Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Ana Rueda

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Larson

Abstract

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) a mix of right-wing ideologies existed among the Francoist forces. In sharp contrast with the Republican forces, the Francoist insurgents were successful in banding together despite their ideological differences. However, in the postwar era, this relative unity gave way to a struggle among the different ideological positions, each striving to impose its agenda for the new State. The party Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (FET y de las JONS) assumed power, but was not entirely successful in advancing its totalitarian project, which it had inherited from the prewar FE de las JONS party. Unsatisfied with this outcome, staunch Falangists employed political strategies to squelch the opposition of the military, conservatives, royalists and the Church, whose ideals differed in many ways.

The purpose of this dissertation is to demonstrate how the political strategies used by the Falangists against opposing factions are mirrored in the cultural sphere, especially in literary and cinematographic portrayals of war. The propagandistic nature of these works is reflected in their narrative structures and literary characters, as in what Susan Suleiman refers to as “authoritarian fictions.” This study examines the ways in which Falangists propaganda exploits distinct features of the Rif War, the Civil War, and the Second World War, in order to promote key parts of the Nationalist Syndicalist ideology endorsed by core Falangists. This essay traces the transformation of these authoritarian narrative schemes as the hegemonic political position of National Syndicalism begins to deteriorate. In response to this unwelcome political change, Falangists propaganda becomes increasingly critical toward the other ideological positions of the Francoist Regime. This dissertation thus shows the way in which shifting political tides are mirrored in the cultural production of Falangist propaganda.