Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures


Magdalena Perkowska

Committee Members

Isolina Ballesteros

Oswaldo Zavala

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | European Languages and Societies | Film and Media Studies | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Literature | Modern Languages | Modern Literature | Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature | Spanish Literature


Latin American and Spanish literature, Latin American and Spanish film, transgenerational memory, postmemory


This dissertation analyzes contemporary novels and films about the traumatic legacies of the Spanish Civil War through the lens of postmemory, memory studies, and transatlantic studies. I examine how Mexican and Spanish writers and filmmakers from the postwar generations approach the memories of their ancestors—and their own—to reframe history through fiction, memory work, and personal agency. Studies about historical memory are typically constrained to national contexts, but I highlight how trauma transcends the nation not only in space but also in time. Moreover, I focus on how inherited memories acquire new meanings in contemporary representations and how those resignifications have political effects in the present. I believe that in the face of current attempts to forget and silence the past––and the disputes around those attempts—, it is paramount to study how trauma impacts communities across temporal and spatial boundaries. Finally, I contend that a transatlantic approach is essential to exploring how memory and fictional narratives intertwine across generations.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Monday, June 02, 2025

Graduate Center users:
To read this work, log in to your GC ILL account and place a thesis request.

Non-GC Users:
See the GC’s lending policies to learn more.