29 October 2020: "Hostages of Memory. Construction of the Self in Memoirs of the Spanish Refugee Children in the USSR"

During the Spanish Civil war, thousands of children on the republican side were evacuated to the Soviet Union. On 29 October 2020 the resercher Natalia Kharitonova gives a lecture on the children and their memories.

  • Location: Zoom, a link will be published later.
  • Time: 15:15 to 16:45
  • Language: English with the possibility to ask questions in Spanish.
  • Chairman: David Watson, Senior Lecturer at the Department of English and Head of Research in the Lilae research network.


From 1937 to 1939 during the Spanish civil war and after the Republicans defeat, almost 3,000 children were evacuated from Spain to the Soviet Union. The process of return took several decades. It coincided with the “Spanish children’s” need to explain their life stories, write and advertise their memories. How do the official commemorative culture and social master narratives condition their writing? How do they write about themselves? I wish to discuss strategies that authors use constructing their personal identities and to reveal the specific politics of memory that drive these records.

Natalia Kharitova

Natalia Kharitonova earned her PhD in Hispanic Literature from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of World Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow). She taught previously at the Russian State University for the Humanities and the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow). Her areas of expertise are Spanish Republican exile literature; Spanish-Russian literary and cultural relations; transatlantic studies. She published a number of works on Spanish Republican exile, among them the monograph Edificar la cultura, construir la identidad: El exilio republicano español de 1939 en la Unión Soviética (Seville, 2014). Her paper on Spanish Children’s memoirs was produced during her scholarship period at Uppsala University, which was funded by the Swedish Institute.

The Guest lecture is arranged by the Seminar for Romance Literature in collaboration with the Lilae research network.

Last modified: 2021-01-18