Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Carmen Moreno-Nuño


This dissertation analyzes selected pieces of work related to the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) produced during the twenty-first-century as cultural artifacts to be considered in their historical and socio-political context. Specifically, my dissertation focuses on the relationship between the way the conflict is depicted and the message it conveys. Parting from the premise that there has been an overproduction of lieu de mémoire that has transformed the Spanish war into a cultural trend, the civil war-esque, I study a number of humor works. Precisely, these humorous works deconstruct such trend by considering its most common characteristics: the use of metafiction and nostalgia.

The Introduction presents the socio-political situation of contemporary Spain, the civil war-esque trend, and different categories of humor. In the first chapter I focus on the TV-series Plaza de España (2011). By combining the theoretical framework of the sitcom and the Critical Analysis of Discourse, I demonstrate that the program reinforces the official message in regard to the Spanish recent past. In the second chapter I examine the novel La comedia salvaje (2009) by José Ovejero. This parody, understood by the lens of Bakhtin, invites the readers to be skeptical about what they know and what they have been told about the war. In the third chapter I study the film The Last Circus I (2010) by Álex de la Iglesia. Departing from an esperpento, the film leaves this genre behind and transforms itself into a satire which demythifies the traditional research method, such as visiting archives or interviewing witnesses, and opts for imagination to reproduce a traumatic past.

Finally, the goal of this dissertation is to help envisage that a wider, and at the same time critical representation, of the Spanish Civil War its possible, and in turn could lead on to a potential change in the Spanish current cultural production as well as its social and political situation.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)