2008-2009 Honors Student
Name: Scott Ehrenburg
Honors in: Spanish
Hometown: Florham Park, NJ
Title of project: Pololos, Prostitución y el Palacio de El Pardo: Identity and Gender Role Contradictions for Spanish Women during the 1940s-1950s
Abstract or brief description: Pololos, Prostitución y el Palacio de El Pardo: Identity and Gender Role Contradictions for Spanish Women during the 1940s-1950s is a sociohistorical investigation which attempts to shed light on the contradictions and manipulation used by Carmen Polo de Franco (wife of dictator Francisco Franco) and Pilar Primo de Rivera (daughter of dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera) in their fight to shape Spanish women into the perfect Catholic housewives. “Flies cannot enter a closed mouth” would be the literal translation of a Spanish expression used to reinforce the motto of the time period: “enthusiastic silence” as one of the most important ideas defended by both women and the system overall. However, this doctrine of morality was pillaged with widespread clandestine prostitution as well as often unreported domestic violence against women. This multidisciplinary thesis is the result of the fusion of women’s studies, sociology, cultural studies, and Spanish history.
How did you get interested in your topic? I have always had an interest in 20th century Spain especially the Franco years, but Franco’s wife, Carmen Polo de Franco, was always left out of class discussions, lectures, and books that we read. I wondered why everyone had written her off as being that unimportant. What I uncovered proved to be quite the opposite of what I had been taught. She was a crucial part in the success of the regime.
Do you intend to research your topic further, if so, how? Yes, I will be researching the topic more extensively in graduate school once I am accepted into a doctoral program.
How did you benefit academically by conducting research/participating in honors? My honors project has been an excellent first step toward developing a doctoral thesis but more importantly has taught me how to research effectively and hone in my analytical skills.
How has the department (or faculty advisor) in which you studied prepared you for the future? There aren’t enough wonderful things that can be said about Dr. Ferrero, my thesis advisor. She has been such a crucial part in making not only my thesis, but my years here at Moravian tremendously successful. Since my freshman year she has pushed me, as cliché as it may sound, to reach my full potential. I can now confidently say that I am ready to continue on as a researcher and hopefully one day have the opportunity to able to call myself a colleague of hers.
What advice do you have for other students interested in honors? Be sure to pick an advisor that not only you get along with but who believes in your topic. Make sure you surround yourself with good friends, preferably other Honors students because only they can understand the intensity of realizing such a big project.