We Saw Spain Die: Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War, 2 March 2016


We Saw Spain Die: Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War

Wednesday 2 March 2016
Oxford University – Ciclo Madariaga

Speaker: Prof. Paul Preston
Introduced by: Diego Rubio (Junior Fellow, University of Oxford)

Time: 5:30pm
Place: Summer Common Room, Magdalen College, Oxford, OX1 4AU
Registration: http://goo.gl/forms/LaEZtlHCaa

From 1936 to 1939, the eyes of the world were fixed on the devastating Spanish conflict that drew both professional war correspondents and great writers alike. Despite difficult political, professional and personal circumstances Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Josephine Herbst, Martha Gellhorn, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Kim Philby, George Orwell, Arthur Koestler, Cyril Connolly, André Malraux, Antoine de Saint Exupéry, and many others wrote eloquently about the horrors they saw at first-hand.

Together, with many great and now largely forgotten journalists, they put their lives on the line. Facing censorship, they fought to expose the complacency with which the decision-makers of the West were appeasing Hitler and Mussolini. Many campaigned for the lifting of non-intervention, revealing the extent to which the Spanish Republic had been betrayed. Based on extensive diary material and personal correspondence, Mainly British and American, but also Russian and French, Paul Preston’s account tells of the courage and skill of these men and women.

. . Category: Archived Events . Tags: , , , , , ,

LSE Literary Festival Discussion: ‘Fact versus Fiction? The Spanish Civil War in the Literary Imagination’, 24 February 2016

LSE-CBC Literary Festival Discussion

Fact versus Fiction? The Spanish Civil War in the Literary Imagination

Speakers: Prof. Helen Graham (Royal Holloway) and Eduardo Mendoza (novelist)
Chair: Prof. Paul Preston
Date: Wednesday 24 February 2016
Time: 18.30 h.
Place: LSE, New Academic Building, Wolfson Theatre

LSE Literary Festival Discussion

Marking the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, a panel of prominent historians as well as one of Spain’s most important novelists will explore the effect of the war on the literary imagination from George Orwell to the present day and reflect on the challenges of incorporating real events into fiction.

Helen Graham is Professor of Spanish History at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her books include The Spanish Republic at War, The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction, and The War and its Shadow: Spain’s Civil War in Europe’s Long Twentieth Century. She is currently completing Lives at the Limit, a set of innovative, interlocking biographies of five lives from Europe’s dark mid-twentieth century, all of which were involved in the defence of the Spanish Republic and its defeat in 1939.

Eduardo Mendoza is a Spanish novelist, whose acclaimed works include The City of Marvels, No Word from Gurb, The Mystery of the Enchanted CryptThe Olive Labyrinth, and An Englishman in Madrid. He studied Law and worked as an U.N. interpreter in the United States for nine years. Widely considered to be one of Spain’s leading contemporary novelists, he has won many literary prizes internationally.

For further information and tickets:


. . Category: Archived Events . Tags: , , , , , ,

Cañada Blanch Centre Seminar presented by Eladi Mainar, Thursday 28 January 2016

The Cañada Blanch Centre’s next seminar, War within the Spanish Church at the End of Franco’s Regime, presented by Dr. Eladi Mainar, will take place at 6pm on Thursday 28 January 2016.

When the Catholic Church began to adopt more liberal positions in the 1960s, the Franco regime had to react and did so ruthlessly. Since the Church had been one of the fundamental mainstays of the regime since the end of the Civil War, the strategy was clear: to derail the whole process of the Catholic Church’s move to a more democratic stance. The regime still had resources to stop the move to modernity in the Church, and the Franciscan Father Miguel Oltra was the right instrument to use. He was a friend of many in the Francoist authorities and even knew the Generalissimo himself. His involvement in the political and security structures of the regime was manifold. He was a close associate of the secret services and received secret reports. Oltra was thus a tool of Francoism against the new Spanish Church. His task was clear, to hinder the process of transition of the Church and its detachment from the regime. Together with other priests with the same ultra-conservative ideology, Oltra founded the Hermandad Sacerdotal Española (Spanish Sacerdotal Fraternity) and started a merciless war against the new Spanish hierarchy headed by Cardinal Tarancón.

 EMEladi Mainar completed his doctorate in History at the University of Valencia. Since 1985, he has been a teacher of Spanish history at the IES Montdúver de Xeraco School. Throughout his career he has written numerous articles and a number of books on the Spanish civil war, including L’alçament militar de juliol de 1936 a València (The Military Rising in Valencia in July 1936), first published in 1996, and most recently most recently El último cruzado español. El padre Oltra y el Franquismo. He has served as mayor for his hometown of Simat de la Valldigna in Valencia and runs a small publishing house, La Xara Edicions, which has published books since 1996 largely dedicated to historical themes. He is currently the director of the magazine L’Avenc de la Valldigna.

