Dr Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles with Elena Lasheras (left) and Professor Raquel Osborne (right).

Photograph by Rocio Lleo Fernández.

Modern Languages lecturer uncovers women’s cultural contributions in twentieth century Europe

In late October, the iconic Spanish feminist publishers horas y HORAS hosted a book launch in Madrid for a new publication by Dr Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles of Modern Languages.

Artistas y precursoras (Artists and Pioneers) re-examines the development and continuation of feminism throughout the twentieth-century in Spain and Europe. The book focuses on women from one family based in Madrid throughout the century and highlights a proactive and artistically vibrant female community during the Franco era. Artistas y precursoras further contributes to collective understandings of women’s history, equality and difference.

Artistas y precursoras is Dr Capdevila-Argüelles' third book with horas y HORAS and also the third to be sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture. These three titles, Autoras inciertas (2008), He de tener libertad (2010) and the new Artistas y precursoras (2013) are now present in more than 500 libraries in Spain, Europe and America.

The book contributes towards Dr Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles’ wider research into the history of women in Spain and the history of authorship. She explains, “Artistas y precursoras has uncovered a hidden Madrid of artistic and literary salons and the incessant cultural activity of the women of the Roësset family from the beginning of the twentieth century, throughout the conservative years of Francoism until the transition to democracy.”

The book launch took place at the La Puerta Estrecha Theatre in Madrid on 26 October 2013, during which, Dr Capdevila-Argüelles was invited to give a keynote lecture to introduce her publication. She was joined by Elena Lasheras, the director of horas y HORAS, and Professor Raquel Osborne, a sociologist from the Spanish Open University. Professor Osborne leads the highly influential project Women under Suspicion (Mujeres bajo sospecha), an interdisciplinary project that has brought together experts in gender studies and Spanish history. Artistas y precursoras has marked the beginning of Exeter’s involvement in this project whose outputs include TV documentaries, exhibitions and books.

To find out more about Dr Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles’ research please visit the research sections within the Hispanic Studies pages of the website.

Date: 21 November 2013

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