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 the trajectory of the acclaimed Spanish writer, Almudena Grandes. This monograph initiated the spatial turn in Spanish memory studies.