties about Spain’s own cultural and racial identity that emerged as a result of its contact with North Africa and showing how these fundamentally shaped the political ideologies that would come into conflict in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). My new project is a study of monuments that commemorate the transnational Hispanic community or ‘race’ (raza), as this community was defined by its proponents, from 1892 to 1939, both within the framework of Spanish nationalism and outside of it as the concept contested and re-commemorated across the Iberian Peninsula and Hispanic Atlantic in texts and images that unsettle its ethnic, linguistic, religious, and political boundaries. I broaden the definition of ‘monument’ to include epic poems, national histories, and literary anthologies that celebrate this pan-Hispanic identity and explores how visual and textual monuments interact with each other in their commemoration of certain individuals and historical moments and the fundamental role they play in creating and upholding racial myths, many of which are integral not just to Spanish nationalism and fascism in a historical context but also to the new far right in Spain today. I convene an interdisciplinary research network entitled ‘Conversations on Identity, Ethnicity, and Nationhood’ in collaboration with the Stanford University at Oxford Program and the Oxford Centre for the Humanities.



Spanish National Identity, Colonial Power, and the Portrayal of Muslims and Jews during the Rif War (1909-27). Tamesis (Boydell and Brewer): Forthcoming in May 2021.

‘Colonising ourselves’: Redefining racial boundaries around the Moroccan soldier and the worker in Spanish Civil War Propaganda. In The Edinburgh Companion to the Spanish Civil War and Visual Culture, edited by Silvina Schammah Gesser, Eugenia Afinoguénova, and Robert Lubar Messeri (University of Edinburgh Press, forthcoming)

‘Spanish Jews’ and ‘friendly Muslims’: The Historical Absence of a Citizenship Campaign for Muslims of Iberian Descent. In Reparative citizenship: Identity, Belonging, and Spanish and Portuguese Nationality for Sephardi Descendants, edited by Rina Benmayor and Dalia Kandiyoti. Berghahn books, forthcoming in 2021.

‘Spanish Jew or Hispanist? Abraham Z. López-Penha and the negotiation of Columbian, Pan-Hispanic, and Sephardic Identity’, Jewish Culture and History Vol 20 (2019) Issue 4. https://doi.org/10.1080/1462169X.2019.1658459

‘Visualising the Moorish Traces within Spain: Orientalism and Medievalist Nostalgia in Spanish Colonial Photojournalism’, Art in Translation, Vol.9 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1080/17561310.2017.1299422.

‘The Crescent and the Dagger: Representations of the Moorish Other during the Spanish Civil War’, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, October 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14753820.2015.1082811.