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Goikolea-Amiano, Itzea (2022) 'Bilingualism and ‘Significant Geographies’ in Moroccan Colonial Journals: Al-Motamid and Ketama, Modern Arabic Poetry and Literary History.' Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 24 (1). pp. 49-73.

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This article surveys two largely disregarded bilingual (Arabic-Spanish) literary journals from late-colonial northern Morocco: Al-Motamid (1947-56) and Ketama (1953-59). I trace the process which led to the consolidation of the centrality of contemporary Arabic poetry in both journals, the practices and the actors which enabled it. As such, the article is concerned not only with the project of (re)writing Moroccan Arabic literary history, but also the larger literary history connecting the Maghreb and the Mashreq, as well as Europe and Spanish and Arab diasporas in the Mahjar (North and South America). The article also complicates understandings of local colonised culture and literature as necessarily subaltern and of literary translation moving from the literary “centre” to the “periphery,” allowing us instead to grasp the ways in which the Moroccan and Arab authors influenced the Spaniards. I argue that the collaboration of the former, first in Al-Motamid and later in Ketama, was decisive for the increasingly bilingual and Arabic orientation that the journals adopted. In fact, one of the main goals of both journals became making modern Arabic literature available in Spanish. The Moroccan and other Arab writers also enabled the reorientation of some Spanish orientalists towards contemporary Arabic literary production. The journals made visible and enabled the circulation of contemporary Arabic poetry between the Arabic Mashreq, the Maghreb and the Mahjar literary worlds; of contemporary poetry between Arabic, Spanish, and other European languages. Although their location was the seemingly provincial Moroccan Spanish Protectorate, these journals became small but significant world literary nodes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: colonial – (world) literature – history – Morocco – Arabic – journals – bilingualism
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
ISSN: 1369801X
Copyright Statement: © 2020 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2020 15:55
Funders: European Union

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