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.
Dr Ryan's monograph on memory and spatiality has been extensively praised on both sides of the Atlantic:
"Memory and Spatiality in Postmillennial Spanish Narrative is a very valuable contribution in which Ryan constructs a sustained meditation on the great significance of spatiality in the act of recollection. Through an incisive critical eye, a deep knowledge of memory theory and fastidious attention to the vicissitudes of Spanish history and its polemics in the new millennium, Ryan’s work is an important reference point for those interested in the field of memory studies in contemporary Spain." Bulletin of Spanish Studies.
"Lorraine Ryan’s Memory and Spatiality in Post-Millenial Spanish Narrative offers a novel approach to memory studies. Ryan’s monograph makes a valuable and original contribution to the burgeoning field of memory studies. Her focus on space, her concern with authorial motivation, her deft use of a range of conceptual frameworks, and her detailed contextualization make it essential reading for those working on memory studies in Spain. Bulletin of Hispanic Studies.
Ryan does an excellent job of exploring the approach contemporary writers have taken to Republicanism in order to reclaim a political position which had been silenced for many years…Overall, the book is an informative and penetrating analysis of Republican memory after the Civil war." British Society for Literature and Science.
"What is primarily new and important about this study is the commingling of memory and space in the context of memory studies in Spain. Ryan argues persuasively for the necessary integration of the temporal and the spatial and illustrates her point through the close reading of seven different narrative texts. Ryan is sophisticated theoretically, is an excellent reader-and it shows throughout her work." David Herzberger, University of California, Riverside, USA.