Of all the differentiated regions comprising contemporary Spain, Galicia is possibly the most deeply marked by political, economic and cultural inequities throughout the centuries. Possibly due to the absence of a nationally aware local bourgeoisie and the enduringly colonial structures informing Spanish-Galician economic and cultural relations, processes of national construction in the region have been patchily successful. However, Galicia's cultural distinctness is easily recognisable to the observer, from the language spoken in the region---the contemporary variant of old Galician-Portuguese---to the specific forms of the Galician built landscape, with its unique mixture of indigenous, imported and hybrid elements.
The present volume offers English-language readers an in-depth introduction to the integral aspects of Galician cultural history, from pre-historical times to the present day. Whilst attention is given to the traditional areas of medieval culture, language, contemporary history and politics, the book also privileges compelling contemporary perspectives on cinema, architecture, the city of Santiago de Compostela and the urban qualities of Galician culture today.
Helena Miguelez-Carballeira is a Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Bangor University, and Director of the Centre for Galician Studies in Wales.