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Dr. Jeffrey K. Coleman

Assistant Professor of Spanish
Marquette University

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Dr. Jeffrey K. Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Marquette University, where he specializes in Contemporary Spanish and Catalan theatre. He obtained his Ph.D. in Romance Languages & Literatures from the University of Chicago in 2014. He has published several articles on immigration, race, and national identity in the Spanish context in the Journal of Catalan Studies, Symposium, Estreno, and others.

His current book project, The Necropolitical Theatre: Race and Immigration on the Contemporary Spanish Stage (forthcoming with Northwestern University Press), explores how the intersections of race and immigration manifest in Spanish theatre from 1991-present.

He is also working on his next book project tentatively titled, España Negra: The Consumption & Rejection of Blackness in Contemporary Spain, which explores the manners by which Spanish media, popular culture, and literature have portrayed and appropriated Blackness from the late 19th century to the present.

Dr. Coleman is a 2017-2018 Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellow and a 2015-2017 Duke University Mellon Mays SITPA Fellow.

He is also the Chapter Advisor for Sigma Delta Pi (National Spanish Honor Society) and the Marquette University Curling Team.

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The Necropolitical Theatre: Race and Immigration on the Contemporary Spanish Stage

(Forthcoming with Northwestern University Press)

The Necropolitical Theater: Race and Immigration on the Contemporary Spanish Stage demonstrates how theatrical production in Spain has reflected national anxieties regarding immigration and race since the early 1990s. This book argues that Spain has developed a “necropolitical theater” wherein the immigrant is transformed into a fictionalized enemy—one whose nonwhiteness is incompatible with Spanish national identity and therefore a threat to the (European) Spanish state. The portrayal of immigrant deaths not only purifies Spain by portraying the maintenance of the status quo, but also provides catharsis for the spectator faced with the notion of a racially diverse nation. Through the analysis of plays that portray Latin American, North African, and sub-Saharan African immigrants, this book also identifies an apparent racial hierarchy, tied in part to Spain’s historical legacies of colonization and religious intolerance. This positioning dictates the nature in which death operates for each migrant group.

Drawing on theatrical texts, performances, legal documents, interviews, and critical reviews, this book declares that Spanish theater needs to develop a new theatrical space. Jeffrey K. Coleman proposes a “convivial theater” that portrays immigrants as contributors to the Spanish state and better represents the multicultural reality of the nation today.

Coming Soon


Peer-Reviewed Articles

Coleman, Jeffrey K. “Death of the Emissary: Language, Metonymy and European Complicity in Juan Diego Botto’s ‘La Carta’.” Symposium vol. 72, no. 3, 2018. pp. 123-37.

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Peer-Reviewed Article

Coleman, Jeffrey K. “The Racial Limitations of Freedom in Santiago Rusiñol’s ¡Llibertat!.” Catalan Review vol. 33, 2019, pp. 1-17.

Read It Here