Legenda is launching its new Visual Culture series with what we hope we can say is an ambitious slate of five opening titles. This is number 1, and the others are here, here, here, and here; you can also read the series announcement or meet the editors.

First up, then, is Paul Julian Smith, a prolific and distinguished writer on modern Spanish media. Paul thus gains the unique distinction of being the only author to inaugurate two Legenda series: in one of life's coincidences, he was also the author of Moving Image 1. He is not only an author for Visual Culture, but a member of its editorial committee, though he was a late joiner to the committee and was not involved in its early choices — so, he was never in the awkward position of having to accept or decline his own book proposal. While we're making disclaimers, he is also, so far as we know, no relation to Lindsay Smith, a fellow committee member.

Paul's cover is intentionally ambiguous about what is playing back the drama: a television, or a computer monitor? In a world of streaming and cord-cutting, when Netflix can play back on a laptop as easily as a desktop PC can throw its image to a TV mounted on the wall across the room, all of our definitions of media are breaking down. Perhaps there is now only 'content', that vaguest of all descriptions. That content sometimes seems rooted in the past, with the current vogue for historical dramas, with exquisitely lush period set designs; and yet it also interrogates the present, not least in its portrayal of minorities who would once have been thought too marginal for TV.

Reimagining History in Contemporary Spanish Media: Theater, Cinema, Television, Streaming

Reimagining History in Contemporary Spanish Media is due out in our Visual Culture series in late 2021. So for once, we hope that title number 1 will actually be the first out of the door.

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