General outline

Unlike the semester program, which is designed for students with advanced Spanish and/or Catalan skills, the CASA-Barcelona summer program accommodates students at all language levels, providing a perfect opportunity for everyone to enjoy a unique study abroad experience.


The program location is Barcelona, however, a study trip to Madrid is included in the program of activities.

Academic overview

The Summer Program is comprised of a mandatory, content-based course taught in English and worth 8 ECTS (4 US semester credits).

Led by a faculty member from the CASA-Barcelona consortium in conjunction with a professor from the University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona, UB], students gain a thorough understanding of the chosen topic through a combination of intensive study, field work, site visits and guest lectures. The role of the chosen cities should not be underestimated; students will be immersed in the context of their studies and will have the opportunity of experiencing first-hand the topics studied in the classroom.

Summer 2017

Overview of the CASA-Barcelona Summer Program 2017:

 Title: The Memories of the Spanish Civil War: Consensus and Divergence
 Professors: Juanjo Romero: Director, CASA-Barcelona & Martin Iturralde: Professor of History at the University of Barcelona (UB)
 Dates: Saturday, June 10th – Saturday, July 8th
 Accommodation: Shared double rooms at the RESA Ciutadella dorm.
 Program costs: TBD
 Eligibility & Application: The course is designed for students from all disciplines, who may not be familiar with the topic. All students should apply through Brown University’s Office of International Programs (OIP).

Course description

Memories of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) have trapped the nation’s politics and society in a complex labyrinth. Segments of Spanish society are still struggling today to gain the right to a dignified remembrance and burial for those family members who were victims of the Civil War and Franco’s subsequent dictatorship (1939-1975). This four week course aims, which is taught in English, aims to address the enduring debate in Spanish society about the Civil War by analyzing the conflict, its consequences and its narrative from an holistic point of view.

In the aftermath of the Dictatorship, which followed the defeat of the Republican government in the war, a heavy “Curtain of Silence” shrouded the memory of the civil conflict. Consequently, the trauma of the war appeared to be overcome. However, at the beginning of the 21st Century the shadow of the Civil War reappeared, and this time society not only petitioned to know what happened during the war and dictatorship, but also demanded the recovery of the memory of its victims and justice for them. As a result, in 2007 the government passed the “Law of Historical Memory” that aimed to address these political and social issues.

The course starts with an introduction to the historical context of 1930’s, and then examines Spain and the events of the conflict itself. Particular attention will be paid to the ‘construction of memories’ throughout the periods of the Dictatorship and Spain’s transition to democracy through the analysis of the political discourse, literature, arts and audiovisual productions of the time. Finally, the issue of “Transitional Justice” from a comparative and international perspective will be discussed. Presentations by specialist guest speakers and film viewings are included.

Classroom sessions are complemented by a variety of on-site visits that include guided walking tours, visits to air-raid shelters and other specific sites linked to the war. A study trip to Madrid focuses on Pablo Picasso’s art work, commemorative monuments to Franco and battlefield sites.

Students will have access to the University of Barcelona’a services during their stay. Each student’s course and grade will appear on a University of Barcelona transcript.

Previous Summer Programs

2012: Barcelona & Valencia – Urbanism and Architecture
2013: Barcelona & Zaragoza – Muslim Communities in Contemporary Iberia