Professor of Hispanic Studies
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 150719
Email: alison dot menezes at warwick dot ac dot uk
Fourth Floor, Faculty of Arts Building,
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
Alison Ribeiro de Menezes is a Hispanist with particular interests in literature and film, and in the relationship between history, memory, and culture in various regions of the Hispanic world. She read Spanish and French at St Anne's College, Oxford, completing a DPhil in Spanish in 1997. From 1995 to 2012 she lectured in the Department of Spanish at University College Dublin. She moved to Warwick in 2012 to lead the establishment of the new Hispanic Studies department, of which she was Head until 2015. In 2014-15 she was Deputy Chair of the Faculty of Arts and in 2016-19 she was Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. She has also served on Senate and has sat on several university-level committees, including ARC and Research Committee.
Alison specializes in modern Hispanic literatures and cultures, but also has interests in Portuguese narrative and film, and her early research focused on the contemporary reception of Golden-Age works. She has held visiting positions at the Centre for Comparative Study, University of Lisbon, the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and Brown University, Rhode Island. Her research has attracted awards from the Irish Research Council, the European Union, the Leverhulme Trust, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Alison has published widely on contemporary Spanish narrative, including the books Juan Goytisolo: The Author as Dissident (Tamesis, 2005), and A Companion to Carmen Martín Gaite, co-authored with Catherine O’Leary (Tamesis, 2008, paperback edition 2014). Her early work concentrated on issues of literary reception across epochs. Her current research focuses on cultural memory in the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds, and she has co-edited two volumes in this area: War and Memory in Contemporary Spain/Guerra y memoria en la España contemporánea with Roberta Quance and Anne Walsh (Verbum, 2009), and Legacies of War and Dictatorship in Contemporary Portugal and Spain, with Catherine O’Leary (Peter Lang, 2011).
Alison's monograph, Embodying Memory in Contemporary Spain, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in April 2014. It examines the memory debates that emerged in Spain concerning the Civil War and Franco dictatorship at the turn of the millennium, and analyses a series of novels, films and other cultural works in the light of a turn to human rights discourses and embodied notions of memory. Some of the book's arguments were presented at the Screening History lecture series, Ulster Museum/Queen's University Belfast, organized by Dr Fearghal McGarry (podcast). With Dr Stewart King (Monash University), Alison published a co-edited special issue of the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (94/8, 2017) on The Future of Memory in Spain, in which she argues for a new, forward-looking approach to memory criticism.
Alison's focus has shifted during her time at Warwick to Latin American research questions, notably around memory and enforced disappearance, and productive ways of dealing with the past through oral history and life story. This work is particularly focused on the flows and frictions which determine the nature of specific and contextualised cultural exchanges. What links Alison's various projects is a concern for memory as practice.
Alison is currently writing a monograph on transnational memories of The Disappeared, exploring the ways in which memory debates in some national or regional contexts intersect with and influence those of others. In this work she is particularly interested in the role of affect in the transmission of memory concerns, and in the productive capacity of art, literature and film to mediate traumatic and contested pasts beyond the constraints of legal discourses. She presented some of this research in a seminar on Patricio Guzmán at CSIC, Madrid. Her research had been published as 'Memory Beyond the Anthropocene' and 'Remembering the disappeared in Lita Stantic's Un muro de silencio.'
As part of Refugee Week 2021 and in conjunction with the Coventry Welcomes and Warwick Resonate Festivals, Alison worked as a research advisor for the amazing theatrical presentation REWIND by Ephemeral Ensemble, on the work of forensic science in recovering the disappeared. REWIND returned to Warwick for the April Resonate Festival on campus, and has played in Wolverhampton and Sheffield. In October 2022 we took the performance to Colombia (Bogotá, Cali, Trujillo) and Chile (Santiago, La Serena), and we returned to Cali in April 2023. REWIND will be at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, at Summerhall, which has created the 'REWIND award' for work that deals with stories of decolonisation. Named after our show, we are its foundational recipient. You can read about this honour here.
Ephemeral Ensemble's REWIND
How did British people respond to the plight of Chileans fleeing persecution after President Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 coup? What were the experiences of the approximately 3,000 Chileans who came to the UK, and how do they now remember the welcomes they received across the country?
Alison has recently begun an AHRC Research Development and Engagement Fellowship to extend and deepen her research on Chilean exile in collaboration with the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago, Chile. This new project, which builds on her earlier work on Chilean Exiles and World University Service (see below), will explore the plight of Chilean refugees who fled the country after the military coup of September 1973, when the Chilean Armed Forces overthrew Salvador Allende's government. It also focuses on the memories of second-generation Chileans who grew up in exile, as well as the reflections and motivations of those who supported Chileans. Alison is working in collaboration with Dr Verónica Díaz Cerda, postdoctoral researcher on the project.
