Libertad (“Liberty”)

I would like to dedicate these last couple of blog posts to sharing the stories of two incredible and courageous women that I had the privilege of meeting during our last 5 days in Spain.

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Busy Days, Great Discoveries

WOW! What an incredible week we have had. It’s hard to believe that so much has happened in such a short span of time.

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Our Trip to Villamartín and Ubrique

On Monday, Team Cádiz travelled to Villmartín and Ubrique, two charming little towns in Andalucía.  We rented a car to get there (which was quite a adventure in and of itself) and had a very busy, wonderful day!

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First Interviews and New Discoveries

June 9, 2013

Greetings from Cádiz!  This stunning, coastal town is located in Andalucía in the south of Spain.   It is absolutely breathtaking, and I am thrilled to be here.  I arrived on Wednesday evening, 24 hours late, due to an unfortunate passport-related error on my part.  All things considered, I am very lucky to have only been delayed a day.  Upon arrival, Megan, Professor Cate-Arries, and Mike met me at the train station, and then moved me into my homestay with a hospitable 70 year-old woman and her husband.  That evening, “Team Cádiz” had a little evening “pow wow” to discuss what was to come in the days ahead.  I asked Professor Cate-Arries what Megan and I should tell people when they asked us about our research, because (as we learned in our Seminar) even though many people are starting to explore la memoria histórica (the historical memory) of the Franco era, it is still a topic that one needs to be careful when talking about, because you never know on what side of the conflict different people were (or even are) on.  It is still an extremely sensitive topic, as Megan encountered first-hand last year during the W&M Summer Session in Cádiz.  Megan and a few of her classmates were instructed to go out on the street and ask people about their experiences during the Franco era.  Those that were questioned got very upset and angry, and were completely unwilling to talk to them about it.  In order to avoid upsetting anyone, offending anyone, or stirring up bad feelings, we all decided to be vague and tell those that asked (including our host parents) that we are researching family memories and experiences in Spain throughout the generations, especially related to the 30s and 40s.  We agreed that it would be best to keep the “Franco-and-memoria-histórica-talk” limited to people Professor Cate-Arries had already established relationships with.

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W&M Memory Works, Weingartner Research with Cate-Arries

Hi! My name is Kate Wessman and I’m a senior Hispanic Studies major.  Next year, I will be attending W&M’s School of Education to complete my Master’s degree and receive endorsements for Elementary Ed, Secondary Ed, and ESL instruction.  A few weeks after graduation, my classmate, Megan Bentley, and I have the privilege of accompanying Professor Cate-Arries to Spain as her research assistants for her “W&M Memory Works” project.  Professor Cate-Arries, and Megan and me by extension, received a generous Weingartner grant to go to Cádiz and Madrid in order to (as stated in her proposal):

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