Radcliff, Pamela Beth
RADCLIFF, Pamela Beth
Female. Education: Columbia University, Ph.D., 1990.
(Editor, with Victoria Loree Enders) Constructing Spanish Womanhood: Female Identity in Modern Spain, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1999.
Contributor to books, including Spain, 1808-Present, edited by Adrian Shubert and Jose Alvarez Junco, Edward Arnold (London, England), 2000. Contributor to periodicals, including Gender and History and Journal of Social History.
Historian Pamela Beth Radcliff specializes in modern Spanish and European history. In From Mobilization to Civil War: The Politics of Polarization in the Spanish City of Gijon, 1900-1937, Radcliff addresses the transition of political activity in Spain from an elite activity to mass participation in the early part of the twentieth century. To do so, she concentrates on developments in Gijon, an "industrial and commercial center on the Cantabrian coast" of Spain, noted Journal of Interdisciplinary History reviewer Carolyn P. Boyd. Her "carefully structured analysis of place and process in Gijon illuminates the ways in which powerful upheavals took shape in smaller yet nonetheless important cities," observed Gary W. McDonough in the Journal of Social History. Radcliff expands her definition of politics to include not only formal political activities but also forms of collective action that originate in closer proximity to ordinary citizens, such as labor strikes, consumer riots, and a variety of rituals and symbolic practices. She notes that these types of "subinstitutional" activities existed along with such formal political behavior as organization of trade unions and development of political parties. Further, these activities persisted and expanded because they "were reflective of the everyday concerns of the community, especially women, and also because they were effective," commented Boyd. In large part, "the goal of this work is to understand how 'ordinary men and women' experienced political and social change," commented Michael Seidman in the Journal of Modern History. With Radcliff's "exhaustive research, clear writing and cogent questions, she has not only illuminated the past but also raised questions which must, in fact, be answered for the present and future of Spain," Mc-Donough remarked.
With this work, "Radcliff has made a notable contribution to the study of Gijon's and Spain's working classes, their labor movement, and popular protests," Seidman stated. Reviewer Chris Ealham remarked in the English Historical Review that "this important new study is a vital contribution to the contemporary history of Spain and to the history of polarization and protest in modern Europe." Radcliff's analysis "is a welcome contribution that substantially enlarges our understanding of the transition from elite to mass politics in early twentieth-century Spain," Boyd concluded.
Radcliff is also editor, with Victoria Loree Enders, of Constructing Spanish Womanhood: Female Identity in Modern Spain. "This collection of essays explores the gender ideology of separate spheres and its relationship to lived experience and identity construction in modern Spain," noted reviewer Montserrat Miller in the Journal of Social History. Radcliff herself contributes an essay focusing on "women's participation in consumer riots" in Spain, which "shows how this form of protest remained a powerful political tool well into the twentieth century," Miller remarked. The book "represents an important contribution to Spanish historiography," Miller concluded.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
English Historical Review, November, 1998, Chris Ealham, review of From Mobilization to Civil War: The Politics of Polarization in the Spanish City of Gijon, 1900-1937, p. 1364.
Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Carolyn P. Boyd, review of From Mobilization to Civil War, p. 674.
Journal of Modern History, March, 1999, Michael Seidman, review of From Mobilization to Civil War, p. 221.
Journal of Social History, fall, 1999, Gary W. Mc-Donogh, review of From Mobilization to Civil War, p. 219; fall, 2000, Montserrat Miller, review of Constructing Spanish Womanhood: Female Identity in Modern Spain, p. 206.
Journal of Women's History, spring, 2001, Michelle Mouton, review of Constructing Spanish Womanhood, p. 219.
University of California, San Diego Department of History Web site, http://historyweb.ucsd/edu/ (September 29, 2006), biography of Pamela Beth Radcliff.*