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Josep Fontana i Lázaro

Date of investiture:
10 June 2010
Montserrat Duch
Area of knowledge:

Born in Barcelona in 1931, Josep Fontana has been emeritus professor of Economic History at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) since 2001. A humanistic scientist and a generous teacher, he has turned his profession into a contribution to the critical vision of the world.

As a student of Philosophy and Arts, he worked in the family business and his youth was spent in the post-war period under the Franco dictatorship. Committed to the struggle against the regime, as a university lecturer he suffered reprisals, but once he had got over the obstacles and difficulties he was awarded a permanent post.

He has written 23 books, five of which have been translated into other languages. Some of them deal with the change from the old regime to capitalism while others, such as the one he edited jointly with Ramon Villares on the history of the world after the II World War, are summaries. He has supervised 40 doctoral theses, he has been awarded numerous distinctions and he holds an honorary degree from the University of Comahue (Argentina).

A brilliant intellectual and ethical referent, he believes that their knowledge, their critical spirit and their contribution to the change in society make historians paradigmatic university students.

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