Dr Michael Richards

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About me

Much of my research revolves around a very broad question: How do societies, states and cultures put themselves back together after violent conflict? 

I've primarily concentrated on the Spanish civil war (1936-39), the Franco era, and contemporary democratic Spain, but also look at France, Germany and the UK in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries for comparison. 

The focus of much of the related teaching is the inter-face of politics and culture: the means by which political power, collective identities and social bonds are reconstituted after conflicts and the ways societies remember them.  

I'm currently interested particularly in transnational dimensions and in comparing forms of public and private memories in Spain, France, Germany, and the UK and their relation to ideas about Europe

​​I currently lead History's 'Collective Memory, Imagined Communities, and Public History Group'. (See the related conference: 'Wartime Child Displacement: Comparing Historical and Contemporary Cases': https://uwehistorycommunity.wordpress.com/)

​My most recent book is a study of public uses of the past and of social memory in post-civil war Spain: 

After the civil war: making memory and re-making Spain since 1936, (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Spanish edition : Historias para después de una guerra: memoria, política, y cambio social en España desde 1936 (Barcelona, 2015)

In 2005 I co-edited a volume which draws together cultural approaches to Spain's war : The Splintering of Spain: Cultural history and the Spanish civil war, 1936-39, (Cambridge UP)

My first book, A Time of Silence: Civil War and the Culture of Repression in Franco's Spain, 1936-1945 (Cambridge UP), is a study of the construction of the National-Catholic Francoist state around the 'moral economy' of autarky.​


Area of expertise

public history of violent pasts

intimate violence during internal wars and post-conflict trauma

children and war

social memory in rapidly changing societies

history of psychiatry

Spanish civil war and Franco dictatorship

funding bodies and stakeholders include:

​British Academy; Arts and Humanities Research Council; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness; Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy; Spanish Ministry of Culture and Science; Christian Michelesen Institute (Bergen); Rockefeller Foundation (New York); Norwegian Ministry of Children and Family Affairs; Institute of Historical Research (London)


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