Dr Guillem Colom-Montero
- Lecturer in Spanish (Hispanic Studies)
After completing a BA in English Studies at the University of the Balearic Islands and a brief spell working as a Spanish-language teacher in Edinburgh, in 2010 I was appointed Graduate Teaching Assistant at Bangor University’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures, where I started my PhD in Hispanic Studies, awarded in 2016. In September 2015 I took up a fixed-term Lectureship in Hispanic Studies at Bangor University (2015–2017). In the academic session 2016–2017 I was 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
- Tourism and Culture in Spain
- Nationalisms in Spain
- Trauma Studies
- Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Environmental Humanities
- Visual Cultures
My research aims to transform understandings of two key changing cultural and political paradigms in contemporary Spain: post-Francoist Catalan culture and its relation with Spain; the transnational intersections between mass tourism and cultural production in the Spanish Mediterranean. My work addresses critical global debates of our time: nationalisms, cultural identity and the representation of the other, language diversity, climate emergency and leisure mobilities in the twenty-first century.
Contemporary Catalan Culture
The paradigms for cultural production and criticism in Catalonia are in flux and my project aims to develop new perspectives to analyse the intersections between cultural paradigms (resistant opposition, cultural normalization, Cultura de la Transición, postmodernism) and political change in Catalonia and Spain in the autonomous and post-referendum periods.
My book “Quim Monzó and Contemporary Catalan Culture (1975–2018): Cultural Normalization, Postmodernism and National Politics” (Legenda, 2021) 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.
Transnational Cultural Representations of Mass-Tourism and Overtourism in Spain
Public discourses about and representations of tourism globally are undergoing a process of deep transformation owing to the rising awareness of the negative impact of tourism flows in the twenty-first century. In light of this historical change of tourism-related narratives, my project aims to historicize the cultural responses to processes of mass-tourism and overtourism in the Catalan-speaking territories vis-à-vis the transnational tourism imaginaries built around the region, while also contextualising such critical responses within global discourses of climate emergency. My project is based on a cultural history approach from a transnational perspective which puts into dialogue cultural production and discourses from a number of different languages and cultures: Catalan, Spanish, English.
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 wide number of courses in Spanish and Catalan culture and language, including:
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, Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics, School of Humanities - University of Strathclyde, GRLC Research Group in Contemporary Literature - Universitat d'Alacant, LiCETC Research Group in Contemporary Literature: Theoretical and Comparative Studies - Universitat de les Illes Balears.
I am a member of the Committee of the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA).
I am a member 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:
· ‘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
I regularly disseminate my research to external partners and communities beyond academia through public and media engagement.
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/
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.
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 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, the most widely-read newspaper in the Balearics. 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 co-organized and participated in film events dedicated to Catalan and Spanish cinema. 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/