Dr Guillem Colom-Montero
- Lecturer (Hispanic Studies)
I have a BA in English Studies from the University of the Balearic Islands (2009) and a PhD in Hispanic Studies from Bangor University (2016). At Bangor I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant (2010-2015) and a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies (2015-2017). In 2016–2017 I was also a Visiting Lecturer in Catalan Studies at the University of Birmingham. From September 2017 to June 2019 I was a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Exeter. I joined the University of Glasgow in July 2019.
I have specialisms in:
- Catalan and Hispanic Literature and Culture
- Language, Culture and Identity in the Catalan-Speaking Lands
- Tourism and Culture in Spain
- Nationalisms in Spain
- Trauma Studies
- Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Environmental Humanities
- Visual Cultures
I am a researcher in contemporary Hispanic Literary and Cultural Studies, with a particular focus on Catalan culture and nationalisms in contemporary Spain. My work explores the power dynamics that define language, culture and the construction of identity in the Catalan-speaking lands within the wider Spanish context. Through a focus on the interactions between cultural production, collective and grassroots demands for self-determination and forms of political independence, I approach contemporary Catalan culture as marked by persisting colonial durabilities vis-à-vis Spain and Northern Europe.
My first research project seeks to transform understandings of Catalonia’s culture and politics by analysing the ways in which the unbalanced relations of power between the region and Spain determine discourses and political practices about linguistic and cultural identity, the social question and national independence. The main outoput of this strand is my recent book “Quim Monzó and Contemporary Catalan Culture (1975–2018): Cultural Normalization, Postmodernism and National Politics” (Legenda, 2021), which analyses the literary, cultural and artistic production of Catalan author Quim Monzó in relation to the key cultural and political paradigms in contemporary Catalonia, including the oppositional cultural model in the late Francoist period, cultural normalization in democratic Catalonia and the cultural impact of the modern Catalan independence movement in the post-2010 period. My monograph analyses Quim Monzó’s public trajectory from countercultural artist in the mid-1970s to celebrity author and intellectual in the present day as a phenomenon that has brought to the fore some of the contradictions in the discourses of Catalan cultural normalization vis-à-vis postmodernist attitudes towards the symbolic role of culture and the public intellectual in contemporary Catalonia. Quim Monzó is considered Catalonia’s most influential contemporary author, and my book is the first major study in the English language of the author’s oeuvre and trajectory.
My second research project aims to offer novel understandings of contemporary Majorcan culture by exploring mass tourism as a socio-culturally and environmentally traumatic experience for the local population and by interrogating the geocultural colonial dynamics at the core of Majorca’s interrelations with Spain as well as those between the island and Northern European countries. The first output of this project came out in 2019: the article Mass tourism as cultural trauma: an analysis of the Majorcan comics Els darrers dies de l’Imperi Mallorquí (2014) and Un infern a Mallorca (La decadència de l’Imperi Mallorquí) (2018), published in the journal Studies in Comics. I have one book chapters coming out in 2022, two in 2023 and in 2020 I published the dissemination piece ‘Covid Summer of 2020: From Overtourism to No-Tourism in Southern Europe’ in the online Brave New Europe.
Ultimately, my research seeks to locate the study of Catalan culture within global debates of our time: multilingualism and cultural identity, political authority and popular empowerment, nationalisms and the representation of the Other, leisure mobilities and climate emergency in the twenty-first century.
• Tourism and Cultural Trauma in Contemporary Majorcan Culture, £480, Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland's 'Public Engagement Fund'. 2022.
• Pedro Almodóvar Day, Chagford Film Festival, Devon, £450, Embassy of Spain, United Kingdom. 2018.
• Mobility Grant, Host Institution: University of Alacant, £833, Santander. 2013.
• Mobility Grant, Host Institution: University of the Balearic Islands, £715, Santander. 2012.
• Mobility Grant, Host Institution: University of the Balearic Islands, £1000, Santander. 2011.