Between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s, approximately £11million (the equivalent of £110million today) was assigned to the rescue of Chileans from political persecution. World University Service (WUS) was important in this process, working with groups including the Joint Working Group for the Resettlement of Refugees, Chile Solidarity Campaign and Chile Committee for Human Rights. Almost 3,000 refugees came to the UK as a result of these and other efforts, although approximately half were later able to return home.
Alison is interested in the public engagement aspects of academic work, and continues to be invited to contribute on memory in Spain. She co-edited a book on Public Humanities and the Spanish Civil War with Professors Adrian Shubert (York University, Toronto) and Antonio Cazorla-Sánchez (Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario) with support from the Canadian SSHRC. The volume opened up a discussion on the need for and potential benefits of a virtual museum of the Spanish Civil War. The team was then awarded further Canadian SSHRC funding (also with support from Warwick's HRF) to develop just such a virtual resource of exhibits and entries relating to the Spanish Civil War. You can consult the Virtual Spanish Civil War here. You can hear Alison speak about the initiative here.
Alison developed research on conflict transformation in Colombia in collaboration with Dr María Estrada-Fuentes (Royal Holloway, University of London). The project, supported by Warwick International Partnership Funds, includes collaboration with Alejandro Garzón and Otoniel Romero from the Agencia para la Reincorporación y la Normalización (ARN). One result of this project is the article, 'A Grammar of Care: Morality, Embodied Emotion and the Work of Reintegration and Reincorporation in Colombia', co-authored with María Alejandra Estrada Fuentes.
With Professor John King, Alison led an AHRC-funded project to explore and capture the history of Warwick's role in helping Chilean exiles, following the 1973 coup, thanks to World University Service. The work, in collaboration with the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago, Chile, involved gathering exile testimonies from those who both stayed and remade their lives in the UK, and those who eventually returned to Chile. The story of WUS and its assistance to nearly one thousand Chileans was featured on the BBC's One Show in early 2018. An edited dossier and project article by Alison is forthcoming with the Journal of Refugee Studies and available online in advance copy here. This network project was the basis of Alison's current research on Voices of Humanitarianism: British Responses to Refugees from Chile. WUS recently celebrated its centenary, with a major publication on its work.
From 2015-19 Alison was co-lead of Warwick's Connecting Cultures Global Research Priority in collaboration Professor Paulo de Medeiros (English and Comparative Literary Studies) and Dr Helen Wheatley (Film and Television Studies). She rejoined the GRP team in 2021-22 while Helen was on leave. She is a member of the editorial board of the Brill Foro Hispánico series.
Books and Edited Volumes
- Juan Goytisolo: The Author as Dissident (Tamesis, 2005).
- A Companion to Carmen Martín Gaite, co-authored with Catherine O’Leary (Tamesis, 2008).
- War and Memory in Contemporary Spain/Guerra y memoria en la España contemporánea co-edited with Roberta Quance and Anne Walsh (Verbum, 2009).
- Legacies of War and Dictatorship in Contemporary Portugal and Spain, co-edited with Catherine O’Leary (Peter Lang, 2011).
- Embodying Memory in Contemporary Spain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Review online
- The Future of Memory in Spain, co-edited with Stewart King, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 94/8 (2017).
- Public Humanities and the Spanish Civil War, co-edited with Adrian Shubert and Antonio Cazorla-Sánchez (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
- Editor special journal dossier on Chilean Exiles in the UK, Journal of Refugee Studies; articles by Alison, Alan Angell and Jasmine Gideon, introduction by Alison (forthcoming).
- A Handbook of the Spanish Civil War, co-edited with Adrian Shubert and Antonio Cazorla-Sánchez (London: Bloomsbury: forthcoming 2024).
- Handbook of Memory Studies in Spain and Portugal, co-edited with Marije Hristova and Ellen Sapega (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).
