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The Project

MIGRA is a database of migrant writers in Iberian languages. Migration writing is an increasingly important phenomenon which is changing the landscape of Iberian literatures and providing a further interliterary connection to literatures that cohabit within the Iberian peninsula, including islands and overseas territories.

It is a complex phenomenon, as migration literature has traditionally been defined according to a biography of displacement in a sort of "return of the author"—for a work to be qualified as "migrant literature" the writer should be a migrant. But for how long does this condition remain? Will a migrant who writes literature be a migrant writer for ever? Should a migrant write about migration? Recent approaches have shifted the focus from the author to the work, for migration is such a common and familiar experience that anyone may write on migration without necessarily being a migrant.

Iberia presents a challenging case study for several reasons. To name but a few, Spain and Portugal are former empires which receive a high percentage of migrants from their former colonies. However, in comparison to other European countries, migration flows reached these two countries much later. In Spain it is only during the last two decades that migrants have gone through all of the education levels. Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, are world-languages. And in Spain—a plurinational country at odds with such an obvious condition for an outsider—migrants may choose several literary languages, a fact that disrupts the traditional opposition "major language" versus "minor languages" and their corresponding translation flows, both inside and outside Iberia.

Due to all this complexity, data provided by MIGRA are organized into a series of stages. For the time being, the database provides information on migrant writers in the Iberian peninsula from the end of the dictatorial regimes of Francisco Franco and António de Oliveira Salazar to the present moment; provided there is a linguistic code-switch from a non-Iberian language to any of the Iberian languages. In the near future MIGRA will also provide information on migrant writers from previous periods, migrant writers who do not switch languages, migrant writers who switch between Iberian languages, migration in other arts, such as cinema, music, and painting, to name but a few.
We are proud to present MIGRA as a free-access, online research tool, the first of its kind as far as we know for the Iberian case. MIGRA is a collective project in three ways:

Firstly, it is the result of a research group which works at the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Its members receive funding from the Galician Government (Grupo de Investigación Consolidado 1371), the Spanish Government (Research Project "Europe, in Comparison: EU, Identity and the Idea of European Literature" FFI2010-16165) and the Jean Monnet Action (Jean Monnet Chair "The Culture of European Integration").

Secondly, this research group is generously advised by a team of international, leading scholar in migration studies.

And, thirdly, MIGRA is open to collaboration from scholars and writers who would like to contribute with information for the database and/or send us their publications (literary works, translations, academic papers) for the "Library of Migration" to be located at the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela in order to foster future research.

Esta actividade está financiada parcialmente polo Grupo de Investigación de Teoría da literatura e Literatura comparada da USC (GI-1371 - TLLC), que é beneficiario dunha axuda do PROGRAMA DE CONSOLIDACIÓN E ESTRUTURACIÓN DE UNIDADES DE INVESTIGACIÓN COMPETITIVAS (GRC2014/026) da Xunta de Galicia