Ana Varela Lago on the Spanish Diaspora in the US

Conquerors, Immigrants, Exiles:  The Spanish Diaspora in the United States, 1848 – 1948  (PhD thesis presented by Ana Varela Lago in the History Department of the University of California, San Diego in 2008) is an invaluable piece of research for anyone interested in the topic.

This dissertation studies the migration of Spaniards to the United States and explores how the memory of the conquest shaped the Spanish diasporic imagination in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. The research is framed within a period that defined the changing relationship between the two countries: from the rivalry created by American expansionism in the 1840s, which would culminate in the Spanish-American war of 1898, to the beginning of the cooperation that would mark Spain as a key ally in American Cold War politics in the late 1940s. While the study of the Spanish diaspora reproduces, to some degree, a familiar story of the European immigrant experience in America, I will argue that the legacy of Spain’s imperial past,her turbulent modern national history, and the peculiar relationship of the Spanish immigrants to Spain, the United States, and Latin America make this a case-study of special significance” (p. 2).

1 Response to Ana Varela Lago on the Spanish Diaspora in the US

  1. Dave Hamrah says:

    Don’t know if you will get this but I am doing research on book which includes my GGGrandfather, Magin Janer, who was born in Barcelona in 1841 and appeared in New York around 1859. He founded the Spanish Benevolent Society in New York City in 1868 – also referred to as “La Nacional.” It still exists as New York city’s oldest Spanish restaurant. In fact “little Spain” has been almost completely forgotten except for a recent documentary called “little Spain.”

    Anyway, I don’t anything about how he came to NY, only that he was extremely wealthy .Rumors over the years have it that he was somehow connected to enfante Euralia, but this is only a vague speculation. We know he arrived quite wealthy. His son, Joseph Janer, who inherited the family wealth, was referred to as cuban in the New Archives I was able to locate. So I am not sure where the cuban connection was but I remember some indications of frequent travel to Cuba and business dealings.

    I cannot locate any records of Janer in Cuba. Only similar names like Gener, and no “Magin”

    Anyway, it seems that you might have stumbled upon material or archives that could help me learn more about Magin Janer.

    Dave Hamrah
    ESL Instructor Grossmont College

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