Final Post: Catalonia’s Independence Movement

Well, I’ve made it back to the ‘Burg, and I’ve also made it through a draft of my research paper on the Catalan independence movement. It’s sitting at fifty-one pages right now (apologies in advance to my advisor, who has to read the admittedly very rough version!), and I largely stuck to my outline, which I’ll post again as a reminder:

I. Nations, states, definitions, etc.

II. Theories of nationalism

III. History of Catalonia

IV. Arguments for separation with counter arguments

V. Catalan political parties and separate perspectives

VI. Progress of movement and projections

I think the progress section needs some work, and I need a good conclusion to wrap everything up, but overall, I think the paper is informative and comprehensive. I did what I set out to do, and that’s always a good feeling. As always, I was a bit idealistic in that I assumed I would work on the project consistently all summer; however, I should have been more realistic with my timeline and made a schedule that took place mostly at the end of July through August. I was working two jobs simultaneously, and those ended in August, meaning that prior to that, I was a bit burnt out (through no fault but my own). Another option would have been scheduling as little as an hour every other day early on in the summer – it wouldn’t have felt like much time at all, but I would have gotten more done in the beginning and cut down on my six-hour research days later on. Hindsight…you know what they say. Luckily, I made the deadline to submit to my advisor, though as I mentioned, the paper I sent is not as polished as I would have liked.

On to a more positive note: In working on this project, I know I became a better researcher – better at searching for what I need on the Internet, in libraries, and within a text; better at expressing complicated thoughts and events in simple language; and better at recognizing biases within works and remaining objective while examining them. I let the research guide my views rather than allowing preconceived views to guide my research, which has always been very tempting for me. Ultimately, I decided to argue that Catalonia has justifiable arguments for independence and that it would be better off as its own state, even if the rest of Spain objects. Though the chances of achieving independence appear slim from the outside, there is significant economic and cultural evidence in favor of supporting such an endeavor.

I’m so grateful to have been given this opportunity through the Monroe Scholars Program, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to visit Catalonia again in the near future (perhaps it will be Catalonia the state rather than Catalonia the autonomy!). I absolutely loved spending my spring semester studying at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (Autonomous University of Barcelona) in Catalonia, and I feel more connected to the place and its people now than I ever have.

To all of the other Monroes, congratulations on reaching the finish line! I hope your projects went well, and I can’t wait to hear more about them at the research showcase!