Dr Lorraine Ryan

Department of Modern Languages
Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

Room 208
Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr. Ryan joined the University of Birmingham in January 2012.

She will be a visiting fellow to the IMLR (Institute of Modern Languages Research Institute) in the University of London for the academic year 2015-2016.

This year, she has been commissioned by the Georg Eckert Institute for School Textbook Research in Leipzig, Germany to provide professional expertise on counter-memory and its inscription into school textbooks. 


B.A., M.A., PhD (University of Limerick)


Dr Ryan convenes and teaches the following modules:

  • A Time of Change: Collective and Cultural Memory in Contemporary Spain (Year 4)
  • Contemporary Spanish Women's Writing (Year 4)
  • Children and Teenagers in Spanish Literature (Year 4)
  • Gender Debates in Contemporary Spain (Year 4)
  • Post-millennial Spanish Culture (Year 2)

She teaches the following sections:

  • History and Politics, 1975 to the Present Day (Year 1).
  • Spain and the Holocaust. Seminar in the M.A. on Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
  • Texts and Contexts (Year 1 seminars).
  • Advanced Translation (Year 4).

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Ryan welcomes enquiries from research students who would like to pursue further study in the following areas:

  • Spanish Women's Writing. 
  • Cultural Memory in Contemporary Spain. 
  • The Representation of Spatiality in Spanish Culture. 
  • Spanish Collective Memory.
  • Contemporary Spanish Literature.


Dr Ryan is a specialist in collective and cultural memory in Contemporary Spain with a particular focus on el boom de la memoria, the enormous paradigm shift in Spanish mnemonic culture since the mid-1990s. Her publications to date have focused on what she termed empowerment, in effect, the literary strategies designed to reconceptualise the defeated Republicans as active agents, struggling to maintain a coherent identity in post-war Spain.  

Accordingly, her work has explored the cultural representation of the relationship between spatial expressions of the Francoist collective ideology and the preservation of a repressed Republican counter-memory in the post-war period, as well as the adult rationalisation of postmemory. She is also concerned with theoretical aspects of memory, particularly forms of individual resistance to dominant memory narratives, as well as the interaction between cosmopolitan and national memory narratives.

Dr Ryan has recently completed a monograph on the critically neglected theme of memory and spatiality in Contemporary Spanish narrative. She is currently working on a monograph examining new variations of male subjectivity in Spanish Fiction.

In 2013, Dr. Ryan was awarded the prestigious AATSP's (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese) 'Outstanding Scholarly Publication Award' for her article 'The Development of Child Subjectivity in La lengua de las mariposas.'

Other activities

Presentation of Papers

Dr. Ryan has presented twenty-eight conference papers during her academic career to date. Her most recent include the following: 

Invited Speaker. The Limitations of Counter-Memory.. Georg Eckert Institute for International School Textbook Research. Leipzig Germany. 25 February 2016. 

The Externalisation of Spanish National Memory. Memory and Exile Research Group, University of Birmingham, March 2012.

Discussant. Memory Studies Workshop. University of Birmingham, June, 2012. 

Familial Memory and the Recuperation of Historical Memory in Contemporary Spain. Association of Contemporary Iberian Studies Conference. Kings College London. 12 September 2012. 

Beyond Postmemory: Rethinking Motivation in Contemporary Spanish Cultural Studies. Researching the Spanish Civil War: Trends and Issues. University of Warwick. 15 February, 2013.

Discussant. Research roundtable, Department of Modern Languages. March, 2013.  

The Revalorisation of Local Space in Contemporary Spanish Narrative. CSIC (Spanish Research Council). Madrid. 11 November 2013.  

The Problematics of Motherhood and Class in Almudena Grandes' Los Aires Difíciles. XI International Women's Studies Conference: Transatlantic Visions. Universidad Complutense, Madrid. 9 April 2014. 

New Perspectives on Space in Post-Millennial Spanish Literature. 2014 Annual Conference of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland. NUI Galway. 14 April 2014. 

The Representation of Globalisation in Contemporary Spanish Narrative. Globalisation: Texts, Performances and Practices. St Louis University in Madrid. 26th April 2014. 

Impugning a Flawed Democracy: Rafael Chirbes' En la orilla. Democracy and the Arts. University of Birmingham. 27 June 2014.

Social Trauma and Motherhood in Postwar Spain. Motherhood and War Seminar. University of Cambridge. 14 October 2014.

Memory against the State in Contemporary Spain. Association of Contemporary Iberian Studies Conference. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. 2 September 2015.

Membership of Professional Organisations

Modern Language Association.

American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese,

Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland. 

Women in Spanish and Portuguese Studies. 


Single-Authored Monograph

Memory and Spatiality in Post-Millennial Spanish Narrative. Burlington, VT: Ashgate New Hispanisms. 2014.  

Edited Books

The Dynamics of Masculinity in Contemporary Spanish Culture (co-ed with Professor Ana Corbalán, University of Alabama). In progress.

Articles in peer reviewed journals

The Limitations of Counter-Memory: A Caveat (Forthcoming).

Writing the Ineffable: Postwar Female Employment and Domestic Violence in Laforet's Nada. ((Forum.for Modern Language Studies, Forthcoming).

Memory, Transnational Justice, and Recession in Contemporary Spain. European Review. (Forthcoming 2017).

Lucia Etxebarría´s Beatriz y los cuerpos celestes: A Reconsideration. Romance Studies. (Forthcoming).

