The Legacies of Francoism

Episode 48 with Sebastiaan Faber

Between the removal of Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen and the new Law of Democratic Memory, the legacies of Spain’s recent past have been in the news a lot recently.  But how much of the Franco dictatorship survives in Spanish politics and society today and in what forms?  How can those hold overs be addressed?  In this episode, Prof. Sebastiaan Faber of Oberlin College explores the legacies of Francoism in Spanish business, courts, politics and more. In Part II, he discusses ideas about historical memory and how to address these legacies in a transnational context.

The Episode

The Guest

Sebastiaan Faber is Professor of Hispanic Studies at Oberlin College. He is the author of Exile and Cultural Hegemony: Spanish Intellectuals in Mexico, 1939-1975 (Vanderbilt, 2002), Anglo-American Hispanists and the Spanish Civil War: Hispanophilia, Commitment, and Discipline (Palgrave, 2008), Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War: History, Fiction, Photography (Vanderbilt, 2018), and Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Second Transition (Vanderbilt, 2021), translated as Franco desenterrado. La segunda Transición española (Pasado & Presente, 2022); he is co-editor of Contra el olvido.El exilio español en Estados Unidos(U de Alcalá, 2009) and Transatlantic Studies: Latin America, Iberia, and Africa (Liverpool, 2019). From 2010 until 2015 and from 2018, he has served as the co-Chair and Chair of the Board of Governors of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA). He is co-editor of ALBA’s quarterly magazine The Volunteer and regularly contributes to Spanish and U.S. media, including CTXT: Contexto y AcciónLa MareaFronteraDThe NationForeign AffairsConversación sobre la Historia, Jacobin, and Public Books. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he studied at the University of Amsterdam, holds a Ph. D. from UC Davis, and has been at Oberlin since 1999.

Suggested Readings

  • Aguilar, Paloma & Leigh A. Payne. Revealing New Truths about Spain’s Violent Past: Perpetrators’ Confessions and Victim Exhumations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
  • Encarnación, Omar. Democracy without Justice in Spain: The Politics of Forgetting. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2014.
  • Faber, Sebastiaan. Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War: History, Fiction, Photography. Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 2018.
  • Faber, Sebastiaan. Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Second Transition. Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 2021.
  • Ferrándiz, Francisco. “Francisco Franco Is Back: The Contested Reemergence of a Fascist Moral Exemplar.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 64.1 (2022): 208-37.
  • Muro, Diego & Ignacio Lago, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Spanish Politics. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2020.
  • Seguín, Bécquer, ed. “The Legacies of the Spanish Crisis.” Boundary 2. Durham: Duke UP, 2021.

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