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Level 5

5AASB095 Fatherlands: Spain and Portugal under the Dictators

Credit value: 15 credits
Module tutors: Mr AbdoolKarim Vakil and Dr Nagore Calvo
Assessment: Two 2500 word essays (each worth 50%)
Teaching pattern: Two hours per week

Reassessment: Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt

This module is taught in English, using English-language translations for students with no prior knowledge of Spanish/Portuguese.

Spain and Portugal experienced the longest lasting dictatorships of the twentieth century in Western Europe. This module adopts a thematic and comparative approach to the histories of Portugal and Spain under the Franco and Salazar regimes. The approach is explicitly comparative and the Iberian experience framed with reference to both the European contexts of interwar and post-war Europe and to the global politics of international fascism, empire and the Cold War from the 1930s to the mid 1970s. Social and political life in the period is explored through both a broad and diverse range of contemporary sources and perspectives and current historiographical, political and social science literatures and debates.

Educational aims and objectives

By the end of the module students will have developed:
  • Critical historical understanding of major themes in Spanish and Portuguese history of the Franco and Salazar period;
  • A critical comparative and contextual approach to fascism and authoritarianism in the Iberian Peninsula in the interwar and post-war European contexts;
  • Familiarity with the main historiographical and social science debates concerning the Franco and Salazar regimes and their political nature, and the capacity to present and assess their competing approaches and claims;
  • Confidence in the critical reading and commentary of relevant written and visual primary sources (in English translation).

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to demonstrate intellectual,
transferable and practicable skills appropriate to level 5 and in particular will be able to:

  • Think historically about social and political processes in twentieth-century
  • history;
  • Outline and synthesise social, political and cultural history themes of the Iberian histories of the period;
  • Discuss critically and analytically specific questions of Spanish, Portuguese and Iberian history of the period;
  • Discuss critically and analytically concepts and debates in the historiography of fascism, authoritarianism, totalitarianism and related
  • Contextualise and compare historical phenomena and processes at different scales of analysis: regional, national, imperial, international, transnational;
  • Frame, situate and assess different approaches and interpretations within relevant historiographical debates and by reference to key terms, concepts and ideas;
  • Critically read and commentate primary sources;
  • Begin to develop appropriate research strategies, including bibliographical, in order to plan, draft, author and complete the module assessments.

Core texts

  • António Costa Pinto, Salazar’s Dictatorship and European Fascism, Boulder: SSM, 1985
  • António Costa Pinto, The Blue Shirts: Portuguese Fascists and the New State, New York: SSM-Columbia University Press, 2000
  • Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses, Salazar: A Political Biography, New York: Enigma Books, 2009
  • D.L. Raby, Fascism & Resistance in Portugal: Communists, liberals and military dissidents in the opposition to Salazar, 1941-74, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988
  • Jean Grugel and Tim Rees, Franco’s Spain, London: Arnold, 1997
  • Jose Alvarez Junco and Adrian Shubert eds., Spanish History Since 1808, London: Hodder Education, 2000
  • Mary Vincent, Spain, 1833-2002: People and State, Oxford: OUP, 2007
  • Julián Casanova and Carlos Gil Andrés, Twentieth-Century Spain: A History, Cambridge: CUP, 2014
  • Paul Preston, Franco: A Biography London: HarperCollins, 1993
  • Sebastian Balfour, Deadly Embrace: Morocco and the Road to the Spanish Civil War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002
  • Paul Preston: The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain, London: HarperCollins, 2012
  • Antonio Carzola Sánchez, Fear and Progress: Ordinary Lives in Franco’s Spain, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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