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Memories of the Spanish Civil War: A Comparison between the United States and Britain

   School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law

Middlesbrough United Kingdom European Studies History Medicine

About the Project

The twenty-first century has seen an explosion interest in memory in relation to the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Civil War ended a little over eighty years ago. However, the long Franco dictatorship that followed it lasted from 1939 until his death in 1975. Spain’s transition to democracy in the following years was built upon the foundations of undefeated Francoism. The transition and the accompanying 1977 Amnesty Law instituted a pact of forgetting which Chris Ealham (2013) has characterised as officially cultivated amnesia; a tacit agreement between left and right that the war and dictatorship was a tragic past best forgotten. But this amnesia has been increasingly challenged in recent years. A memory battle is being fought over the way the civil war past is remembered in Spain. 

However, while this resurgence of interest in memory and memorialisation has, quite rightly, focussed on Spain itself, this project proposes to shift the focus to a comparative study on the memory and memorialisation of the Spanish Civil War in Britain and the USA. The proposed study might look at the following research questions: How and why do we remember the Spanish Civil War? What kind of narratives do we construct when remembering the war (and why)? How is memory influenced by the way the war is represented in cultural texts? What does the memorialisation tell us about the societies remembering?

The study will have an interdisciplinary element drawing on the fields of cultural history, memory studies, critical heritage studies, and fascist/anti-fascist studies.

Funding Eligibility

The Fees-Paid PhD studentship will cover all tuition fees for the period of a full-time PhD Registration of up to four years. Successful applicants who are eligible will be able to access the UK Doctoral Loan scheme to support with living costs. 

Applicants who are employed and their employer is interested in funding a PhD, can apply for a Collaborative Studentship. More details here.

Applications are welcome from strong UK, EU and International students.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. A masters level qualification in a relevant discipline is desirable, but not essential, as well as a demonstrable understanding of the research area. Further details of the expected background may appear in the specific project details. International students will be subject to the standard entry criteria relating to English language ability, ATAS clearance and, when relevant, UK visa requirements and procedures.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply online for this opportunity at:

Please use the Online Application (Funded PHD) application form for the year starting ‘October 2021’. When asked to specify funding select “other” and enter ‘RDS’ and the title of the PhD project that you are applying for. You should ensure that you clearly indicate that you are applying for a Funded Studentship and the title of the topic or project on the proposal that you will need to upload when applying. If you would like to apply for more than one project, you will need to complete a further application form and specify the relevant title for each application to a topic or project.

Applications for studentships that do not clearly indicate that the application is for a Funded Studentship and state the title of the project applied for on the proposal may mean that your application may not be considered for the appropriate funding.

For academic enquiries, please contact

For administrative enquiries before or when making your application, contact

After an application has been made, please contact .

The online application portal and all document templates required for an application can be accessed at:

Selection process

All applications received by the closing date will be considered. Successful applicants at the application stage will be shortlisted and contacted to arrange an interview. All interviews will be held online. Unsuccessful applicants will be contacted to confirm that the application will not be progressed. After interview, all interviewed applicants will be contacted to inform them of the outcome. All applicants will be considered for both Fully Funded PhD and Fees-Paid PhD studentships with the decision about the type of studentship offered to a successful candidate made after interviews have taken place. Successful applicants progressing to an offer of a place, to commence in December 2021.

Research at Teesside

As a Teesside University research student, you will join a growing and dynamic research community, allowing you to share your experiences, insight and inspiration with fellow researchers. You will benefit from our academic expertise, and be supported through a strong programme of research training. You will be offered opportunities and support at each stage of your research degree. Our research is designed to have impact, and to influence policy and practice within our region, the UK and beyond. We work with external organisations to anticipate and respond to research needs, and to put our research into practice in sectors as diverse as the arts, engineering, healthcare and computing. PhD students are encouraged to work with their supervisors to explore the potential impact of their work.

The successful candidate will be expected to participate fully in research group and centre activities, including training sessions and workshops, and will become a member of the University’s wider postgraduate research community. Mentoring and support will be provided for the development of a strong academic and professional CV during the PhD.

Key Dates

Closing date for applications is 1st October 2021.

We envisage that interviews will take place in w/c 18 October.

Successful applicants will be expected to start December 2021.

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