UI professor receives NEH grant to study ‘Euroskepticism’

UI professor receives NEH grant to study ‘Euroskepticism’

University of Iowa Spanish and Portuguese professor Luis Martin-Estudillo recently received a $50,400 fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for his project titled Spanish Culture and the Rise of Euroskepticism (1939-2014). The NEH accepts a mere 7 percent of the fellowship applications it receives.

Martin-Estudillo will be looking at the ways Europeans have responded to the idea of a unified Europe and its embodiment by the European Union. Rather than looking strictly at political or empirical evidence, he will examine the viewpoints expressed by Europeans through literary and artistic works.

Martin-Estudillo has been interested in the idea of Europe for several years now and believes there is a wide gap in the scholarship. The artists and intellectuals engaging with the ideas and implications of a unified Europe have largely gone unnoticed. Martin-Estudillo hopes to uncover the deeper roots of Euroskepticism as a historical tendency rather than simply an unexamined resistance sparked by the current European debt crisis.

“It’s not like people in Europe were always pro-Europe,” said Martin-Estudillo. “There has always been a group of people who looked at it more critically.”

He will mainly study Spanish works but will also analyze some in Catalan and Galician, as well as engaging with comparable materials in Portuguese, French, and Italian.

Through a fellowship from the Obermann Center for Advanced Study, Martin-Estudillo has already drafted two chapters of the book. He received a 2011-2013 Dean’s Scholar Award which provided him with funds to travel to Spain’s National Library and various archives, as well as a 2014 NEH Summer Stipend award to complete a third chapter. This fellowship will allow him to spend one whole year finishing the project.

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