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Dr. Alexandra Wilhelmsen

Professor, Modern Languages (Spanish)
Adjunct Professor, History

An American from California who was raised in Spain and studied in Italy for several years, 
Dr. Alexandra Wilhelmsen is the historian in the Department of Modern Languages. 
She is a graduate as well as a former director of our Spanish Program.  She is a specialist on Spain.

 Dr. Wilhelmsen’s approach to the Hispanic world is interdisciplinary.  She is acknowledged as an expert on Spanish Carlism, a political and religious movement of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.  Her degrees are in Spanish literature, politics, and history. She wrote her MA thesis on medieval Spanish law and her doctoral dissertation on nineteenth-century Spanish political thought.  As a student, Alexandra Wilhelmsen took many courses in art history that have been supplemented over the years by extensive travels in Europe, Mexico, and South America.  To date, Professor  Wilhelmsen has directed a number of MA theses in different programs at UD and approximately seventy-five senior research projects.

Alexandra Wilhelmsen’s research on Carlism focuses on political thought and on the life in exile of the Carlist branch of the Spanish Royal Family.  In search of documents Dr. Wilhelmsen has visited over fifty libraries, archives, palaces, and churches in Austria, England, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the Vatican, as well as in  the United States.  She has also received documents and illustrations by mail from Brazil.

Prof. Wilhelmsen has given over eighty-five lectures and scholarly presentations in many countries in America and Europe at universities, academic gatherings, cultural institutions, clubs, and churches.

As the director of our Spanish Program, Prof. Wilhelmsen strengthened the interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum, expanded the offerings in Spanish American subjects, reintroduced the senior research project, and began UD's association with the Universidad Católica de Avila, in Spain.  

BA, University of Dallas, Spanish and Politics
MA, Rice University, History

Ph. et Litt. D., University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain), History

Courses taught in the Spanish Program
Professor Wilhelmsen has taught a wide variety of courses to undergraduate and graduate students,
in language, history, and art history, in Spanish and in English  The courses in the Spanish Program
she teaches most frequently are:


Second Year Spanish II (every semester and in the summer)
Mexican Civilization
Introduction to the Art of Spain and Mexico
History of Medieval Spain
History of Habsburg Spain (the Golden Age)
History of Bourbon Spain (the Age of Revolution)


Major Formal Advisory Positions
Aportes (Revista de Historia Contemporánea), Madrid, since 1995
Hernando de Larramendi Foundation’s contest for research on Carlism, Madrid, since 1996
Faith & Reason, Christendom College, 1997-2010
National Screening Committee for Spain, U.S. Fulbright Program, 2002-2005
Anales de la Fundación Francisco Elías de Tejada, Madrid, since 2008
Fuego y Raya. Revista semestral hispanoamericana de historia y política, Madrid, since 2010.



Luis Hernando de Larramendi Award (Madrid) in the Hernando de Larramendi Foundation’s competition for book-length manuscripts in the history of Carlism, 1994.

Phi Beta Kappa, 1999

King Award, given by UD to a member of the faculty for “distinguished contributions to the 
excellence of the university,” 2004.



El Desarrollo del pensamiento político del Carlismo (1810-1875). Madrid: Editorial Actas and Fundación Hernando de Larramendi, 1995.  Second printing, 1998.  630 pages.  This book received approximately twenty nice reviews published in various countries and was also included in half a dozen collective reviews.  Professor Wilhelmsen’s ten-page introduction was published in Portuguese translation (antiguo regime by Armando Alexandre dos Santos) in a journal in Lisbon, Portugal (1996) and another in São Paulo, Brazil (1998).

In addition, Dr. Wilhelmsen has published sixty-five articles and chapters of books in English and Spanish in different fields.  Her most important ones on Carlism and its precursor, Spanish political Realismo, are:

“Carlos VII or an Introduction to Carlism,”  Iberian Studies (University of Keele), VIII, 1 (Spring 1979): 25-37.

“’El Manifiesto de los Persas’: una alternativa ante el liberalismo español,”  Revista de Estudios Políticos (Centro de Estudios Constitucionales, Madrid, Spain), Nueva Época, 12 (Nov.-Dec. 1979): 141-161.

“Los realistas en las Cortes de Cádiz: debates sobre un proyecto constitucional,”  Cuadernos de Historia de España (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), 63-64 (1982): 292-321.

“Los realistas en el Trienio Constitucional: manifiestos de la Regencia de Urgel,”  Cuadernos de Historia de España (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), 67-68 (1982): 369-400.

“The Political Thought of Don Carlos in the First Carlist War,” in Proceedings of the Fifteenth 
Consortium on Revolutionary Europe (1750-1850).  K. A. Roider, Jr. at al, eds. (Athens, Georgia, 1985), pp. 161-177.
"Basque Carlism in the 1830's." Reflections (st. Paul, Minn.), Oct. 1985:11. Review of John F. Coverdale, The Basque Phase of Spain's First Carlist War (Princeton University Press, 1984).

