A visiting (PhD) scholar from University of Oviedo, in Spain, Jose Maria Rodriguez Vigil Reguera, started his research in retail history in January 2016 for a three month period.
He is writing his PhD in the history and architecture of department stores and shopping centres in the Spanish region of Asturias. Jose says, "I had always wanted to conduct some research at an English university in order to improve my knowledge, widen my skills and find new ideas. When I started planning my research stay, I looked for a place that had a clear connection with my own interests; in that sense, the University of Wolverhampton quickly seemed to be a very suitable option. Many prestigious scholars linked to this institution (John Benson, Laura Ugolini, Nancy Cox...) have written brilliant books and articles about consumption, and consumer society.
"The Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution (CHORD), directed by Dr. Laura Ugolini, carries out an important number of activities related to my own research. After I made my decision, I received very precise indications from both Dr. Laura Ugolini (my sponsor at Wolverhampton) and Dr. Roya Rahimi (director of the visiting scholar scheme who dealt with my application paperwork and took care of the administrative steps). They were always kind, helpful and available, and the whole process was sorted very quickly and in a positive way. Now I feel very happy that I chose the University of Wolverhampton as my research destination. This experience has been extremely rewarding, both academically and personally. My plans were realised exactly the way I had intended from the very beginning."
Prof. Laura Ugolini (Professor of History) adds, "It's been a pleasure to welcome Jose at Wolverhampton and to find out more about his research into the development of shopping centres and department stores in Asturias in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - revealing both differences and unexpected links with British retail developments. In addition to working on his thesis, Jose has also taken part in classes I teach on consumer society and popular consumerism, including leading an excellent seminar discussion on 'desert romances' and the consumption of the 'exotic' - Rudolph Valentino in 'The Sheik' hopefully providing him with an interesting change from retail architecture. We look forward to welcoming him again soon - by which time we hope to be able to address him as 'Doctor Rodriguez-Vigil Reguera'."