Dates: 28th February – 15th March, 2018
Venue: School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon (room B1 – Library)
Opening Session: 28th February, 2.30 pm

Versão portuguesa

This exhibition evokes the transatlantic cruise to America in the summer of 1934, an initiative of the Universitat de Barcelona (at the time called the Universitat Autònoma), whose objective was to gather students from different disciplines and enable them to visit ports of South, Central, and North America, with the purpose of learning in the field about subjects that they had the opportunity only to sense at university.

The ship, the “Marqués de Comillas”, the property of the Compañía Trasatlántica, became for a few days a floating university, where several thematic conference cycles were offered. The intention was to provide an education based on a direct and quality knowledge of reality, an interdisciplinary didactic programme, and new approaches to studies. In other words, an educational perspective that embodied the approaches advocated by the Institución Libre de Enseñanza and the Catalan pedagogical renewal movements. Some of these approaches are still being emulated today. Some others are still far from being attained.

The Cruise lasted fifty days and was directed by Dr. Ángel Ferrer i Cagigal, Dean of the School of Medicine, assisted by two young professors of the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature: Guillermo Díaz-Plaja and Jaume Vicens Vives. Compañía Trasatlántica endorsed the project and facilitated tickets at a very reduced price, and both the University and the Catalan Government offered scholarships. One hundred travellers, including professionals and students, from the Universitat de Barcelona and other parts of Spain, participated in the project.

Through these pictures, letters, fliers, ship’s logs, and other documents the exhibition aims to approach the experience through the eyes of its protagonists. We want to share a way of understanding education and allow the visitors to this exhibition to consider how community spirit, knowledge, and joy of living pertain to an advanced model of education and may constitute an example for today’s society.

Commissioners: Ana Díaz-Plaja Taboada and Marcelino Jiménez León.

Editing: María José Díaz-Plaja Taboada.

Organization and Archive: Aurora and Victoria Díaz-Plaja Taboada (Archivo G. Díaz-Plaja); Daniel Marías (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid).

Internship Student: María del Mar Merino Escobar (Màster de Gestió Cultural, Facultat d’Economia i Empresa, Universitat de Barcelona).

Graphic Design: Júlia Ruiz Soto.

English translator: Andrea Carroggio Díaz-Plaja.

All materials, except otherwise indicated, come from Fondo G. Díaz-Plaja (Reial Acadèmia de Bones Lletres de Barcelona).

Organization at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon:  Ângela Fernandes and Magdalena López (Centre for Comparative Studies, FLUL)

Sponsor: Consejería de Educación de la Embajada de España en Lisboa

Information leaflet HERE.

Virtual Exhibition HERE.

Activity organized in the scope of the research project DIIA – Iberian and Ibero-American Dialogues of group LOCUS, in partnership with the funded project Digital Map of Iberian Literary Relations (1870-1930).