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The Recuperation of Historic Memory: Recognizing Suppressed Female Voices From the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Repression


During the Spanish civil war and ensuing epoch of

repression, female voices were suppressed and as a result,

stripped of agency. Francoist historiographers legitimized

this discrimination by excluding female perspectives of the

past. Grounded in the sociology of memory and the theory

of trauma, this dissertation investigates various plays,

films and novels that attempt to revise Spain's official

history by engaging the past through the memory of others.

In chapter one, this dissertation examines earlier attempts

to fracture patriarchal thought in the play Las arrecogías

del beaterio de Santa María Egipcíaca (1970) by José Martín

Recuerda and the film Cría cuervos (1975) written and

directed by Carlos Saura. Chapters two through four

investigate more contemporary works. These are the novel

La voz dormida (2002) by Dulce Chacón, the documentary

Muerte en El Valle (2005) by C.M. Hardt, Josefina Aldecoa's

trilogy Historia de una maestra (1990), Mujeres de negro

(1994), and La fuerza del destino (1997), Lidia Falcón's

1994 play Las mujeres caminaron con el fuego del siglo and

finally Guillermo Del Toro's 2006 film El laberinto del

fauno. I argue that these works exemplify intent to

splinter Spanish cultural hegemony and accord historical

voice to women by undermining the oppressive social,

political and cultural ideologies that bind female agency.

Consequently, these works produce a new space for women to

occupy while at the same time create revolutionary female


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