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CCGES > CCGES Collegium > Aitana Guia

Aitana Guia

Photo Aitana Guia

Aitana Guia is a sessional assistant professor of modern European history at York University. Dr. Guia specializes is a social and political historian of the modern migrant experience in Europe, specializing in Muslims in Spain. After completing Masters degrees in Ethnicity and Nationalism (The London School of Economics) and Political Science (University of Valencia, Spain), Dr Guia received her Ph.D. from York in 2012.


Dr Guia has just recently turned her dissertation into a monograph, The Muslim Struggle for Civil Rights in Spain: Promoting Democracy through Migrant Engagement, 1985-2010 (Sussex Academic Press, 2014).Cover - Web version

The Muslim Struggle for Civil Rights in Spain examines immigrants’ struggle for civil rights and belonging in Spain after the collapse of Franco’s dictatorship in 1975. It argues that through advocating for religious pluralism, for rights as non-status residents, and for a broader appreciation of history, identity, and culture, immigrants have strengthened liberal democracy in Spain and Europe.  Her monograph frames Muslim migration history within the context of the third wave of democratization in Southern Europe rather than as a migrant community case study.  In doing so, it explores the agency of Muslim migrants in developing practices of horizontal citizenship and democratic consolidation.

Her next project explores religious pluralism, and reasonable accommodation of minorities in postwar Southern Europe.  Dr Guia seeks to understand reasonable accommodation not only as a political tool and legal mechanism to deal with religious minorities in Europe, but also as a trigger to transform popular festivals, culinary traditions, and historical commemorations. A second line of enquiry deals with nativism, gendered Islamophobia, and women’s rights in postwar Southern Europe.

Dr Guia has taught widely in Canada at the University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University, and York University (both in LA&PS and at Glendon College) and in Spain at the Open University of Catalonia.

Her publications include:


  • A. Guia, The Muslim Struggle for Civil Rights in Spain: Promoting Democracy through Migrant Engagement, 1985-2010 (Sussex Academic Press, 2014)
  • A. Guia, Nadie es extranjero (No One is a Foreigner) (Abisal, 2007)
  • A. Guia, La llengua negociada. El manteniment del conflicte polític sobre la llengua (The Bargained Language: Maintaining Political Conflict on Catalan Language) (Tres i Quatre, 2001)


  • A. Guia, “De lenguas y horizontes. Europa vista por sus escritores inmigrantes de cultura islámica” (“Of Languages and Horizons: Europe seen by its Muslim Writers”) Extravío. Revista electrónica de literatura comparada, No. 5 (2010) at:
  • A. Guia, “Els tombants de la història. Entrevista amb Natalie Z. Davis” (“Twists and Turns of History: An Interview with Natalie Z. Davis”), El Contemporani, No. 35-36 (2008): 43-64
  • A. Guia, “Molts mons, una sola llengua. La narrativa en català escrita per immigrants” (“Many Worlds, One Language: Catalan Literature Written by Immigrants”), Quaderns de Filologia. Estudis literaris, No. 12 “Cruzando la Frontera” (2007): 229-248
  • A. Guia, “Globalization of Borders: International Migrations in the Twenty-First Century,” Transfer. Journal of Contemporary Culture, No. 2 (Spring 2007): 75-90
  • A. Guia, “Som i serem terra de pas” (“We Are and Will Be People of a Migrant Land”), Diàlegs. Revista d’estudis politics i socials, Vol. 7, No. 25 (2004): 11-27


Twitter @AitanaGuia