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Age Group: Adult
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ONE WORLD LECTURE: Is Resurgent Nationalism a Threat or a Renewal?: Exploring the Case of Catalonia

LECTURE ABSTRACT: We are living in a time of resurgent nationalisms. This is generally seen as a negative trend, and not without reason. But is this always the case? With this question in mind, this lecture will offer analysis of the recent drive for independence in Catalonia, Spain. Far from constituting a threat to Europe’s culture of democracy, it may in fact hold keys for its much-desired renewal. The Catalan independence movement will be shown in a comparative frame, paying close attention to how it differs, or is similar to, other present-day nationalist movements in Europe. While rooted in local historical imperatives, the Catalan crisis carries within it questions and debates on national identity and the future of democracy that are very relevant to the U.S. and the world.


Thomas S. Harrington is Professor of Hispanic Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, where he offers classes on contemporary Iberian literature, cinema, and cultural history. His main lines of research are recent Peninsular movements of national identity, Iberianism, Contemporary Catalan culture, cultural theory (especially Polysystems Theory), and the migrations between the so-called peripheral cultures of the Peninsula and the societies of the Caribbean and the Southern Cone.  He is the recipient of two Fulbright scholarships (Barcelona and Montevideo, Uruguay) and the Batista i Roca prize for his work in disseminating of Catalan culture in the world. He has also studied or taught in Madrid, Lisbon, Rome, Havana and Santiago de Compostela.  In addition to his academic work in  Hispanic Studies, he is a frequent commentator on politics and culture in the U.S. press  and a number of  Spanish and Catalan-language media outlets. Professor Harrington is the author of numerous scholarly articles and four books, including the just published, A Citizen’s  Democracy in Authoritarian Times: A U.S. View on the Catalan Drive for Independence, University of Valencia Press, 2018

SUPPORT: This series is made possible with a grant from the Stanley D. and Hinda N. Fisher Foundation, administered by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Oct. 25, 2018 [Thur., 7PM] - Prof. Cheryl Greenberg
     “Why Not Restrict Hate Speech? (An Historical Perspective)”
Nov. 14, 2018 [Wed., 7PM] - Prof. Fiona Vernal
     "How Did West Indians Become the Largest Foreign-Born Population in Connecticut?”
Dec. 6, 2018 [Thur., 7PM] - Prof. Okey Ndibe
     “The Seduction of Silence: Five Reasons Not to Surrender!”
Jan. 9, 2019 [Wed., 7PM] - Prof. Mary-Jane Rubenstein 
     “God and the Multiverse: A Melodrama” 
• Feb. 10, 2019 [Sun., 2PM] - Prof. Thomas S. Harrington
     "Is Resurgent Nationalism a Threat or a Renewal?: Exploring the Case of Catalonia"
March 12, 2019 [Tues., 7PM] - Prof. Edward Stringham
     "How Markets and the Invisible Hand Creates Order in Society: From PayPal to the Blockchain"  
March 26, 2019 [Tues. 7PM] - Prof. Elizabeth R. Nugent
     "The Politics of Repression in the Middle East"
May 9, 2019 [Thur. 7PM] - Prof. Ian Shapiro
     "Democratic Competition: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"

PARKING: There is ample library parking in the nearby Isham Garage. Please bypass the garage payment kiosks and come directly to the lecture in the Noah Webster Library Meeting Room, 20 South Main Street, where you may validate your parking with your license plate number.