Iberian association makes history with first online conference
14 October 2021
The School of Modern Languages hosted its first online conference this September for the Association of Contemporary Iberian Studies (ACIS).
The conference, which took place on 1-3 September 2021, was also a first for ACIS despite it being the conference’s 42nd year.
ACIS holds an international, multidisciplinary conference in early September each year which usually circulates between host universities in Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
Papers and panels focus on nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century socio-cultural, economic and political issues with a particular focus on the Iberian Peninsula and its relations with the wider Lusophone and Hispanic worlds. This year’s thematic area was Iberia: Memory, Transitions and the Transnational and comprised of a selection of 18 panels and three keynote addresses.
The plenary speakers included Professor António Costa Pinto (University of Lisbon) who spoke about the interrelationship of colonial history on the development of democracy in Portugal and Spain, Dr Teresa Abelló & Dr M. Lourdes Prades (University of Barcelona) who discussed their recent digital archives project on the international brigades in the Spanish Civil War (SIDBRINT) and Professor Parvati Nair (Queen Mary, University of London) who discussed material goods, transnational migrants, and border dynamics amongst the manteros of contemporary Spain.
Over 100 people attended the conference from around the world with people connecting from as far afield as Puerto Rico and the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking about the conference, organiser Dr Siân Edwards, Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies said, “Despite the challenging circumstances surrounding events at the moment, we were thrilled to be able to host the first ACIS conference on Zoom this year. In doing so we attracted many visitors who may not have been able to attend in pre-covid times which was a really positive step. Highlights of the programme for me included the vibrant international keynote presentations and the lively panel debates with delegates from a wide variety of backgrounds which I was proud to be able to facilitate for ACIS and the School of Modern Languages.”
Funding for this year’s conference came from the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Embassy of Spain in the UK with further support from the Institut Ramon Llull and the CEFH centre at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Braga.
ACIS aims to promote and advance the study of social, literary, cultural, economic and political aspects of contemporary relevance to the Iberian Peninsula within the wider Lusophone and Hispanic Worlds. It also publishes the academic journal, International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) which focuses on contemporary Iberia (20th and 21st -century) and welcomes articles that apply a comparative or intertwined methodology to the study of Spain and Portugal, considering other identities, cultures, nationalities and communities.