Nick is a cultural studies scholar who has published widely in the disciplinary areas of Spanish studies, queer studies and popular culture studies.
He is the author of Las dos Españas: Terror and Crisis in Contemporary Spain published by Sussex Academic Press, 2016 as part of the Cañada Blanch Centre's series for Contemporary Spanish Studies. Nick's contribution to contemporary Spanish studies lies not only in his Australian voice but in his multidisciplinary approach that is anchored in history, culture studies and critical theory.
Nick is co-editor of the multilingual PORTAL: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies.
Nick is a member of AILASA: Association of Iberian and Latin American Studies of Australasia
Can supervise: YES
Contemporary Spanish Studies
Contemporary European Studies
Queer Studies and Popular Culture
International Studies: Contemporary Spain, In-Country Supervision, Foundations in International Studies, Spanish Language & Culture
Global Studies: Cultures of Globalisation, Globalisation in Historical Perspective
Otsuji, E, Gavran, M, Groeneveld, S, Andersen, M, Jeffreys, E, Goodman, DSG, Vanni Accarigi, I, Maggiora de Iturralde, P, Fletcher, N, Sharp, L, Sheldon, M, Browitt, J, Donald, S, Harbon, L, Mikula, M, Giovanangeli, A, Loda, A, Allatson, P, Hurley, A, Barclay, K, Robert, J, Rodriguez, M, Leigh, B, McCormack, J, Manganas, N, Wyndham, M & Aponte Ortiz, L 2019, Geographies of Food: The BA International Studies 25th Anniversary Cookbook, ed. Paul Allatson, Angela Giovanangeli and Emi Otsuji., 1st, School of International Studies and Education, FASS, UTS, Sydney.
Manganas, N 2016, Las dos Espanas /The Two Spains Terror and Crisis in Contemporary Spain.
The idea of a divided Spain, where one half is antagonistic to the other half, dates back at least to the 19th-century Spanish satirist Mariano Jose de Larra who, in his essay "All Souls' Day 1836," wrote "Here lies half of Spain.
In Spectre (2015), British pop star Sam Smith contributed the James Bond theme The Writing's on the Wall and in so doing was accused of emasculating the towering figure of Bond who has been the epitome of 'manliness' since the franchise's inception in 1962. In this article I argue that Smith Smith's voice discomforted many of its critics because it penetrated the Bond universe with its passivity, revealing the enigmatic nature of masculinity in a franchise that has attempted to rebrand itself as an authentic representation of masculinity in the current moment. By giving Bond an 'authentic' voice, Smith's theme song laid bare Bond's emptiness and, in the process, undermined Smith's own claim to authenticity. I argue that the weight of the franchise's history precludes any real, deep-rooted, authentic 'unveiling' of Bond's character. As such authenticity is impossible, Smith's Bond might have challenged Bond's masculinity on the surface, but ultimately it could not disrupt Bond's elusiveness.
Manganas, N 2018, 'Queering and querying the Australian suburbs: reimagining (sub)urban identities', Coolabah, vol. 2018, no. 24 & 25, pp. 352-362.
This article takes an autobiographical approach to explore the changes that have occurred in Australian suburbia over the past twenty years. It considers two key queer texts—Christos Tsiolkas's Loaded (1995) and Peter Polites's Down the Hume (2017)—and the manner in which the protagonists of these novels express their class and sexuality in their respective suburbanscapes. Published more than twenty years apart, I argue that the process of queering Australian suburbia that can be read in both novels opens up a space to reimagine how class, ethnic and sexual mobility is negotiated in contemporary Australia.
Manganas, N 2015, 'You Only Like the Beginnings': Sex, Ordinariness of Sex and Marriage in Looking', SQS : Journal of Queer Studies in Finland, vol. 9, no. 1-2.
Manganas, N 2007, 'Europe is Scared... the Narrative of Perpetual Peace', Culture, Theory and Critique, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 39-50.
This paper seeks to explore the grand narratives that have been produced in the post 9/11 era in Europe by looking at the March 11, 2004 attacks in Madrid, and the July 7, 2005 attacks in London. The paper will posit that the random nature of the Madrid and London attacks, and the apparent lack of meaning behind the 'message' of these attacks, destabilises a fundamental and mythological narrative of the European project: that the 'new Europe' is somehow beyond politics and has entered into a Kantian 'perpetual peace'.
Manganas, N 2007, 'Mass Mediated Social Terror in Spain: A Brief Encounter with Regularizing Narratives', CLCWeb : Comparative Literature and Culture, vol. 9, no. 1.
Manganas, N 2007, 'The Possibility of a 'Dead Europe': Tsiolkas, Houellebecq and European Mythologies', Portal, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1-17.
This article posits that two constituent mythologies sustain and drive the EU integration process. The first is the tension between the twin narratives of perpetual peace and perpetual suffering. The second fundamental mythology of the EU project is the tension between the narratives of Europe as on the one hand authentic and as cosmopolitan on the other. Both of these constituent mythologies are essential in forming what is emerging as a pan-European, Europtimist raison detre. This article posits that two recent novels, the Australian Christos Tsiolkass Dead Europe (2005) and the French Michel Houellebecqs The Possibility of an Island (2006) subvert these two mythologies and in the process undermine the legitimacy of recent works of Europtomist scholarship.
