Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

SPAN3011 Exiles, Migrants and Citizens: Narrating and documenting displacement in contemporary Spain

Module Overview

This unit approaches the study of migration and displacement as recurrent themes in Spanish social, political and cultural history since its emergence as a modern nation in 1492, an event itself inaugurated by three major population movements: internal relocations of population during the ‘re-conquest’, religious persecutions and exile of Iberian Jews and Muslims and the beginning of transoceanic migrations to the newly ‘found’ territories of the Americas.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The social and political contexts of migrations in 20th and 21st c. Spain
  • Macro- and micro-structural aspects of Spanish migration and exile
  • The impact of Spanish migration and exile on places of origin and destination
  • Historical constructions of Spanish migrants and exiles
  • The impact of migratory and exilic experiences at individual and collective level
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Handle primary and secondary documents and literature
  • Synthesise material in Spanish and English in order to transmit it to fellow students in seminars
  • Work effectively in a group as well as independently
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply a multidisciplinary approach to the study of migration and exile
  • Undertake critical reading of primary texts that represent different aspects of migration and exile
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Compare the experiences of economic migrants, political refugees, and exiles
  • Assess the consequences of migration and exile upon individual and collective forms of identification
  • Evaluate the role of government policies and social networks in fostering, supporting and deterring migration
  • Assess the contributions of migrants and exiles to their home and host countries
  • Discuss the wider contexts and connections between Spanish recent emigration patterns and current immigration flows


Migration has been a recurrent theme that has characterized Spain’s social, political and cultural history since its emergence as a modern nation. This module will focus on the study of the following migration movements in the 20th and 21st century: a) Spanish Republican exile of the Spanish Civil War b) Evacuation and exile of Spanish refugee children c) Spanish emigration during the Franco regime d) The migration reversal: Spain as a country of immigration since the mid 1980s In analysing these migration episodes and movements the course will focus on key contextual issues, theoretical concepts and research methodologies used in the study of forced and voluntary migrations. The aim is to provide you with an overview of the political and socio-economic contexts that triggered these migrations and the dynamics that sustained them, as well as an understanding of the impact that the presence of exiles and migrants had on the receiving societies. More specifically, the course encourages you to reflect upon the impact that migration and exile has on individual and collective forms of identification, something that you will explore through analysis of a variety of primary sources, including personal testimonies, interviews, documentaries, migrant periodical publications and media representations of migrants and exiles. In doing so, a key concern will be to consider the ways in which individuals and societies experience, remember and interpret their memories of dislocation and displacement. .

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Weekly double period seminar in which students present analysis of primary texts guided by sedondary theoretical and contextual readings • Tutor-led informal lectures • Individual tutorials Learning activities include • Student-led seminars and class discussion • Group presentations • Individual research • Accessing online resources Innovative or special features of this module • Visiting speakers when appropriate

Preparation for scheduled sessions2
Follow-up work4
Completion of assessment task40
Wider reading or practice40
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Adrian Bell (1996). Only for three months – The Basque Children in Exile. 

Gènevieve Dreyfus-Armand (2000). El exilio de los republicanos españoles en Francia: De la guerra civil a la muerte de Franco. 

Dora Schwarzstein, Entre Franco y Perón (2001). Memoria e identidad del exilio republicano español en Argentina. 

Patricia. W. Fagen, Exiles and Citizens (1973). Spanish Republicans in Mexico. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback • Seminar presentation • Practical task (analysis of a primary document, for example, an exile testimony or migrant autobiographical narrative) • Research essay.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 40%
Participation 10%
Practical task  (1500 words) 30%
Seminar presentation  (30 minutes) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings