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Memory and the Spanish Civil War: Virtual Approaches to a Contested Past

Module Code: HP325
Module Name: Memory and the Spanish Civil War: Virtual Approaches to a Contested Past
Module Coordinator: Professor Alison Ribeiro de Menezes
Term 1 Time: TBC
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

What is the role of material and digital culture in memory debates? How can we enhance public access to and engagement with the past?

This module arises out of a current research project on which I am engaged with colleagues in Spain, Canada and the US: to produce a virtual or online museum of the Spanish Civil War.

The specific learning objectives of the module are to examine memory debates in relation to the Spanish Civil War through: a) the production of digital exhibition entries explaining objects, documents or visual and written texts relating to the conflict; b) the analysis of certain key works which engage with the memory of the war through cultural practices; c) a reflection of the role of public history and digital platforms in the wider dissemination of questions arising from contested pasts. Materials studied include: online documentary and material objects, monuments and memorial places, film, fiction and photography.

Students will engage in primary research; develop their skills for textual and visual analysis; and learn about, and potentially contribute to, the wider project goals.

Course Outline

1. Introduction: Public History and Memory
2. Online documents and digital communication
3. War as Propaganda and Media Event: Visual sources
4. How Should We Remember Atrocities? Arguments about victims and language
5. What to do About Monuments and Memorials?
6. Reading Week
7. How to Analyse War Memories on Screen: La vaquilla (Berlanga)
8. How to Analyse War Memories in Narrative: El lápiz del carpintero (Rivas)
9. How to Analyse Exhumation Photography: The After-Lives of the Dead
10. Conclusion and essay consultation


Exhibit analysis (1000 words)

Reflective piece (1000 words)

Essay on set text (3000 words)

If you are registered in this module, you will received an email from me with a link to an introductory video detailing module aims, delivery and assessment. Please watch the video ASAP and get in touch about any timetable issues. The video is also available in the module Moodle page for you to consult at any time.

Introductory work for the first class:

1. Examine this photo and find out why as much as you can about why it is regarded as contentious.

2. Read this article in the Guardian and be ready to discuss what you think why memory in Spain today it a matter of much debate.