Dr Michael Richards

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About me

Much of my teaching and research explores one 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 to France, Germany and the UK in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 

The focus of this teaching and research is two-fold: 

(i) the means by which states reconstitute political power after conflicts 

(ii) the ways societies and social groups remember and depict conflicts as they reconstruct identities and social bonds 

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

​​A related conference: 'Wartime Child Displacement: Comparing Historical and Contemporary Cases': 8 September 2016: 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 Francoist state around the National-Catholic '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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