I am delighted to hear from individuals wishing to pursue postgraduate study in the following areas:
- Catalan Studies
- Contemporary Hispanic Literature and Cinema
Cultural Representations of Tourism in Spain
Comics and Political Cartooning
Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Studies of Trauma in the Hispanic Context
I teach on a number of courses in Spanish and Catalan culture and critical theory as well as Spanish language:
. Text/Image Cultures: Theory and Practice (co-taught Honours course)
. Narrating the City: Representation of Urban Space in Literature and Film (co-taught Honours course)
Contribution to the discipline and research collaborations.
At Glasgow, I am the co-director of the 'Discourses of Sustainability Arts Theme' and the co-convenor of the Research Cluster 'Language and Society'. I am also a member of the 'Visual Culture' Research Cluster and of the 'Stirling Maxwell Centre for the Study of Text/Image Cultures'.
I have delivered plenary lectures and invited talks at the Centre for Catalan Studies - Queen Mary University of London, University of Birmingham, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, University of Strathclyde, Universitat d'Alacant, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Institut d'Estudis Catalans, Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics,
I am a member of the Committee of the Anglo-Catalan Society (ACS) and member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Catalan Studies (JOCS); from 2016 until 2021 I was the Reviews Editor of JOCS. I am also member of the Committee of the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA), and of the research group LiCETC – Contemporary Literature: Theoretical and Comparative Studies, based at the University of the Balearic Islands and led by Dr Margalida Pons (http://licetc.uib.cat/).
I have co-organised the following conferences and symposiums:
· Conference 'Communicating Sustainability', University of Glasgow, Goucher College and Universidade Federal de Sergipe, 6-7 September 2022.
· Symposium ‘La literatura catalana i el Premi Nobel’, Queen Mary University of London & University of Glasgow, 14 September 2021.
· ‘Linguacultural Spaces: Inclusion, Extension and Identification in Discourse and Society’, University of Glasgow, University of Bologna and University of Tilburg, 6-7 May 2021.
· ‘Cultural Responses to Overtourism in Europe’, with Prof Ulrike Zitzlsperger, University of Westminster, 18 June 2019.
. ‘Cultura, conflicte i nous subjectes socials en la Mallorca contemporània’, with Dr Mercè Picornell, Universitat de les Illes Balears, 22 December 2017.
· 'Comics & Nation’, with Dr Dr Armelle Blin-Rolland and Dr David Miranda-Barreiro, Bangor University, 13-14 July 2017.
Public and media engagement
Central to my approach is disseminating regularly my research to external partners, cultural practitioners and communities beyond academia through public engagement and media impact (in English, Catalan and Spanish).
Here are some examples of the media impact of my book:
- On 19 December 2021, the author and literary critic Pere Antoni Pons reviewed my book in the newspaper Ultima Hora: https://twitter.com/PonsPereAntoni/status/1472841165519171585
- On 16 September 2021 my book was launched via the online platform PleIbéricos, curated by Prof Santiago Fouz (Durham University) and Dr Esther Gimeno Ugalde (University of Vienna): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaQmfEPPrOQ.
- On 20 August 2021, Dr Barbara Burns (University of Glasgow & Modern Humanities Research Association) interviewed me on my new book: http://www.mhra.org.uk/news/2021/08/20/monzonia.html
My articles on contemporary Catalan culture in Núvol, the most widely read online cultural magazine in Catalonia, triggered debates about the shifting narratives of cultural normalization and Quim Monzó’s national role as a literary author and public intellectual:
- ‘Què en fem, de la cultura de la normalització?’ (23 September 2018) https://www.nuvol.com/critica/que-en-fem-de-la-cultura-de-la-normalitzacio/
- ‘La dreta, l’independentisme i els intel·lectuals.’ (15 March 2017) http://www.nuvol.com/opinio/la-dreta-lindependentisme-i-els-intellectuals/
In 2022 I was awarded a Public Engagement Fund by the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland to organise three Reading Clubs with Majorcan community activists discussing the representation of tourism in Majorcan comics. You can see information and pictures here: Reading Club 1 info & pics; Reading Club 2 info & pics; Reading Club 3 pics.
