The Poetics of Infrastructure: Literature and the Politics of Large Technological Systems in Modern Spain


ACLS Project Development Grants


World Languages and Cultures


“The Poetics of Infrastructure” offers a cultural history of the development of large technological systems in Spain since the mid-nineteenth century, devoting central attention to the ways in which literary works opposed the alleged political neutrality of the built environment by allowing readers to experience infrastructures as materialized ideological formations. Through the contextualized interpretation of poems, novels, short stories, plays and essays alongside historical documents, records and laws, this research elucidates how Spanish and foreign agents mobilized the construction of hydropower systems, railroads, submarine telegraphic cables, canals, telephone networks and highways to advance their respective visions of Spain.