Professor Monica Jato PhD

Department of Modern Languages
Professor of Hispanic Studies

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My research interests focus on cross-cultural comparative approaches to exile and migration. My most recent monograph explores the experience of exile as a cultural topology, considering space as relational and giving emphasis to the interconnectedness of the different places that refugees inhabit throughout their journeys. I teach courses on Spanish language, literature and culture.


  • Licenciada en Filología Hispánica(Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao)
  • PhD (Michigan State University)


Mónica Jato currently teaches on Core Modules I and II in Year I.  She runs a specialist option in year 2, Digital Media and Spanish Youth Culture, which explores the impact of audiovisual cultures on the construction of contemporary subjects and realities in Spain. Her final year module, Spanish Exile Culture, reflects critically on fundamental notions in today’s world such as displacement, transnationality, resilience, cross-border cultures and otherness. Through a multifocal approach, combining the applied study of postcolonial thought, exile studies and cultural analysis, the module also addresses issues of inclusivity, diversity and equality around migration processes.

  • Cross-cultural approaches to exile and migration
  • Memory as inter and transgenerational care
  • Testimony and Film
  • Contemporary Spanish Poetry
  • 20th and 21st Spanish Peninsular Literature

Postgraduate supervision

My research interests focus on cross-cultural comparative approaches to exile and migration. I am also interested in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Spanish peninsular literature and culture. I am currently supervising theses on contemporary Spanish women writers, memory texts of the Spanish Civil War, carceral writing and forced migration.


My research focuses on new interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Spanish exile culture and to the condition of exile more generally. I am particularly interested in exploring the different cultural strategies used by migrants to adapt to radical changes in their spatial environment. My monograph El éxodo español de 1939: una topología cultural del exilio (Brill, 2019) explores Spanish refugees' attempts to transform the at times dehumanizing sapaces of exile into 'places' as sites of cultural resistance and renewal.

I was the Co-Investigator of the three-year project (2017-2019) "Inner and Territorial Exile in Nazi Germany and Francoist Spain: A Comparative Study," funded by The Leverhulme Trust. Emerging from this project, my most recent monograph, Fractured Frontiers: The Exile Writing of Nazi Germany and Francoist Spain (Camden House, 2020) challenges the traditional view that inner and territorial exile constitute opposed and irreconcilable aspects of writing under oppression. In establishing the historical reality of both forms of exile and proposing inner exile as more than mere metaphor, it martials evidence to argue that the two bodies of writing can be viewed as opposite sides of the same exile coine. The comparative approach pursued, with its insights into common patterns of behaviour, provides a template for wider-ranging cross-cultural studies of fissure and legacy through longitudinal analysis of the discursive formation of alterity and displacement, territoriality and exterritoriality, and of contested national identity.

I am also interested in problematizing Spanish twentieth century literary historiography by introducing new perspectives into its canon and producing scholarly editions of underrepresented women's voices. I have published Silvia Mistral's Éxodo. Diario de una refugiada española (Cuadernos del Vigía, 2021) and Madréporas (Cuadernos del Vigía, 2019), Diario de un retorno: Correspondencia entre Cecilia G. de Guilarte y Silvia Mistral (Ulises, 2015), Cecilia G. de Guilarte's Un barco cargado de... (Renacimiento, 2012) and María Beneyto's Cuentos para días de lluvia (Institución Alfonso El Magnánimo, 2012).

Other activities

  • Member of GEXEL (Grupo de Estudios del Exilio Literario, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona)
  • Fenix: Network for Research on Female Exiles, Refugees and Migrants (Utrecht University)
  • PoGEsp (Spanish Poetry and Gender, University of Alicante)


Recent publications


Jato, M & Klapper, J 2020, Fractured Frontiers: The Exile Writing of Nazi Germany and Francoist Spain. Boydell & Brewer, NY 12946, USA. <>

Jato, M 2019, El éxodo español de 1939: Una topología cultural del exilio. Foro Hispánico, vol. 61, Brill, Leiden.

Jato, M 2015, Diario de un retorno a dos voces: Correspondencia Entre Cecilia Guilarte y Silvia Mistral". Ulises Editions, Seville.


Jato, M 2023, 'Testimonio e identidad poetica en Angela Figuera Aymerich', Insula: revista de letras y ciencias humanas, no. 913-914, pp. 30-32.

Jato, M 2019, 'Concha Zardoya: exilio e intelectualidad ', Culture & History Digital Journal, vol. 8, no. 1, e007.

Jato, M 2014, 'Introduccion Una carta mas: volver al principio', ALDEEU Cuadernos, vol. 26, pp. 23-42. <>

Jato, M 2014, 'Los caminos de la memoria encantada: nostalgia y creación poética en Balneario de María Beneyto', ALDEEU Cuadernos, pp. 157-178. <>

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Jato, M 2016, Maria Luisa Elio: experiencia, trauma y literatura. in El exilio vasco.: Estudios en homenaje al profesor José Ángel Ascunce. Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao.


Jato, M 2023, Re-establishing Intellectual Networks through Letter Writing in Exile. in W Dodd & E Marcer (eds), Essays on Inner and Outer Exile in/from Nazi Germany and Francoist Spain. Palgrave Macmillan.

Jato, M 2023, Testimony and Film. in S Jones & R Woods (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Testimony and Culture. 1 edn, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 209-235.

Other chapter contribution

Jato, M 2021, Introduccion Silvia Mistral, Diario de una refugiada espanola. in Éxodo: Diario de una refugiada española. La mitad ignorada, vol. 9, Cuadernos del Vigia, Madrid and Granada. <>

Other contribution

Jato, M 2019, Prologo a Silvia Mistral, Madreporas. Cuadernos del Vigia, Madrid and Grenada.

Scholarly edition

Jato, M 2012, Cecilia García de Guilarte, Un barco cargado de... Renacimiento, Sevilla.

Jato, M 2012, María Beneyto. Cuentos para días de lluvia. Institució Alfons El Magnanim, Valencia.

Special issue

Gala, C (ed.) & Jato, M (Guest ed.) 2014, 'Maria Beneyto: En defensa de la poesia', ALDEEU Cuadernos, vol. 26. <>

View all publications in research portal