In December 2020, I published in the online Brave New Europe the article 'COVID Summer of 2020: from Overtourism to No-Tourism in Southern Europe', where I analysed how local communities in Southern European overtouristified destinations have experienced the summer of the pandemic.
My project on tourism has also received media attention in the Balearic Islands:
- On 28 August 2022, Jordi Amat discussed my work on tourism in Majorca on his Sunday column on the opinion pages of El País: printed & online.
- On 22 January 2022, journalist Cristina Ros mentioned my research on tourism and trauma in Majorca in her weely article in Ara Balears: https://www.arabalears.cat/opinio/substitucio-cultural_129_4241046.html
- On 15 January 2021, the newspaper Ara Balears picked up my research on how the unbalanced power dynamics between the North and South of Europe marginalise the Catalan language in the Majorcan real state sector: https://www.arabalears.cat/societat/anuncis-immobiliaris-Palma-exclouen-Catalanoparlants_0_2601339915.html
- On November 1 2020, I was interviewed about my research on cultural responses to overtourism in Majorca in the 2010s by the newspaper Ara Balears, which dedicated its front cover and two pages to the topic. Here is my tweet of the printed version and here is a link to the online article: https://www.arabalears.cat/cultura/moviment-cultural-reacciona-contra-turisme-masses_0_2555144553.html
On 15 September 2019, my research was picked up by the Majorcan author Pere Antoni Pons in his weekly column in Ultima Hora. You can read the piece here: https://twitter.com/PonsPereAntoni/status/1173180111903952897
On 2 August 2019, the newspaper Ara Balears published a two-page piece on my article on comics, tourism and cultural trauma in Majorca. Link to the online version: https://www.arabalears.cat/cultura/massificacio-turistica-Mallorca-trauma-cultural_0_2282171875.html
On 31 October 2018, I featured in the TV programme ZoomIB3, broadcast by the Balearic Islands public TV channel IB3, where I talked about British tourism imaginaries of Mallorca and commented on recent problems of overtourism in the Spanish Mediterranean. You can watch the programme here: https://ib3.org/carta?id=7e9dd7ab-ddb0-44ac-adbf-7616e59abda7 (my participation is from 15:10–18:45).
- On 22 December 2017, I featured in a two-page interview on my project on tourism in Ara Balears. Link to the onlive version: https://www.arabalears.cat/premium/societat/Guillem-Colom-Montero-transformacions-Mallorca_0_1929407192.html.
I have also commented on Spanish and Catalan politics through a variety of British media channels: in the period after the Catalan Referendum on 1 October 2017, I was interviewed on several BBC television and radio outlets. Here is a sample: live interview on BBC World Service's programme BBC Newshour on Wednesday 4 October, 2pm: listen to my appearance here or listen to the full programme here.
I have also co-organized and participated in film events dedicated to Catalan and Spanish cinema. On 13 February 2020 I introduced the Majorcan documentary 'Overbooking' at a public screening in Glasgow (at the McCance Building Strathclyde) which took place after a debate on tourism in Spain with students from the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde. On 14 May 2019, I participated in a Q&A after the screening of Petra, by Jaime Rosales, at the ¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Film Festival 2019, held at Exeter Phoenix Cinema. On 25 September 2018, I co-organized with Professor Sally Faulkner (University of Exeter) the ‘Pedro Almodóvar Day’ at the Chagford Film Festival (Devon). Three films by Almodóvar were screened: All About my Mother, Julieta and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. I introduced Julieta and participated in a Q&A after each of the films. https://chagfordfilmfestival.com/events/pedro-almodovar-day/