The event is free and open to the public. Seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.


. . Category: Archived Events . Tags: , , , , ,

CILAVS Seminar Series talk: ‘Memory as Montage: The Visual Archive of the Spanish Civil War’, Tuesday 9 February 2016

You are warmly invited to the next Seminar Series talk organised by the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS)

Professor Sebastiaan Faber (Oberlin College)

Memory as Montage:
The Visual Archive of the Spanish Civil War

Tuesday 9 February 2016, 6.00pm

Keynes Library, School of Arts
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1H 0PD


Images were central to the story of the Spanish Civil War and continue to be central in its memory today. After all, the war in Spain was the first major armed conflict to be covered by the modern visual media, equipped with newly portable photo and film cameras. Telling this visual story was not a mere matter of shooting films and photographs, however; it was also one of cutting and pasting. The photomontage, whose use had spread rapidly since the 1920s, became a crucial tool not just for propaganda posters but in journalism as well. And yet the centrality of montage as a tool for truth-telling has not been sufficiently acknowledged. A treasure hunt through the visual archive of the Spanish Civil War yields some surprising finds that place long-standing debates about the historical memory of the conflict in a new light.

Sebastiaan Faber is Professor of Hispanic Studies at Oberlin College and visiting researcher at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. He has published widely on Spanish and Latin American literature and culture. He is the author of Exile and Cultural Hegemony: Spanish Intellectuals in Mexico, 1939-1975 (Vanderbilt, 2002) and Anglo-American Hispanists and the Spanish Civil War: Hispanophilia, Commitment, and Discipline (Palgrave, 2008), and has co-edited Contra el olvido. El exilio expañol en Estados Unidos (U de Alcalá, 2009). From 2010 till 2015 he served as the Chair of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), whose quarterly journal The Volunteer he co-edits.

A drinks reception will follow.

All welcome, no booking is required

. . Category: Archived Events . Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

CFP: Crossing borders: The Spanish Civil War and transnational mobilisation- Deadline 30 November 2015


Crossing borders: The Spanish Civil War and transnational mobilisation

Thursday, 30 June – Friday, 1 July 2016

Venue: Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet St, London WC1E 7HX

Marking 80 years since the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, this two-day international conference will explore the origins and experiences of transnational mobilisation during the conflict and the immediate post-war period. It will bring together researchers working on military, medical, humanitarian and cultural aspects of mobilisation both inside and outside Spain.

The Spanish Civil War mobilised large sections of civilian populations, including political and humanitarian organisations. The war gave rise to a wide range of transnational collaborations, in some cases building on existing networks but in others serving as a springboard for new initiatives. Much of the existing historiography has explored the diplomatic dimension of the conflict and international military intervention on both sides. This conference aims to offer new perspectives by focusing on informal networks, border crossings, transmissions of ideas and cultural responses to these forms of mobilisation within Spain.

We invite proposals for papers on any topic relating to military, political, medical, humanitarian or cultural mobilisation during the conflict and the immediate post-war years. Potential themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Different forms and experiences of transnational mobilisation in all areas of Spain.
  • Geographical, ideological and cultural borders and border-crossing, between Spain and its neighbours, across the Spanish peninsular divided by war, and between Spanish regions.
  • Networks, organisations and relationships that facilitated transnational mobilisation, and how they adapted to, or were affected by, the conflict and the consolidation of the Franco regime.
  • Transnational life trajectories affected by the civil war.
  • Spanish responses to transnational mobilisation and encounters with foreign participants.
  • Communication and (mis)understanding in transnational encounters.
  • Transnational mobilisation as a subject in culture and propaganda in Spain during the civil war and the post-war period.
  • Power and unequal power relations in transnational mobilisation.
  • The legacy of transnational mobilisation after the end of the war, including the post-war trajectories of individuals involved, the impact on future conflicts, and its effect on future patterns of migration and exchange.
  • The memory of transnational mobilisation in the post-war era, both inside and outside Spain.

The conference will take place on 30 June and 1 July 2016 at Birkbeck College in London. The deadline for proposals is 30 November 2015. Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent to crossingbordersconference2016@gmail.com, together with a brief biography (50 words). Decisions will be made by 31 December 2015. For more information, see crossingbordersconference2016.wordpress.com.

. . Category: Archived Call for Papers . Tags: , , ,