Professor Crumbaugh’s research focuses on contemporary Spain. He is the author of Destination Dictatorship: The Spectacle of Spain’s Tourist Boom and the Reinvention of Difference (SUNY Press 2009). The book examines Spain’s 1960s tourist boom as it was presented to the Spanish public in newsreels, lowbrow commercial films, political essays, and official government rhetoric. Challenging conventional wisdom about tourism development, Professor Crumbaugh argues that modernization, in subtle and indirect ways, helped General Franco’s right-wing military regime stave off democracy. He has also authored numerous articles that can be found in the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Hispanic Review, theHispanic Research Journal, the Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, and other scholarly venues. His publications include studies on the Franco dictatorship, urban planning and the commodification of heritage in the Basque Country, and on the Spanish media’s depiction of Basque separatist violence. Most recently, he has published essays on the portrayal of victimhood and martyrdom in contemporary Spain. This is the topic of his current book project, which has been supported by funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The study rethinks the enshrinement of political victims in general, and then traces a history of the phenomenon in Spain, from the Franco regime’s exaltation of the “fallen” of the Spanish Civil War to recent commemorative acts and monuments for the victims of terrorism.
The courses Professor Crumbaugh has taught at Mount Holyoke College have addressed a wide range of topics. The politics of filmmaking in Latin America, the idea of "underdevelopment" as it has been questioned in the Global South, cultural memory of the Spanish Civil War, and the films of Pedro Almodóvar are a few examples. In general, his courses seek to foster critical thinking skills so that students not only learn about new people, places, and ways of thinking, but also gain the ability to pose sophisticated questions of their own.
In addition to teaching here at Mount Holyoke College, Professor Crumbaugh has held visiting positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University. He has also been invited to speak at Columbia University, Cornell University, Indiana University, UC Santa Barbara, Duke University, the Universitat de Valencia, and other institutions.