Motherhood, Clothing, and Class in Almudena Grandes’s Los Aires Difíciles. Bulletin of Spanish Studies (Forthcoming).

The Economic Degeneration of Masculinity in Rafael Chirbes’s En la orilla. Romance Quarterly 62:2 (2015): 83-96.

The Gendered Reading Trope in Almudena Grandes’s El lector de Julio Verne. Neophilologus 99:2 (2015): 253-269.

Cosmopolitan Memory and National Memory Conflicts: On the Dynamics of their Interaction. Journal of Sociology (2014): 50:4,  501-514.

Illusory Liberalism in Almudena Grandes’s Atlas de Geografia Humana. Hispania. September 97: 3 (2014): 485-497.

The Nullification of Domestic Space in Alberto Méndez’s Los girasoles ciegos. Bulletin of Spanish Studies. (May 15th 2014, Online First Edition)

Deep Memory and the Impossibility of Civil Resistance in Alfons Cervera's Maquis. Hispanic Research Journal 14:4 (2013): 338-355. 

The Development of Child Subjectivity in La lengua de las mariposas. Hispania 95:3 (2012): 447-459.

Memory, Power and Resistance: The Anatomy of a Tripartite Relationship. Memory Studies 4: 2 (2011):154-169.

The Empowerment of Republican Postmemory in Alfons Cervera’s El color del crepúsculo. Modern Language Review 106:1 (2011): 130-148.

The Enactment of Resistance: Hidden and Public Transcripts in Alfons Cervera´s el ciclo de la memoria. Romance Studies 29:1 (2011): 30-43.  

A Reconfigured Cultural Memory and the Resolution of Postmemory in Alfons Cervera’s Aquel Invierno. Hispanic Research Journal, 11: 4 (2010): 323-337. 

The Sins of the Father: The Destruction of the Republican Family in Franco’s Spain. History of the Family: an International Quarterly, 14: 3(2009): 245-252.

Terms of Empowerment: Setting, Spatiality and Resistance in Dulce Chacón’s Cielos de Barro and Carlos Ruíz Zafón’s La Sombra del Viento. CLUES: A Journal of Detection, 27:2 (2009):  95-108. 

Chapters in edited books

Ryan, Lorraine and Ana Corbalán. Introduction.  In: Lorraine Ryan and Ana Corbalán (eds), The Dynamics of Masculinity in Contemporary Spanish Culture. Routledge.

"Memory and Masculinity in Almudena Grandes's el corazón helado", In: Lorraine Ryan and Ana Corbálan´(eds.), The Dynamics of Masculinity in Contemporary Spanish Culture. (Forthcoming).

"Social Trauma and Motherhood in Post-war Spain", In: Dana Cooper and Claire Phelan (eds.), Motherhood and War: International Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.  2014. 127-143.

"Catharsis and Confrontation: Post Millennial Memory Culture in Contemporary Spain", in Niamh Thornton and Kathy Bacon (eds.), The Noughties  in the Hispanic and Lusophone Worlds (Cambridge Scholars Press: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2012), pp. 106-129. 

"Familial Trauma in Post Transition Spain: Memory and Reconcilation through Generations", in Bruno Charbonneau and Genévieve Parent (eds.), Peacebuilding, Memory and Reconciliation: Bridging Bottom-up and Top-Down Approaches (Routledge: New York, 2011),  pp. 56-74.

"When the Personal is Political: The Formation of a Republican Mnemonic Community in Alfons Cervera’s La noche inmóvil", in Alison Ribeiro de Menezes and Catherine O´Leary (eds.), Legacies of War and Dictatorship: Essays on Cultural Memory in Spanish and Portugese Literature (Peter Lang, Iberian and Latin American Studies: the Arts, Literature and Identity: Oxford, 2011), pp. 169-187.

"All Turbulent on the Home Front: Unfulfilled Working Mothers in Almudena Grandes´ Atlas de Geografía Humana", in Tiffany Trotman (ed.), The Changing Spanish Family: Essays on New Views in Literature, Theatre and Cinema (McFarland: North Carolina, 2011) pp. 40-58.

"Multiculturalization and Irish National Memory", in Oona Frawley (ed.), Memory Ireland: Explorations in Celtic Memory, Volume One: History and Modernity (Syracuse University Press: New York, 2011 ) pp. 207-217.

"For Whom the Dominant Memory Tolls: The Suppression and Re-Emergence of Republican Memory in Contemporary Spanish society", in Laura Rorato and Anna Saunders (eds.), The Essence and the Margin: National Identities and Collective Memories in Contemporary European Memory Culture (Rodopi: Amsterdam, 2009), pp. 119-135. 

"Nada más que un espejismo: la inquieta realidad de la modernidad española a través de los relatos La buena hija de Almudena Grandes y La hija predilecta de Soledad Puértolas", in Cinta Ramblado (ed.), Construcciones culturales de la maternidad en España. La madre y la relación madre-hija en la literatura y el cine contemporáneos (Editorial Universidad de Alicante: Alicante, 2006) pp. 45-63. 

"A Case Apart: The Evolution of Spanish Feminism", in Rebecca Pelan (ed.), Feminisms Within and Without (Women’s Studies Centre, University College Galway, 2006), pp. 56-68.

"The Aberration that Dare not Speak its Name: The Unloving Mother-Daughter Relationship in Esther Tusquet’s Carta a la Madre", in Nuala Finnegan and Martin Veiga (eds.), Reading Spanish and Latin American Literatures: New Directions in Research (Department of Hispanic Studies: University College Cork, 2006), pp. 62-74.