A Warm Welcome to our New Colleague in Modern European History

 The Department of History (LA&PS) is very pleased to announce that Dr Aitana Guia Conca, currently a sessional lecturer in European Studies at the University of Guelph, has recently accepted the Dean's offer of a full-time appointment in Modern Europe at the rank of Sessional Assistant Professor in the Department, effective for two years commencing July 1, 2013.


Dr Guia is a political and social historian of the modern migrant experience in Europe, specializing in Muslims in Spain. After completing Masters degrees in Ethnicity and Nationalism (The London School of Economics) and Political Science (University of Valencia, Spain), Aitana received her Ph.D. from York in 2012. Her dissertation examined immigrants’ struggle for civil rights and belonging in Spain after the collapse of Franco’s dictatorship in 1975. It argued that through advocating for religious pluralism, for rights as non-status residents, and for a broader appreciation of history, identity, and culture, immigrants have strengthened liberal democracy in Spain and Europe.  Her dissertation framed Muslim migration history within the context of the third wave of democratization in Southern Europe rather than as a migrant community case study. In doing so, it explored the agency of Muslim migrants in developing practices of horizontal citizenship and democratic consolidation.

Dr Guia is currently turning her dissertation into a monograph to be published by Sussex Academic Press as The Muslim Struggle for Civil Rights in Spain: Promoting Democracy through Migrant Engagement, 1985-2010.

Her next project explores religious pluralism and reasonable accommodation in postwar Southern Europe.  Dr Guia seeks to understand reasonable accommodation not only as a political tool and legal mechanism to deal with religious minorities in Europe, but also as a trigger to transform popular festivals, culinary traditions, and historical commemorations.

Aitana has taught widely in Canada at the University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University, and York University (both in LA&PS and at Glendon College) and in Spain at the Open University of Catalonia.  She looks forward to teaching modern European history at York.

If anyone would like to send a personal note welcoming Aitana (back) to the Department, she can be reached by email at aguia@uoguelph.ca.