This workshop will be the second —of two— organised by the Nexus-UPF research group within the research project (PDI2020-120301gb-100) on Strategies of Spanish cultural diplomacy in the field of culture and academic science (1918-1975). The previous workshop took place in December 15th-16th, 2022. Therefore, contributions to both symposia will offer a comprehensive overview of the roles played by culture, science, technology, and academic activity in designing strategies for cultural diplomacy and soft power of Spain, Greece and Portugal in the period from the  WWI until the first phase of the Cold War.

The original contribution offered by the two workshops is a study of the role cultural diplomacy played for those three Southern European countries during the considered period. Current historiography on cultural diplomacy usually focuses on the agency of the world's major powers, almost neglecting the role of peripheral countries in the generation and dissemination of cultural and scientific products.

Our theoretical approach considers that a good picture and understanding of culture and science as political resources in international connections will be obtained by the choice of exemplary cases, with selected examples covering arts, academic activity, culture, science, and technology.

Contributions to the workshop will highlight the following topics:

  • Cultural elites, including artists, scientists, and engineers as representatives and agents of cultural diplomacy.

  • International relationship between scientific institutions and the practice of cultural diplomacy.

  • Referents and models of cultural diplomacy: State control methods of the symbolic messages conveyed by the various actors. This includes continuities and changes in strategies, as well as the increasing consideration of gender perspectives.

  • Sub-state and para-diplomatic issues in scientific and cultural matters.

Our objective is twofold. First, a discussion on the cultural and scientific diplomatic strategies those South European countries developed under the deep geopolitical transformations that occurred in the considered time-window. Indeed this objective includes an analysis of the relevance —and possible success— these countries accorded to the involved diplomatic issues. Second, a study of how those cultural and scientific diplomacies strategies contributed to establishing the place these peripheral South European countries occupied, not only in the Western context, but also in a worldwide international order.

Room: 23.103

Building: Edifici Mercè Rodoreda

Campus: Campus de la Ciutadella

Location Map



(abstracts & biographies)

+ Links to the videos of the sessions 

Thursday, January 25th 2024 

10.00-10.10h. Welcome and presentation of the workshop 

10.15-10.55h. Opening Lecture: Science Diplomacy as a Framework for Educational and Research Agendas: Insights from the European Universities Initiative and HORIZON Cases 

Kostas Gravoglu; Grigoris Panoutsopoulos

Session 1. The integration in the transnational academic networks of the interwar period 

11.00-11.40h.  Diplomacia cultural catalana: les exposiciones de arte catalán durante el periodo de entreguerras

Eva March (UPF)


11:45-12:05h. Coffee break

12.10-12.50h. Ciencia, diplomacia, guerra: la misión médica española a Alemania en 1925. 

Francisco Javier Martínez Antonio (Universidad de Zaragoza)

12.55-13.25h Discussion #1

13.30-15.40h Lunch

Session 2. Flirting with Fascism and National Socialism 

15.45-15.25h. Between Dictatorship and Democracy: frameworks and dynamics of Portuguese cultural diplomacy between 1929 and 1986

Fernanda Rollo (NOVA University of Lisbon)

16.30-17.10h. Crossing borders at war times. Les dones del feixisme espanyol com a agents de diplomàcia cultural

Toni Morant (Universitat de València)

17:15-17:50h. Coffee break

17.55-18.35h. Greece before Mamma Mia!: the archaeopolitics of cultural significance.

Dimitris Plantzos (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

18.40-19,20h. Discussion #2

Friday 26th January 2024

9.30-9.40h Opening

Session 3. Adaptation and integration in the West in the aftermath of the Second World War and the first phase of the Cold War 

9.45-10.25h. España y la carrera espacial americana en la Guerra Fría (Spain and the American Space Race during the Cold War)

Lorenzo Delgado (Instituto de Historia, CCHS-CSIC); Óscar J. Martín García (INGENIO-CSIC)

10.30-11.10h.  Portuguese cultural diplomacy in the Cold War period

Carlos Vargas (HTC-CFE NOVA FCSH)

11.15-11.45h. Coffee break

11.50-12.30h. Westernizing the national in southeast Europe: Cultural diplomacy in early Cold War Greece

Areti Adamopoulou (University of Ioannina)

12.35-13.15h Discussion #3

13.20-15.30h Lunch

15.35-16.05h. Cold War and Educational Exchanges: The Fulbright Program in Portugal

Luis Nuno Rodrigues (ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon)

16.10-16.50h. Medicine in early Franco’s international diplomacy.

Josep L. Barona (Instituto Interuniversitario López Piñero, Universitat de València; Departament d'Història de la Ciència i Documentació, Universitat de València)

16.55-17.35h Coffee break.

17.40-18.10h Discussion #4

18.15-18.45h Conclusions of the workshop