The Multiple Temporalities of Memory, The Contested Memory of the Spanish Civil War in Contemporary Spain

The Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Program enables overseas scholars of international distinction to make an extended visit to the University and contribute to the University's academic, intellectual and cultural life.

This talk gives an overview of the often acrimonious debates on the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 and its repressive aftermath under the Franco Dictatorship that have occupied the media in Spain since the start of the 21st century. It will stress the international context - in Europe and Latin America - in which these debates have taken place. It will also run through key aspects of the theorisation of memory, in order to explain some of the misunderstandings that have arisen in Spain about what memory does or does not do. In particular, the talk will stress the many ways in which memory, rather than "recovering" the past, involves a complex movement between different temporalities. It will also engage in critical discussion of some of the historical and ethical problems involved in these debates, which have implications that go beyond Spain and the Spanish-speaking world.

Professor Jo Labanyi is Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. She joined NYU's Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 2006, after a career in the UK where, among other things, she directed the Institute of Romance Studies, University of London. A founding editor of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies and Fellow of the British Academy, she also currently holds the position of Director of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Centre at NYU. Her widely published research focuses on 19th- and 20th-century Spanish literature, painting, film, and photography, and has particular research interests in gender studies, popular culture, and memory.