Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Modern Spain (1930-2000)
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 2 per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   A two hour written examination  60%
Semester Assessment 2 Essays of 1500 to 2000 words  40%
Supplementary Exam 1 x 2 hour examination if continuous assessment submitted. 1 x 3 examination if no continuous assessment submitted.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should have:

  • a good knowledge of the Spanish Civil War, the Franco dictatorship and the transition to democracy
  • specific knowledge of four texts that reflect the key issues of these years

Brief description

A study of the making of modern Spain from the turmoil of the Second Republic and the trauma of the Spanish Civil War 1936-39, through to the Franco Dictatorship and the transition to democracy after Franco's death. Against this sociopolitical background, students explore through major representative works (of novel, film and poetry) the experience of living in twentieth-century Spain.

In their assignments students may choose to emphasise either literary/cultural or sociopolitical issues, or the way the latter are treated by writers.


Weeks 1-6: the Second Republic and the Spanish Civil War: two crucial phases illustrated by Alberti's depiction of Madrid under siege in De un momento a otro (poesia) and by Cela's tremendista novel, La familia de Pascual Duarte.

Weeks 7-12: The two novels by Atxaga and Grandes are read against the background of the political changes which took place in Spain following the Franco regime and Spain's transition to a democratic, pluralist nation.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Balcells, J.M. (1993) Introduction to Rafael Alberti, De un momento a otro Barcelona Primo search Bowra, C M Poetry and Politics, p 124 etc - The Creative Experiment Lonsdon 1949, 220-253 (on Alberti) Primo search Carr, Raymond (1985) Modern Spain 1875-1980 Oxford Primo search Gilmour, David (1985) The Transformation of Spain London Primo search Havard, Robert (2001) The Crucified Mind Tamesis London Primo search Hoyle, Alan (1994) Cela: La familia de Pascual Duarte, critical guide Grant & Cutler Primo search Nantell, J A (1987) 'Ordering the Chaos: Rafael Alberti's Elegia civica' Hispanofila 57-80 Primo search Preston, Paul Franco Primo search Preston, Paul (1986) The Triumph of Democracy in Spain London Primo search Rose, Alan (1991) Surrealism and Communism New York Primo search Thomas, Hugh (1977) The Spanish Civil War Harmondsworth Primo search Wesseling, P (1977) 'Violence in Counterpoint: Alberti's Poems of 1935' - Also Revolution and Tradition, The Poetry of R Alberti, Chapel Hill 1981. Hispanofila 220-26 Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5