Spain in the Modern World
Why you should go
The location of Madrid, Spain will serve as an ideal site to introduce students to the process of building the modern nation-state, one of the key themes of both courses. This program will integrate the geography, museums and monuments of the vibrant city of Madrid into the participants' educational experience. Viewing this process from Madrid also opens the door to a broader discussion of what we might call the “center/periphery” divide in modern global history. The divide between the wealthy and poor regions of the world, or what we would now loosely call the global north and south, began to widen dramatically from the early 19th century, accelerating in the 20th. All the way up to the last quarter of the 20th century, Spain occupied an intermediate space between “center” and “periphery”, on the periphery of a Western Europe it was always trying to catch up with, but leading the way, both economically and politically, for other less developed nations in the 20th century. In Spain’s troubled and tumultuous modernization over the course of the 19th and 20thcenturies, we can trace many of the paradoxes, conundrums and obstacles faced by the many new and struggling nations in the 20th century global order.
Meet the professor
Pamela Radcliff is chair of the History Department and a historian of Modern Spain, whose research has focused on mass politics, gender, civil society and democratic transitions. Her recently published book, Making Democratic Citizens, explores the grass-roots contribution of ordinary men and women to Spain’s much celebrated democratic transition of the 1970s, through the lens of their participation in civic associations founded under the dictatorship. She has been carrying out research in Madrid for thirty years and has been teaching the two courses offered on this program for more than twenty years. Professor Radcliff received her B.A. from Scripps College and M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.