Hickok Hall


A New European State?: Catalonia Past and Present

Mònica Fuertes-Arboix, William P. and Gayle S. Whipple
Associate Professor of Spanish
January 17 and 24

Monica Fuertes-Arboix

Catalonia, a region in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, has long claimed its independence from Spain. The Catalan nation’s case for independence rests not merely on a historical dispute but on democracy, the assertion of a distinct identity and territorial claims. In this two-week forum, William P. and Gayle S. Whipple Associate Professor of Spanish Mònica Fuertes Arboix offers an introduction to the rich history and culture of Catalonia as well as an overview of the headline-making events of today’s Catalan independence movement. The first session will focus on Catalan history, culture and identity. The second session will explain the history of the Catalan independence movement and the conflict, democratic elections and repression that occurred between Spain and Catalonia in 2017. As a whole, the forum aims to provide answers to broader questions raised by the current events surrounding the independence of Catalonia. In the Europe of the 21st century, is democracy at work? Can a people who express themselves through peaceful means be denied the right to speak? Can a central government use violence to silence minority populations? What role does and should the European Union play in such events?