Mary Josephine Nash Baldwin
- Date of investiture:
- 9 March 2018
- Montserrat Duch
- Area of knowledge:
The historian of women Mary Nash was awarded an honorary degree by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili on 9 March 2018. Born in Ireland in 1947, Mary Nash was educated at the universities of Cork, Turin and Barcelona, and she was professor of Contemporary History at the UB from 1991 to 2018. When she first arrived in Catalonia in 1968, during the Franco dictatorship she was fascinated by the leading role of women in the 2nd Republic and the Civil War, the topic of her doctoral thesis, and ever since then the history of women has been central to her professional life. At the beginning of the 1970s she started teaching a subject on women at the UB, the first time this had been done in Spain.
In her acceptance speech, Mary Nash recalled that in the first decades of her career the notion of a history of women was flatly rejected as was its academic legitimacy as an object of historical study. Most leading historians and even the most progressive ones gave their support to a historiographic canon that gave precedence to the masculine and relegated women to the margins of history.
During the presentation of Mary Nash's achievements, the sponsor, the professor of Contemporary History at the URV Montserrat Duch, spoke of her book Mujeres del mundo, an overview of contemporary women's movements struggling for their rights. "It explores such diverse dynamics as the collective struggle for citizenship, suffragism, feminism, pacifism, sexual reform, anti-colonial resistance, freedom for women, mobilisation against political dictatorships, the feminisms of the Hispanic transition and the mobilisation of the ethnic minorities and the women in colonised countries".