Origin of the department
After the University Reform Law of 1983 (Organic Law 11/1983, of August 25), the Royal Decree 2360/1984 of December 12, on “University Departments”, promoted the restructuring of university teaching, integrating the old departments, which were equivalent to the areas of knowledge, into new ones that would be responsible for organizing the research and teaching of those areas of knowledge, which, in principle, could help constitute departments. However, article 4.1, established a minimum number of professors -twelve full time-, to form the departments, so that in universities recently created at that time, such as that of Cadiz, departments in which related areas of knowledge were integrated had to be formed.
For this reason, at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Cadiz, a department of History was initially created by integrating all historiographical areas, plus Geography and Philosophy. Provisionally, Professor José Muñoz Pérez, from the area of History of America, who was the oldest professor in the department, assumed the direction of the department.
Given the department’s variety of areas of knowledge and its large number of professors, the process of division of the department into two parts started soon. The initiative to form the current department of Modern, Contemporary, American and Art History came into being because of the affinity of these research areas dealing with the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. When the new department was being developed, Professor Muñoz Pérez died in mid-1988.
Finally, in a meeting held on January 19, 1989, with the attendance of professors José Luis Millán Chivite, Pablo Antón Solé, Alberto Ramos Santana, Fernando Pérez Mulet, María Dolores Pérez Murillo, Julio Pérez Serrano, Diego Caro Cancela, Antonio Egea López, María José de la Pascua Sánchez and Arturo Morgado García, the constitutive act of the Department of Modern History, Contemporary History, History of America and History of Art took place, resulting in the election of Alberto Ramos Santana as Acting Director and Arturo Morgado García as Acting Secretary. In the same meeting, the Rector of the university was requested to call for immediate elections for the Department Council. This electoral process consolidated the creation of the Department.