Tag Archives: Spanish Civil War

Dr Hugo García (Madrid): ‘It’s the propaganda, stupid! Rethinking the Spanish Civil War through the lens of anti-fascism’

Recent reinterpretations of the Spanish Civil War as a complex, multifaceted conflict, beyond the traditional emphasis on economic and social structures, have considerably enriched our understanding of the struggle, especially by highlighting the importance of cultural factors such as religion, nationalism and gender, as well as the specific motivations of political and individual actors. However, the role of large ideological trends of the interwar period such as anti-fascism and anti-communism has been comparatively neglected by most specialists, who have often considered them as discursive expressions of political strategies and, ultimately, propaganda catch-words.

The cultural turn in studies of anti-fascism over the last fifteen years, represented by authors such as Anson Rabinbach, Gilles Vergnon, Nigel Copsey and Joseph Fronczak, allows us to recover this out-of-date concept as a valuable tool to rethink the war, in particular regarding the emergence of a collective identity among the Spanish left before and during the conflict, the dynamics and symbolic expressions of Republican politics and the transnational impact of the struggle, ranging from the early anti-fascist consensus to the questioning of anti-fascism itself after the May Days of 1937, which pre-dates its gradual replacement by anti-totalitarianism in the West after World War II. In all these respects taking the actors’ self-definition as anti-fascists seriously helps us to challenge or complement established interpretations of the war, and, in turn, the history of the Second Spanish Republic provides an excellent case study to understand the making, nature and legacy of anti-fascism, described in a forthcoming book by Michael Seidman as “perhaps the most powerful ideology of the twentieth century”

– Hugo García, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, (speaker)

All welcome!

75 years since the Spanish Civil War: Perspectives from the 21 Century


We are pleased to announce the above one-day interdisciplinary conference, to be held at the University of Sheffield, 28 March 2014 (see attached poster). This conference has received the support of the Economic History Society, the Royal Historical Society, the Herbert Hughes Memorial Trust and the Northern Hispanists Network.

The conference will take place at the Jessop West Exhibition Space, University of Sheffield from 9:30-18:00.

Attendance is free, however if you wish to join the conference for the day or part of it please register your interest (see below).

The conference will consist of:

–          Papers and discussion panels featuring academics working across British and Irish Universities from the fields of Archaeology, Hispanic Studies, History, Music and Politics. Panel topics: ‘Perspectives on Memory,’ ‘Perspectives on Exile’ and ‘Perspectives on War’

–          Poster exhibition of on-going research from International PGRs working in the field of Modern Spain, on-going at the University of Sheffield from 24 March

–          Video exhibition of ‘Female Voices from Franco’s Prisons,’ the result of a research project in Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield

–          Keynote lecture by Professor Mary Vincent (University of Sheffield)

For more information, including a full programme, directions and registration please visit:


or email: 75yearsscw@gmail.com