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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3726 In the Shadow of Franco: Terror and its Legacy in Spain, 1936-Present Day

20 creditsClass Size: 14

Module manager: Dr Peter Anderson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

By killing at least 130,000 people behind the lines, the Franco regime carried out one of Europe's largest and least remembered programmes of repression. This modules examines this violence and its consequences. It begins by charting the origin and nature of Francoist violence and goes on to explore how the latest research findings help challenge a range of ways in which historians have understood the Franco regime. The module next turns its attention to the violence that occured in the Republican zone during the Spanish Civil War. A number of meticulous recent studies help bring into question many of the Francoist claims about this violence and present a sophisticated range of explanations for why this violence occured. The subsequent part of the course discusses the way in which Franco's long rule allowed the suppression of discussion about the violent origins of his regime and how this silence largely continued in the fragile transition to democracy that followed the dictator's death in 1975. Finally, the course considers the role of historians and civil associations in recent years in seeking to open up discussion and bring about acknowledgement of past violence.


The objectives of this module are:

1. To explore the origins and nature of the violence carried out by the Franco regime during and after the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939.
2. To assess the significance of this violence and how it affects our understanding of the nature of the Franco regime.
3. To explain the nature of the violence carried out in the Republican zone in the Civil War and particularly the world's largest killing of members of the clergy.
4. To critically analyse how the recent work of historians and activists has broken years of silence and denial about the Francoist violence.
5. To examine the extent to which historians and activists can bring about reconciliation.
6. To analyse a range of primary sources, both written and visual, relating to these issues.
7. To formulate sophisticated and nuanced arguments in relation to these issues in written and verbal form.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will demonstrate:

1. A solid understanding of the reasons that explain violence during and after the Spanish Civil War and a strong appreciation of the significance of this violence.
2. A nuanced appreciation of why Francoist violence remained under wraps for so many years.
3. A sophisticated knowledge of the extent to which Spanish society has attempted to come to terms with its violent past.
4. A close critical familiarity with a range of primary texts relating to these issues.


This module will be taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars with an emphasis on student participation. Central issues that will come under examination include the origin, nature and enduring significance of Francoist violence during and after the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. The course will also seek to examine Francoist myths about the violence in the Republican zone in the Civil War and offer a range of more sophisticated explanations for this violence. The module will also explore the years of silence about the Francoist violence that only came under challenge several years after the death of Franco in 1975 and particularly how Spanish historians and society has recently made efforts to come to terms with this violent past.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Preparatory reading for lectures and seminars
- Preparing presentations
- Essay
- Exam revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Performance will be assessed through a piece of written work at 2,000 words, overall participation through the course and a final examination.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment2,000 word piece on the significance of a key primary text due in Week 840.00
Assignment3,000 research assignment due at the start of the examination period of semester one.60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:25:08


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