“The Conspiracy of La Rápita and the Carlist Theory of the Two Legitimacies,”  Continuity
(The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA), 11 (1987): 49-61. Republished in
Marginated Groups in Spanish and Portuguese History
.  William D. Phillips and Carla Rahn Phillips,
eds.  Minneapolis, MN: Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, 1989, pp. 127-137.

“Vicente Pou: An Early Carlist Political Analyst,” in The Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, 1750-1850.  Proceedings, 1989, to Commemorate the Bicentennial of the French Revolution.  D. D. Horward and J. C. Horgan, eds. (Tallahassee: The Florida State University, 1990), pp. 497-503. Republished in Spanish translation (by the author) as “VicentePou: analista politico carlista temprano,” Razón Española (Madrid, Spain), 55 (Sept.-Oct. 1992): 181-190.

”Carlism’s Defense of the Church in Spain, 1833-1936.”  Faith & Reason (Christendom College), XVI, 4 (Winter 1990): 355-370.

“Magín Ferrer: un pensador carlista renovador olvidado,” in Estudios de historia moderna y contemporánea.  Homenaje a Federico Suárez Verdeguer.  Introd. by H.M. King Juan Carlos I ( Madrid: Ediciones Rialp, 1991), pp. 491-499.

"La conciencia social del escritor y senador carlista Antonio Aparisi y Guijarro." Aportes (Revista de Historia Contemporánea) (Madrid, Spain), VII, 20 (July-Oct. 1992): 24-30.

“El desarrollo de la ideología carlista, 1833-1876,” in Las Guerras Carlistas.  A. Bullón de Mendoza, ed (Madrid: Universidad Complutense and Editorial Actas, 1993), pp. 43-59.

“Antonio Aparisi y Guijarro: A Nineteenth-Century Carlist Apologist for a Sacral Society in Spain,” in Saints, Sovereigns and Scholars.  Studies in Honor of Frederick D. Wilhelmsen.  R. Herrera et al., eds.  (New York: Peter Lang, 1993), pp. 365-375.  Also published in Spanish translation by Louis Infante as "La conciencia social del escritor y senador carlista Antonio Aparisi y Guijarro.”  Aportes (Revista de Historia Contemporánea).  (Madrid), VII, 20 (July-Oct. 1992): 24-30.

“Pedro de La Hoz: crítico carlista del parlamentarismo en el reinado de Isabel II,” in RazionalismoHomenaje a Fernández de la Mora.  Á. Maestro, ed.  (Madrid: Fundación Balmes, 1995), pp. 301-307.

“The Theory of Spanish Political Traditionalism (1810-1875): Realism and Carlism,” in Identidad y nacionalismo en la España contemporánea: El Carlismo (1833-1975).  Jornadas organizadas por la Universidad de Wisconsin-Madison y la Fundación Hernando de Larramendi .  S. G. Payne, ed. (Madrid: Editorial Actas, 1996), pp. 44-54.  Also published in Spanish in the same book as "La Teoría del tradicionalismo político español (1810-1875): Realismo y Cailismo." 

“Maria Teresa of Braganza, Portuguese Princess of Beira, Wife of the Pretender Carlos V,” in Mediterranean Studies VI.  B. F. Taggie et al, eds. (Kirkville, MO:Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1996), pp. 79-101.

“Maria Beatrice di Austria-Este  Savoia y la formación intelectual de su hijo mayor, el pretendiente Carlos VII,” Aportes (Revista de Historia Contemporánea) (Madrid), XIII, 36 (1/1998): 69-86.

"Siguiendo los pasos de la Princesa de Beira por los Pirineos." El Boletín Carlista de Madrid, 53 (Sept. 2000). No pagination.

“Carlism: From Reaction to Counterrevolution, 1833-1876”, in Spanish Carlism and Polish Nationalism: The Borderlands of Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, M.J. Chodakiewicz and J. Radilowski, eds.  (Charlottesville, VA: Leoplois Press, 2003), pp. 9-23. Republished in Polish translation (by Marciej Jablónski) as “Karlism.  Od reakcji do Kontrrewolucji, 1833-1876,” Glaukopis (Warsaw, Poland), 2/3 2005: 9-20.  This publication in Warsaw includes 12 unnumbered pp. of illustrations in color.

“Francisco Javier de Lizarza Inda y la memoria histórica del Carlismo,” Aportes (Revista de Historia Contemporánea) (Madrid), XXII, 65 (March 2007): 4-22.

“Maria Francisca de Braganza,” Diccionario Biográfico Español (Madrid: Real Academia de la Historia, 2010), v. IX, pp. 358-359.

“Maria Teresa de Braganza,” Diccionario Biográfico Español (Madrid: Real Academia de la Historia, 2010), v. IX, pp. 359-361.


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