24 May - On the 80th aniversary of the end of the spanish civil war


24th May 2019 13:30-18:30

Commemorating the end of the Spanish Civil War, this seminar attempts to map the impact of the conflict in present-day Iberian societies and cultures. Understanding the Civil War in its long durée, as a cornerstone episode that marked contemporary sociopolitical configurations in obvious and not so obvious ways, this event gathers literary, visual, historical and personal perspectives as a way of expanding the discussion on the multiple and conflictive memories of the War.


Seminar Schedule:

13:30-14:00                         Seminar Introduction by Rafael Jaime and Carlos Garrido

14:00-15:00                         A Place of Greater Safety: Irish aid worker Mary Elmes and the Child Refugees of the Spanish Civil War by Clodagh Finn (journalist)

15:00-15:30                         Cultural Responses to Barbarism in Galicia: The Case of Alexandre Bóveda Post 1936 by Martín Veiga (UCC SPLAS)

15:30-16:00                         Places and Spaces of the Republican Exodus of 1939 in Catalonia at the End of the Spanish Civil War by Rafael Jaime (UCC SPLAS)

16:00-16:30                         Coffee break

16:30-17:30                         Peadar O’Donnell: An Irishhman in Spain, 1936 by Donal Ó Drisceoil (UCC, Department of History)

17:30-18:30                         Closing Remarks. The Spanish Civil War. Eighty years later by Eduard Puigventós (Autonomous University of Barcelone)


Lecture Outline

  • A Place of Greater Safety: Irish aid worker Mary Elmes and the child refugees of the Spanish Civil War by Clodagh Finn.

Corkwoman Mary Elmes and her fellow workers developed a pioneering approach to the delivery of aid during the Spanish Civil War. As well as setting up safe havens, they used new techniques such as play therapy to help the sick and traumatised children of war. Clodagh Finn will outline Mary Elmes’ work establishing and directing hospitals in Almería, Murcia and Alicante between 1937 and 1939.

Clodagh Finn is a journalist and author of A Time to Risk All, a biography of Mary Elmes (Gill Books). She has a degree in French and archaeology (UCD) and is particularly interested in unearthing the stories of forgotten or overlooked women.

  • Cultural Responses to Barbarism in Galicia: The Case of Alexandre Bóveda Post 1936 by Martín Veiga.

The quick triumph of the fascist forces at the beginning of the Civil War in Galicia was followed by a very severe repression against all forms of political dissidence in the region. This paper examines a selection of the many cultural responses to the execution on 17th August 1936 of Alexandre Bóveda, a founding member of the Partido Galeguista in 1931 and one of the most notorious Galicianists.

Martín Veiga is a Lecturer in the department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at UCC. He is the director of the Irish Centre for Galician Studies, the co-editor of Galicia 21. Journal of Contemporary Galician Studies and one of the convenors of the research cluster 'Translation and Creative Practice' in CASiLaC, UCC. His research publications are mainly in the areas of modern and contemporary poetry, travel writing in the Hispanic world, creative writing and literary translation.

  • Places and spaces of the republican exodus of 1939 in Catalonia at the end of the Spanish Civil war by Rafael Jaime.

The lecture aims to trace and present an emotional geography of the republican withdrawal, La Retirada, at the end of the Spanish Civil War in Catalonia during the months of January and February 1939. Its main purpose is to locate existing narratives, memoirs, journals and testimonies carefully in the landscape in which they took place, exposing their emotional bonds with the places and spaces of the withdrawal of the protagonists of the Republican exodus of 1939. In order to create a vision of La Retirada that is sensitive to its mobility and multiplicity, the primary methodology used has been that of interdisciplinary assemblage, juxtaposing images, documents and stories of past and present, in a process redolent of that which Marianne Hirsch calls "post-memory".

Rafael Jaime is a Special Language Demonstrator at the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, UCC Cork. He completed a PhD on La Retirada and the end of the Spanish Civil War in Catalunya.

  • ‘Peadar O’Donnell: An Irishhman in Spain, 1936 by Donal Ó Drisceoil

The Irish writer and socialist-republican activist Peadar O’Donnell was living in Sitges, Catalonia when the Civil War began in 1936. This paper is centred on his little-known book, Salud!: An Irishman in Spain (1937), which offers fascinating perspectives on  the dynamics of revolutionary Spain, as well as on Irish politics and culture in the 1930s.

Dr Donal Ó Drisceoil is a Senior Lecturer in History at UCC. His publications include the political biography Peadar O’Donnell (2001), published as part of Cork University Press’s ‘Radical Irish Lives’ series.

  • The Spanish Civil War. Eighty years later by Eduard Puigventós

It is still common to hear or read in the media about the Spanish Civil War. Hundreds of books are published every year—memories, unknown aspects of the international politics, the history of trade unions or political parties, new approaches to the victims, bombardments. Furthermore, politicians often discuss over laws that try to do justice on the injustices of the past. There are associations exhorting to exhume the corpses of reprisals, particulars demanding economic compensation or organisations asking for expelled materials in 1939 to be returned, most of the times with the ideological struggle as background and the consequences of a dictatorship of forty years that was founded on the fascist victory in the war. This lecture attempts to give an overview of this situation.

Eduard Puigventós López (Rubí, 1984). I completed my BA in History (2007), a Master in Comparative Political and Social History (2008) and my PhD (the biography of the Catalan communist Ramon Mercader, 2013) in the Autonomous University of Barcelona. I started working as freelance and external researcher for private and public organisations in 2007, with projects related with the Spanish Second Republic and the Spanish Civil War in Catalonia, biographies, guided tours and didactics. I've published twenty academical and dissemination articles, twelve books (among which stands out Ramon Mercader, l'home del piolet. Biografia de l'assassí de Trostki), and I've collaborated in eigth collective publications.


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