Raquel Vega-Durán

Raquel Vega-Durán

Faculty Chair of Ethnicity, Migration, Rights, Harvard University
Senior Lecturer in Peninsular and Transatlantic Film and Literature
Formerly Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at Claremont McKenna College
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Research Interests: Migration and Border Studies; Transatlantic Cultural History and Literature; Peninsular Spanish Cultural Studies; Film and Media Studies; Mediterranean Crossings; Gender Studies; Digital Humanities; Narratives of Identity, Memory, Forgetting, and Exile; Intersections between Art and Literature; Global Mobility; Transnational Cultural Products.

Academic Degrees: B.A. in British and American Studies, Universidad de Sevilla (Spain); Certificate of Graduate Studies in Film Studies, University of Michigan; Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan.


Emigrant Dreams, Immigrant Borders: Migrants, Transnational Encounters, and Identity in Spain. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2016.

Emigrant Dreams, Immigrant Borders: Migrants, Transnational Encounters, and Identity in Spain offers a new approach to the cultural history of contemporary Spain, examining the ways in which Spain’s own self-conceptions are changing and multiplying in response to migrants from Latin America and Africa. The book proposes that Spain is evolving into a new space of the imagination, one that can no longer be defined without the migrant—a space in which there is no unified identity, but rather a new self-understanding is being born. This book introduces the reader to a wide range of recent films, journals, novels, photography, paintings, and music to reconsider the complexity of contemporary Spanish identity through its varied encounters with migrants. Emigrant Dreams, Immigrant Borders both places Spain in a larger European context and draws attention to some of the features that, from a comparative perspective, make the Spanish case interesting and often unique.

Selected Reviews: 

Revista de Estudios Hispánicos by Christian Ricci (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321717305)

Representing Migration Humanities Lab by Anna Tybinko (https://sites.duke.edu/representingmigration/files/2018/12/Anna-Tybinko-reviews-Raquel-Vega.pdf)


Vanishing Europe: Abandoned Villages and the Repopulation of Europe in the Twenty-First CenturyThis book will have an online companion to visually map out both the depopulation and the current initiatives to repopulate European villages. 

Selected Articles:

  • "Me Di Cuenta El Otro Día Que Era China Y No Lo Sabía": La Hibridación Cultural De Quan Zhou Wu.” ConSecuencias, Fall 2022.
  • “Recording the Invisible: “Porteadoras” and the Spanish-Moroccan Border in Documentary Film,” 21st Century Arab and African diasporas in Spain, Portugal and Latin America, edited by Cristián Ricci (New York, Routledge, 2022), forthcoming.
  • “Una España más allá de sus fronteras: emigrantes, inmigrantes y la ciudadanía española global,” Política Exterior, July-August 2022, forthcoming.
  • “Punishing Women Through Narrative: The Challenges of Scientific Authority in Spanish Film,” Women and Science in Spanish Literature, edited by Debra Faszer-McMahon and Victoria L. Ketz (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2021): 350-370.
  • “Hacia una empatía humanitaria: refugiados y activismo en España,” in Todos a movilizarse: Protesta y activismo social en la España del siglo XXI, edited by María José Hellín García and Ana Corbalán Vélez (Barcelona: Anthropos, 2019): 153-165.
  • “Tales of Two Shores: The Re-Establishment of Dialogue Across the Strait of Gibraltar,” in African Immigrants in Contemporary Spanish Texts: Crossing the Strait, edited by Debra Faszer-McMahon and Victoria L. Ketz (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015): 131-144.
  • “Street, City, and Region as Global Contact Zones: Glocalized Self-Identities and Stereotypes in the Graphic Novel El Nord,” in Toward a Multicultural Configuration of Spain: Local Cities, Global Spaces, edited by Ana Corbalán and Ellen Mayock (Newark, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2014): 75-88.
  • “United Spains? North African Immigration and the Question of Spanish Identity in Poniente,” Afro-Hispanic Review 32:1 (Spring 2013): 159-180.

Book Review: 

Review of Consequential Art: Comics Culture in Contemporary Spain, by Samuel Amago and Matthew J. Marr, eds, Hispanófila, summer 2021.


Spring 2022 Courses:

Spanish 150 Migration and Border-Crossing in Film and Photography

Fall 2022 Courses:

Spanish 122 Spanish Film from Buñuel to Almodóvar

Spanish 72 Introduction to Contemporary Spanish Literature and Culture

Spring 2023 Courses:

EMR 158 Migration


Contact Information

Boylston 325
p: 617-495-4433

Department Role