DATE: Events ongoing January–April, 2010

In conjunction with the current Spanish presidency of the European Union, the University of Michigan’s Center for European Studies-European Union Center (CES-EUC), in collaboration with the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED), will devote the winter semester of 2010 to exploring recent debates about the meanings of transition and memory in democratic Spain.

Since Francisco Franco’s death in 1975, Spain’s transition from dictatorship to democracy, culminating in the country’s full integration in the European Union, has been hailed in some quarters as a model transition for the countries of Eastern Europe and Latin America. The political, juridical, and cultural composition of Spain's transition, still up for debate 35 years after its inception, has attracted the interest of the Spanish public and scholars of history, political science, and cultural studies. CES-EUC’s Conversations on Europe series in winter 2010 will attempt to place Spain’s experience in a broad conceptual and comparative framework and to explore how the transition to democracy has affected both the construction of historical discourses and the experience of the present. Included in the discussions are the historical, political, and cultural tensions underlying the controversial laws of historical memory, recently approved by the Spanish parliament; the juridical and political status of “the disappeared”; and the language of disagreement between “Left” and “Right” in contemporary Spain. Speakers in the series include Jo Labanyi, director of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University; Joan Ramon Resina, director of the Institute for Iberian Studies, Stanford University; and Xavier Rubert de Ventós from the University of Barcelona.

For more information and a complete list of the speakers in this series, go to

SPONSORS: The series is sponsored by the following University of Michigan units: Center for European Studies- European Union Center, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies; and by Instituto Cervantes of Chicago.


The Center for European Studies-European Union Center (CES-EUC) is a multi-disciplinary research, education, and outreach program that strengthens the understanding of modern, integrated Europe at the University of Michigan and in the United States. In 2001, CES received a grant from the European Commission to establish a European Union Center; since 2005, U-M’s EUC has been one of a handful of Commission-designated European Union Centers of Excellence at leading research universities in the U.S. In collaboration with academic and research units across U-M, other EU Centers of Excellence, and institutions of higher education in Europe, CES-EUC offers an array of public programs, funding opportunities, and innovative curricular outreach on Europe.

The Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia (WCEE) supports faculty and student research, teaching, collaboration, and public engagement in studying the institutions, cultures, and histories of these regions. WCEE is housed in the University of Michigan International Institute with the Center for European Studies-European Union Center (CES-EUC); the Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies (CREES); and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED). Named in honor of Ronald and Eileen Weiser and inspired by their time in Slovakia during Ambassador Weiser’s service as U.S. ambassador from 2001-04, WCEE began operations in September 2008. For more information, visit