Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Modern Languages and Literatures (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Gema Pérez-Sánchez

Second Committee Member

George Yudice

Third Committee Member

Hugo Achugar

Fourth Committee Member

Christina Lane

Fifth Committee Member

Yvonne Gavela-Ramos


This dissertation examines the relationship between memory and urban studies by emphasizing the importance of urban space and its experience in the (re)construction of collective memories of the Spanish Civil War, Francoism, and the Transition to democracy. Urban and memory studies have been relatively disconnected fields in Spanish Peninsular cultural studies so far. This study proposes that merging urban and memory studies allows for an innovative conceptualization of the importance that urban space and its experience plays in the formation and preservation of collective memories. Central to this analysis is the term of “mnemonic collective map,” a concept that I propose to read the cultural artifacts I analyze in my dissertation and to describe the multilayered, mental map individuals create of a city. This notion highlights the importance of collective memories in order to apprehend and understand the city’s urban space, as well as the importance of urban space in the creation and transmission of memories. This study takes an interdisciplinary approach to analyze contemporary novels, films, urban space, and monuments under the democracy (1978-present) that are set in Madrid, including Almudena Grandes’ monumental novel, El corazón helado (2007); Basilio Martín Patino’s mixed-genre film, Madrid (1987); Madrid’s neighborhood of Nuevos Ministerios; and the statue of Franco erected in 1959 in the Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz.


Historical Memory Spain; Memory and Urban Space; Francoism and urban space; Monuments of Francoism; El corazón helado; Madrid Basilio Martín Patino