Book Chapters‘Juan Goytisolo, Miguel de Unamuno and Spanish Literary History’, in Don W. Cruickshank (ed.), A Lifetime’s Reading: Hispanic Essays for Patrick Gallagher (Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 1999), pp. 135-52.‘Purloined Letters: Juan Goytisolo, José María Blanco White and the Cultural Construction of Marginal Identity’, in Edric Caldicott and Anne Fuchs (eds.), Cultural Memory: Essays on European Literature and History (Berne: Peter Lang, 2003), pp. 327-40.‘Ventriloquism and Double-Voiced Discourse in Juan Goytisolo’s Literary Criticism: The Case of José María Blanco White’, in Stanley Black (ed.), Territories of Life and Writing (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007), pp. 77-93.'The Dark Shore That Illuminates: Cervantine Narrative Poetics and the Case of La orilla oscura by José María Merino’, in Idoya Puig (ed.), Tradition and Modernity: Cervantes’ Presence in Spanish Contemporary Literature (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009), pp. 137-56.‘Introducción: Memoria cultural y el caso español’, in War and Memory in Contemporary Spain/Guerra y memoria en la España contemporánea, edited by Alison Ribeiro de Menezes, Roberta Ann Quance and Anne L. Walsh (Verbum, 2009), pp. 9-28.‘Del yo al yo la distancia es … ética: Cuestiones de autoridad y autoría en el periodismo político de Juan Goytisolo – Bosnia, Argelia, Chechenia, Palestina’, in Brigitte Adriaensen and Marco Kunz (eds), Pesquisas en la obra tardía de Juan Goytisolo (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009), pp. 233-57.‘Loss of Belonging, Loss of Agency: Representations of Spain and Cuba in Juan Goytisolo’s Señas de identidad’, in Kathleen James-Chakraborty and Sabine Strumper-Krobb (eds), Crossing Borders: The Space Between Disciplines (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2010), pp. 47-64.‘Gender and Space in Nubosidad variable and La Reina de las Nieves’, in Marian Womak and Jennifer Wood (eds), Beyond the Backroom: Essays on Carmen Martín Gaite (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2010), pp. 135-57.‘Introduction: Cultural Memory and the Legacies of War and Dictatorship in Contemporary Spain and Portugal’, in Legacies of War and Dictatorship in Contemporary Portugal and Spain, edited by Alison Ribeiro de Menezes and Catherine O’Leary (Peter Lang, 2011), pp. 1-34.‘Cultural Memory and Intergenerational Transfer: The Case of Inês Pedrosa’s Nas Tuas Mãos’, in Legacies of War and Dictatorship in Contemporary Portugal and Spain, edited by Alison Ribeiro de Menezes and Catherine O’Leary (Peter Lang, 2011), pp. 79-102.‘Memories of Portugal’s Angolan War: Os Cus de Judas and D’este viver aqui neste papel descripto by António Lobo Antunes’, in Legacies of War and Dictatorship in Contemporary Portugal and Spain, edited by Alison Ribeiro de Menezes and Catherine O’Leary (Peter Lang, 2011),pp. 117-32.‘War, History, and Memory in Arturo Barea’s La forja de un rebelde’, in Sarah Leggott and Ross Woods (eds), Memory and Trauma in the Postwar Spanish Novel: Revisting the Past (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2014), pp. 43-53.‘The Enchantment and Disenchantment of the Archival Image: Politics and Affect in Portuguese Cultural Memories of the Salazar Dictatorship and Carnation Revolution’, in Jennie M. Carlsten and Fearghal McGarry (eds), Film, History and Memory (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 65-82.‘From Liquid to Illiquid Modernity: Spanish Story-Telling in the New Millennium’, in Anne L. Walsh (ed.), Telling Tales: The Place of Story-Telling in Contemporary Spain (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), pp. 146-65.‘On Civil-War Memory in Spanish Women’s Narratives: The Example of Cristina Fernández Cubas’ Cosas que ya no existen’, in Peter Tame and Manuel Bragança (eds.), The Long Aftermath: Cultural Legacies of Europe At War, 1936-2016 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2015), pp. 60-73.‘Representing the Disappeared in Lita Stantic’s Un muro de silencio (1993)’, On Replacement, ed. Naomi Segal and Jean Owen (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 147-158.'Public Humanities and the Spanish Civil War', in Public Humanities and the Spanish Civil War: Connected and Contested Histories, edited by Alison Ribeiro de Menezes, Adrian Shubert and Antonio Cazorla-Sánchez (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), pp. 1-18.‘The Necropolitics of Spain’s Civil-War Dead’, in Public Humanities and the Spanish Civil War: Connected and Contested Histories, edited by Alison Ribeiro de Menezes, Adrian Shubert and Antonio Cazorla-Sánchez (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), pp. 115-37.'Memory Beyond the Anthropocene: The Tactile Rhetorics of Patricio Guzmán's Nostalgia de la luz and El botón de nácar', in Beyond the Rhetorics of Pain, edited by Berenike Jung and Stella Bruzzi (London: Routledge, 2019), pp. 101-19.‘The Archival Turn in Portuguese Women’s Documentary Making’, Portuguese Women Filmmakers, ed. Hilary Owen and Mariana Liz (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020), pp. 150-168.'Tactile Translations: Re-Locating the Northern Irish Disappeared', in Translating Worlds: Migration, Memory and Culture, ed. by Suannah Radstone and Rita Wilson (London and New York: Routledge, 2021), pp. 27-40.'New Cultural Directions', in A Handbook of the Spanish Civil War, ed. Antonio Cazorla-Sánchez, Alison Ribeiro de Menezes and Adrian Shubert (London: Bloomsbury: forthcoming 2024).