Manganas, N 2019, 'Olivia Pope: 'Fixer' of Necropolitical Fallout' in Adams, S, Kimberly R., M & Ronald L., J (eds), Gladiators in Suits Race, Gender, and the Politics of Representation in Scandal, Syracuse University Press, USA, pp. 48-66.
In this chapter I argue that Scandal is framed by necropolitics. Since the publication of Achille Mbembe's article "Necropolitics" in 2003, necropolitics has become a growing area of study. Necropolitics is an analytical approach that allows one to bring into view the fact that "making life live is .. . a lethal business" (Dillon 2008, 167). In this chapter my aim is to uncover Scandal's necropolitical universe and explore Olivia Pope's role in "fixing," that is, hiding, such "lethal" business. The men in Olivia Pope's life (her father, Command; her lovers, President Fitzgerald Grant and Captain Jake Ballard; her friend and mentor Cyrus Beene; and her protege Huck) are all imbued with the power of life and death. These characters constantly decide which lives are worth living and which are not. As spectators we identify with Pope's moral preoccupations with their, and sometimes her own, actions. By using the concept of necropolitics as a frame, this chapter argues that Scandal remarkably bears witness to a terror that is never really a final political objective. Yet it is the very blurring of lightness and darkness, of good and evil in the Scandal necropolitical universe, that provides the show with scope to engage with what it means to be human in a universe where saving the Republic at any cost underpins our system of government.
Manganas, N 2018, 'Queer Fantasies, Queer Echoes: the post-closet world of Looking' in McCollum, V & Monteverde, G (eds), HBO's Original Voices Race, Gender, Sexuality and Power, Routledge, pp. 45-56.
If, as Marshall McCluhan suggested, "Art is anything that you can get away with", many critics did not let the HBO dramedy Looking (2014) get away with much. Accused of being "boring" and "ordinary" by some TV critics, while heralded for being "revolutionary" for its depiction of gay men by others, the show never quite found a decent sized audience and was cancelled after just two seasons (a total of 18 episodes). Looking: The Movie completed the various storylines and premiered in July 2016. This chapter engages with historian Joan W. Scott's notion of "fantasy echo" (2001, 287), referring to "the repetition of something imagined or an imagined repetition". By employing Scott's notion of "fantasy echo", Manganas explores whether reception to the show was somewhat muted because audiences are projecting a "fantasy" of queer identities and politics that is not rooted in reality. Manganas argues that Looking functions as an "echo" – an incomplete reproduction – of the queer experience and as such falls short of the expectations of its critics. This tension, he argues, suggests that there is an underlying anxiety among audiences, artists and critics about how to represent queer narratives in popular culture. Looking is a glimpse into a world where queer identities and politics have become banal and resistance invisible. Manganas argues, however, that Looking's subversiveness lies in its celebration of the banality of queer and that HBO's slight gay dramedy might signal the arrival of a post-resistance, post-politics, queer era.
Manganas, N 2018, 'The New Gay Loneliness? Desire and Urban Gay Male Cultures' in Sagan, O & Miller, E (eds), Narratives of Loneliness Multidisciplinary Perspectives from the 21st Century, Routledge, pp. 211-220.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In "You Only Like the Beginnings," 1 I discuss the now-cancelled HBO dramedy Looking (2014) in order to explore the desire for "newness" in urban gay male cultures. I argued that in the imagined universe created in Looking, the modern negotiation of queer relationships not only looks unromantic but it is also untidy in the sense that the messy categories of romance, marriage and sex overlap and do not always fit well together. In this chapter, my aim is to examine the representation of queer relationships in film, television and literature, and start a discussion about whether a queer desire for "newness" clashes with the opposing desire to "settle down" (marriage). Part opinion piece, part scholarly article, my chapter will explore whether the search for the "new" in sex, relationships etc. inadvertently leads to a fundamental and profound loneliness for many urban gay men who desire a long-term relationship, but may find it difficult to begin and sustain one.
Manganas, N 2010, 'Mass-mediated social terror in Spain' in Representing Humanity in an Age of Terror, pp. 187-205.
On 11 March 2004, ten bombs exploded in and around Madrid's Atocha station, killing 191 people and wounding another 1,500. The 11 March attacks were executed by thirteen Islamic "terrorists" 911 days after the 9/11 attacks, whose modus operandi was imitated (four trains paralleled four planes) (Calvo 9). The attack occurred three days before the 14 March national election when it was generally believed that the then Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar would lead the conservative Partido Popular (PP: Popular Party) into its third term in office. In a narrative of events that will go down in popular Spanish history, the PP promptly blamed the attack on the Basque Separatist group Euskadi ta Askatasuna (ETA). Although within hours the evidence indicated that an Islamic group had most likely perpetrated the attack in the context of the wider global war on terror, the government continued to tell the story that ETA was responsible, as the following statement by Aznar attests: "March 11, 2004 has taken its place in the history of infamy . . . There are no negotiations possible or desirable with these assassins that have so often sown death through all of Spain. We will defeat them. We will succeed in finishing off the terrorist band, with the strength of the rule of law and with the unity of all Spaniards" (qtd. in Tremlett 1). Three days later, in a climate of civil division and suspicion, the people unexpectedly ejected the government from power and elected the Socialists (PSOE: Partido Socialista Obrero Español) under the leadership of José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero. The PSOE, in turn, withdrew immediately Spanish troops from Iraq and in the process was perceived by conservative political commentators around the world to have sabotaged its relations with the world's sole superpower-the United States of America. In this study, I locate the narratives that Spanish citizens use to commonly "know" themselves (as historical subjects) during periods of social terror wit...
