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August 9, 2023

GAI Support García Rodenas’ Dissertation Research on the Ruination of Spanish Landscapes

With the support of the Georgetown Americas Institute, Monserrat García Rodenas (G’24) traveled to Chicago to attend the American Comparative Literature Association’s annual conference and to Spain for six and a half weeks in Summer 2023 for an exchange of ideas, materials, and knowledge to strengthen her dissertation. The project examines the political decisions involved in the process of the ruination of Spanish landscapes, both urban and rural, during the twentieth century through their cultural representations.

Monserrat García Rodenas
Monserrat García Rodenas

García Rodenas carried out part of her research activities and acquired novel research materials and readings to develop both the visual part of a study on landscape ruins and the theoretical framework of the last chapter of her thesis. For the visual materials, she spent time at the Biblioteca Nacional de España (BNE) and the Filmoteca Española.

Later during her stay in Barcelona, she consulted new art galleries and photographic/poster exhibition of the Museo Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC) dedicated to the iconography of the civil war, specifically the aerial bombardments and the evacuations of the civilian population. The last chapter on the ruins explores Barcelona as an archetype of heritage conservation in Spain and as an example of architectural identity conservation.

She also met with author Julià Guillamon and the professor of urban geography at Pompeu Fabra University, Antonio Luna García, learning in-depth about their political and ideological concerns of today's society in relation to the destruction of the national landscape.

The trip proved to be useful both in deepening her research and understanding of the subject of her thesis and in strengthening her network of peers and mentors to continue her work.