Colonial al-Andalus is an innovative, rigorous, clearly argued, and fascinating study of how Morocco’s colonial entanglement with Spain shaped its modern cultural identity. In the introduction, Calderwood clearly lays out his overall argument: “that Morocco’s Andalusi identity is not a medieval legacy, but is, instead, a modern invention that emerged from the colonial encounter between Spain and Morocco in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries” (8). The chapters form a series of case studies on specific authors, texts, and historical moments that support this conclusion.

In the first chapter, “Tetouan Is Granada,” Calderwood explains how Spanish writers at the time of the Spanish-Moroccan War (1859–60) located Morocco’s origin story in al-Andalus, thus claiming Spain’s authority over Morocco’s cultural history. In this way, “Spain was not colonizing Morocco, but rather was returning to Morocco, which had always been part of Spain” (35). Calderwood focuses...

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