Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program

Romance Languages and Literatures: Latin American and Iberian Literatures (Hispanic Literature)


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Akiko Tsuchiya


This study explores the politicization of "Franco's children" in El sur : 1981;1983), El florido pensil : 1994), Habíamos ganado la guerra: 2007), and La gloria de los niños: 2007). The phrase "Franco's children," on the one hand, implies the status of the authors and filmmakers as those who survived the early Franco regime as children and recall their childhood as adults; on the other hand, it refers to the child protagonists in the selected works that are set in wartime and the post-War period. The aim of the present study is to explore different strategies - both rhetorical and political - "Franco's children" used at three key historical moments: 1) the transition to democracy in the early 1980s; 2) the mid and later 1990s; and 3) the period following the Law of Historical Memory [October 31, 2007]. The four individual chapters respond to these three consecutive moments, showing the chronopolitical evolution of repressive childhood memory in post-Franco literature and cinema.

The present study links childhood studies and studies of memory, pointing to the double meaning of the title: the selected works are about "Franco's children" and by "Franco's children." This generation of Spaniards has been shaped by the past and now they are shaping the past retrospectively from the standpoint of the present. Juxtaposing discourses on model children under Francoism and representations of Franco-era childhood in the present, I demonstrate the complexity of the constant process of construction and reconstruction of children and childhood. Linking individual childhood memories to public debates in contemporary Spain, these recollections gain political importance as social catalysts: they arouse people's historical awareness, prevent indulgence in uncritical nostalgia for a romanticized past, construct a collective identity, and relate the local and the national to the global.


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