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Post WAIS Welcomes Barbara Molas (Catalonia-Canada)
Created by John Eipper on 09/21/19 7:16 AM

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WAIS Welcomes Barbara Molas (Catalonia-Canada) (John Eipper, USA, 09/21/19 7:16 am)

We first met our newest WAIS colleague, Bàrbara Molas, two days ago (Thursday September 19th). A native of Barcelona, Bàrbara comes to our beloved organization through a nomination from the "Dean" of WAISdom, David W Pike.

Bàrbara sends this bio:

Before beginning my master's degree in World History, I briefly worked as a journalist for the European Observatory of Memories (European Commission), developing a strong interest in transnational socio-political phenomena. After earning my master's degree from the University Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona and the Freie Universität Berlin, I further developed my education at the Summer School in Comparative and Transnational History Theories and Methodology at the European Institute of Florence. I began my PhD in History at York University (Toronto) in 2017, where I am currently working on contemporary transnational right-wing mobilization and multiculturalism in Western Europe and North America.

JE again: Bàrbara's expertise and research interests are tailor-made for WAIS! Moreover, Toronto is not terribly far from WAIS HQ (5 hours by car, depending on the border). I hope our paths cross soon, Bàrbara! In the meantime, please tell us more about your PhD work. Transnational right-wing mobilization might be the defining "ism" of our age.

(There will be another couple of introductions in the coming days and weeks. This is a great time to be a WAISer!)


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  • Welcome to Barbara Molas; Spain's New Universities (Enrique Torner, USA 09/22/19 4:22 AM)
    As a Barcelona native and resident of Minnesota, a state bordering Canada, I am doubly close to our new colleague Bàrbara Molas!

    I received master's degree in Comparative Literature and, as you all know, have been researching how history and literature cross each other, so we share a comparatist approach and an interest in history. In addition, I studied in Germany as well, spending a summer in Hamburg many eons ago.


    However, I attended the University of Barcelona, instead of the Universidad Pompeu Fabra, which was founded in 1990, three years after I left Spain. It has been very surprising to learn, over the years, of the creation of new universities in Spain, especially in Catalonia. They also built the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, south of Barcelona, in 1991, where a high school literature teacher of mine is now a professor. This same year, the Universitat de Girona also was opened. In 1995, they founded the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.


    There are still many more universities that have been created since I left Spain. What on earth is going on? Where is the money for all these projects coming from, given the financial crisis of Spain? Would Bàrbara care to explain the reasoning for the creation of so many universities in the recent past?


    JE comments:  Pompeu Fabra is ranked among the top universities in Spain; indeed, the UPF website places itself at #1.  For a university barely a generation old, this is incredible.


    The last wave of "serious" new universities in the US came in the 1960s.  (I'm excluding the sketchy for-profits in the University of Phoenix mold.)  The only exception I can think of: the U California system established its Merced campus in the early 2000s.


    Enrique Torner raises an important question:  why the need for new universities in Spain?  The costs are astronomical.  In Catalonia, I imagine the question of language is paramount.  And politics plays a role in everything.  Is the instruction at UPF in Catalan?


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  • Benvinguda to Barbara Molas (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 09/22/19 5:00 AM)

    My "benvinguda/bienvenida" to our new colleague, Bàrbara Molas!


    JE comments:  Moltes gràcies, Eugenio!  (I looked up the Catalan equivalent of Eugenio, and what I got was shocking:  Eugenio.)


    Among the languages spoken by WAISers, Catalan-Valencian-Balear must be in the top five.  Enrique Torner, Bàrbara Molas, Sir Paul Preston, José Manuel de Prada, and of course Jordi Molins.  I presume cunyats Hank Levin and Nacho Soler are quite conversant as well.  Who have I overlooked?

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    • A World of Eugenes (Paul Preston, UK 09/23/19 4:02 AM)

      Eugenio en català es diu Eugeni.


      JE comments:  It's an honor to give Paul Preston the honor of the first-ever WAIS post in Catalan!  I never learned the language, but I think Sir Paul is telling me I'm wrong (!):  if you're a Eugene in Catalonia, you're known as Eugeni.


      Those of us who make our living from Castilian have a simple rule:  remove the final letter from Spanish and you get Catalan.  Thus Eugeni makes perfect sense.  I should hav know bette.


      "Eugeni" is almost identical to the Russian Evgenii.  My Polish father-in-law is another Eugene:  Eugeniusz.


      Eugenes of the World, unite!  You must be alarmed by the declining popularity of your fine name, especially in the US.  I haven't had a student named Eugene/Gene/Eugenie in 20 years.


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      • Illustrious Eugenes: Eugenio Jofra Bafalluy (Enrique Torner, USA 09/23/19 10:10 AM)
        There was a famous "Eugeni" in Catalonia: Eugenio Jofra Bafalluy (1941-2001). He was the most famous humourist in Catalan history, and his jokes were told on television and radio, and retold by millions. To everybody in Catalonia, he was "Eugeni." He died young of a heart attack, I just found out. That is sad. He made everybody in Spain laugh. He was almost as famous as the king of Spain. In his honor, here is a link to ten of his best jokes:

        https://listas.20minutos.es/lista/los-10-mejores-chistes-de-eugenio-409132/


        They will challenge whoever doesn't speak Spanish, but I challenge our WAIS readers and writers. I will translate two for you:


        A person knocked at a fortune-teller's door. "Who's there," answered the person behind the door. "Good grief! What a horrible fortune-teller!"


        This guy goes to an IRS building and reaches the reception desk. He asks: "Is it here where one comes to declare?" "Yes," answers the lady. "Well, here it goes: I have fallen in love with you. And I can't live any longer, girl, if I don't get you to love me back."


        JE comments:  Here's another:  "Where are you going?"  "Out to get some manure for the strawberries."  "Gosh [actually a much stronger oath in Spanish], wouldn't it be better to eat them with cream?"


        Gotta love a manure joke!  Enrique, did Jofra Bafalluy do his stand-up in Catalan, as well as Castilian?



         


         

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