Professor Angel Smith

Professor Angel Smith


I completed my PhD at Queen Mary College, University of London, in 1990. I joined the University of Leeds a lecturer in Spanish in 1998. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Spanish in 2003, to Reader in Modern Spanish History in 2008, and to Professor of Modern Spanish History in 2019.


  • Director, Centre for the History of Ibero America (CHIA)

Research interests

My work has centred on four major areas. First, I have written on social and political conflict in early twentieth-century Spain, focusing in particular on the rise of anarcho-syndicalism and on the reasons behind the fall of Spain's Restoration Monarchy in 1923. Second, I have studied nationalisms and national identities in modern Spain, with particular reference to Catalonia. Third, I have undertaken work on Catalan social elites and social, political and cultural conflict in Catalonia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Finally, I am at present working on stereotypical constructions of character and race of within Eastern and southern Europe by actors within the major western powers from the eighteenth century onwards. I am at present writing a book provisionally titled Orientalism, Race and the Nation. The Construction of Spanish National Character, 1750-1914. At the same time, I am broadening my research out and working on a research project entitled ‘Cultural Imperialism, Orientalism, and the Construction of Spanish national culture, 1750-1914.’ In this project I analyse the interrelationship between visions of Spain elaborated by actors within the so-called Great Powers and the articulation of Spain’s own cultural and nation identity(ies). The project builds on studies dealing with the construction, from the Enlightenment onwards, of a hierarchical division of Europe, comprising a central “core” and a large “periphery”, which included Spain. It interrogates whether attitudes towards Spain can be classed as “cultural imperialist” and whether the country was “Orientalised” and assimilated to Islamic north Africa. And it asks to what extent the articulation of Spain’s own national identity was impacted by such influences.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD 'Labour, Industry and Politics in Catalonia, 1899-1914', Queen Mary College, 1990
  • BA Modern History with Economics, University of London

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Student education

I teach in the areas of Catalan, Spanish and Latin American history and politics at all levels. My final year teaching focuses on the area of national and regional identities in Spain.

Research groups and institutes

  • Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American
  • Institut Ramon Llull (Catalan Language and Culture)

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>