‘Mystical Paradoxes and Moorish Resonances: A Solution to Juan Goytisolo’s Problematic Aesthetic’, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, 4 (1998), 109-19.
‘En el principio de la literatura está el mito: Reading Cervantes through Juan Goytisolo’s Reivindicación del Conde don Julián and Juan sin Tierra’, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Liverpool), 77 (2000), 587-603.
‘The Mystical and the Burlesque: The Portrayal of Homosexuality in Juan Goytisolo’s Carajicomedia’, Romance Studies, 21/2 (2002), 105-14.
‘Irony, the Grotesque, and the Dialectics of Reading in Luis Martín-Santos’ Tiempo de silencio’, Hispanic Research Journal, 3/2 (2002), 123-37.
‘Reciting/Re-siting the Libro de buen amor in the zoco: Irony, Orality and the Islamic in Juan Goytisolo’s Makbara’, Modern Language Notes, 117/2 (2002), 406-31.
‘Language, Meaning and Rebellion in Juan Goytisolo’s Don Julián: The Gongorine Intertexts’, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 80/6 (2003), 47-68.
‘Juan Goytisolo’s Cuaderno de Sarajevo: The Dilemmas of a Committed War Journalist’, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, 12/2-3 (2006), 219-31.
‘Psychoanalyzing the Nation: A Comparative Reading of António Lobo Antunes’ Memória de Elefante and Luis Martín-Santos’ Tiempo de silencio’, Orbis Litterarum, 63/1 (2008), 1-19.
‘From the Recuperation of Spanish Historical Memory to a Semantic Dissection of Cultural Memory: La malamemoria by Isaac Rosa’, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research, 16/1 (2010), 1-12.
‘Memory and Collective Defeat in Alberto Méndez’s Los girasoles ciegos’, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research, 17/1 (2011), 95-107.
‘Family Memories, Postmemory, and the Rupture of Tradition in Josefina Aldecoa’s Civil War Trilogy’, Hispanic Research Journal, 13/3 (2012), 250-63.
‘Shifting Memory Horizons and Carnivalesque Representations of the Spanish Civil War and Franco Dictatorship’, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 91/1-2 (2014), 239-53.
‘Out of the Labyrinth? Television Memories of Revolution and Return in Contemporary Portugal’, Journal of Romance Studies, 16/2 (2016), 76-95.
'Introduction: The Future of Memory in Spain', with Stewart King, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 94/8 (2017), 793-99.
'Memory as Disruption: Entanglements of Memory and Crisis in Contemporary Spain', Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 94/8 (2017), 883-901.
'Recovering Refugee Stories: Chilean Exiles and World University Service', Journal of Refugee Studies, 35/3 (2022), 1073-1088 (available online at: https://academic.oup.com/jrs/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jrs/feaa097/6135665?login=true).
'A Grammar of Care: Morality, Embodied Emotion and the Work of Reintegration and Reincorporation in Colombia', co-authored with María Alejandra Estrada Fuentes, Performance Research, 27/6-7 (2023), 136-143.
Current PhD Supervision
Recently Completed Supervision
Dr Christabelle Peters, Leverhulme ECF 2014-17 (now Lecturer in Latin American Cultural History, University of Bristol).
Dr Samuel O'Donoghue, Leverhulme ECF 2019 (now Lecturer in Spanish, Lancaster University).
Dr Marije Hristova, Warwick IAS-CoFund Fellow, 2018-20.
Dr Santiago Bertrán, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, 2021-24
- MA DPhil (Oxon).
As I am currently on leave, please email me to arrange an appointment.
Teaching and Supervision
Although I am on leave from teaching in 2022-23, I continue to supervise PhD students.
I am keen to hear from prospective PhD students who have a clearly defined research proposal and strong academic record.