Manganas, N 2020, 'Iberian Swagger vs. Feminist Masculinity: populist narratives of masculinity in contemporary Spain', Australian Iberian and Latin American Studies Association, Griffith University, Gold Coast.
Manganas, N 2019, 'Crisis Cultures: the poetics of austerity in contemporary Greece', What We Talk About When We Talk About Crisis: Social, Environmental, Institutional, Australian National University.
For Greek poet Titos Patrikios (PBS News Hour 2012), "every interesting time is also a very difficult time." In dialogue with anthropologist Henrik Vigh's (2008, p. 8) conceptualisation of crisis as "chronic" and a "pervasive context" instead of an "aberration and particularised phenomena", I argue that what emerges from these interesting and difficult times after more than a decade of economic crisis is the normalisation of a crisis culture. As Vigh argues, chronic crisis "may become normal in the sense that this is what there is most, but it does not become normal in the sense that this is how things should be" (p. 11). What happens when crisis becomes so endemic that a crisis culture materialises, particularly in the context of continued austerity measures that enforce lower standards of consumption? Economic crisis, I argue, not only provokes temporal dislocation in that the past and the future overload one's ability to make sense of the present, but it also stimulates creative and communal responses to the normalisation of crisis culture(s). In the Greek context, one such response is through the revitalisation of the art of poetry. In recent years, countless collections of poetry (some translated into English) have been published and poetry readings and literary events draw massive crowds. As Athens based poet A. E. Stallings put it: "that there's nothing left to lose is a kind of freedom [...] I think people want to be together" (PBS News Hour 2012). In this paper I explore the poetics of austerity in contemporary Greece, both textually and in the affective bonds they facilitate, and suggest that this poetic movement not only engages citizens where politics and economics has failed, but also provides people with agency to talk about possibilities of contestation during times of temporal disorientation. The shift from crisis as an "event" to a culture in "chronic" crisis thus highlights that in situations of prolonged crisis, subjects are forced to reorient th...
Manganas, N 2018, 'Austerity and Trauma Culture(s): On Recognition of Europe's Occluded Voices', Fragile Europe, 5th Interim Conference, Political Sociology Research Network 32 of the European Sociological Association, Charles University, Prague.
Manganas, N & Pratt, M 2018, '– Beyond the Eurotypes: Alternative Narratives of Contemporary European Culture', Tuning into the Noise of Europe, The Hague University of Applied Science.
Manganas, N 2016, 'From Terror to Crisis: Understanding Narratives of las dos Españas', Crossroads in Cultural Studies, Sydney University.
Manganas, N 2016, 'Queering and Querying the Australian Suburbs: The Clash of Cultural Identities in Christos Tsiolkas's Novels', Re-Imagining Australia: Encounter, Recognition, Responsibility, Curtin University.
Manganas, N 2016, 'Real Men: Sam Smith's Emasculation of the James Bond Theme', 3rd International Celebrity Studies Conference: Authenticating Celebrity.
Manganas, N 2015, 'Performing Terror and the State: The GAL and the Unimaginable in Spain's 'Dirty War'', Subverting the State, University of Kent.
Manganas, N 2015, 'Terror and the State: Learning from Spain's 'Dirty War'', Understanding Conflict, University of Bath.
Manganas, N 2014, 'Dead Europe: unravelling the mythologies of integration and crisis', I Symposium Internacional EDiSO (Estudios sobre Discurso y Sociedad), University of Seville.
Manganas, N 2014, 'Narratives of Terror, Crisis and History: the Case of Spain', Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines, University of Elte, Budapest.
Manganas, N 2014, 'Understanding Narratives of Crisis in Contemporary Greece: History and the Illegitimacy of Austerity', Greece and Austerity Policies: Where to Next for its Economy and Society, World Economics Association.
Manganas, N 2012, 'Flowers from Another World: Navigating Spain's Postcolonial Narratives', Crossroads in Cultural Studies, Sorbonne Nouvelle.
Manganas, N 2006, 'Narratives of Terror in Spain since 9/11: Histories and Discontinuities', Europe: New Voices, New Perspectives, Contemporary Europe Research Centre, University of Melbourne.
Manganas, N 2006, 'The Return of las dos Españas? Spain, ETA and the Politics of Ceasefire', Hyperworld: Language, Culture and History VII International Conference of the Association of Iberian and Latin American Studies of Australasia, University of Technology, Sydney.
Manganas, N 2005, '"Europe is scared...', Visions of Union: European Values and Contesting Voices, University of Technology, Sydney.