Syllabus query

Academic Year/course: 2017/18

327 - Master's in Modern History

66611 - Historiography and society in modern Spain

Syllabus Information

Academic Year:
66611 - Historiography and society in modern Spain
Faculty / School:
103 - Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
327 - Master's in Modern History
First Four-month period
Subject Type:

1.1. Introduction

Brief presentation of the course

This subject offers an exposition of the development of Spanish historiography from the late eighteenth century to the present. The term "history of historiography" is to be understood in the widest sense of the word, that is, the writing of history along with all social, political and intellectual factors related to it. This includes the social and professional positions of historians, their association activities and institutions, their concept of national history and their political opinions, in addition to foreign influences (including Hispanism), the place of Spanish historians in international historiography, and the memory aspects.


1.2. Recommendations to take this course

  • To have basic knowledge of historiography and of the history of Spain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
  • Basic knowledge of the English language.

1.3. Context and importance of this course in the degree

As a matter especially devoted to Spanish historiography and its social and political context, the contents of this subject are intended to complement all of those subjects of the Master degree tending to expose the political and cultural aspects of the history of Spain in modern and contemporary ages.

1.4. Activities and key dates


See the academic calendar of the University of Zaragoza ( and the website of the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts (Schedule of classes:;Examination schedule:

More information will be provided on the first day of class


Classes will take place from October to January (both included) at the Seminar of Contemporary History during the timetable planned by the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras.

Practices will take place in the same timetable.

Tutorials will take place at professor’s office on Mondays and Tuesdays (12 h.–13h. p.m.)

Final exam will take place at the Seminar of Contemporary History during the last week of the school period, which will be informed in due course.

2.1. Learning goals

The student, in order to pass the course, will have to show her/his competence in the following skills:

Knowledge of the main institutions devoted to promoting the writing of history in Spain, from the late eighteenth century to the present.


Knowledge of the foremost historians (Modesto Lafuente, Rafael Altamira, Jaume Vicens Vives...). 

Knowledge of the pivotal aspects and challenges of Spanish historiography throughout the two last centuries: the representation of the liberal idea of nation, its participation in the regeneration movement, the Civil War of 1936-39 and the exiles, the reception of the paradigm of economic and social history, the influence of current historical trends.

Ability to attribute Spanish works and authors to their respective historiographic trends and historical circumstances.

2.2. Importance of learning goals

The skills adquired in the course:

  1. Contribute to the development of an advanced knowledge in political and intellectual history, in addition to the inquiry into the topic of historical memory in contemporary Spain. This will be achieved through the analysis of aspects such: the study of the foremost Spanish historians and hispanists, and their circumstances; the institutions and associations devoted to promoting the research and the teaching of history; the memories.
  2. Help provide a context – scientific and intellectual circumstances – for Spanish historical bibliography in general, and for pivotal debates on historiography in Spain in particular.
  3. Help to place the Spanish historiography in the international field.
  4. Contribute to better understanding the relationships between primary and secondary sources in historical research, because of the special topic developed in this subject (historians and their historical writings).
  5. Contribute to developing the ability to take part in academic debates on relevant aspects concerning Spanish society and culture. 

3.1. Aims of the course

The expected results of the course respond to the following general aims

The importance of this subject lies in the fact that it is mirroring the current relevance - in Spain and abroad - of studies in the history of historiography. It is characterized by its approach coming from intellectual and socio-cultural history, which allows us to develop a wide analysis by avoiding a mere retrospective of books and authors from the current situation. This analysis includes, in addition to the examination of the foremost Spanish historians and their activities, that of cultural institutions that have them sheltered (their political and social circumstances too), without forgetting both their relations with foreign authors and their capacity to assimilate foreign influences.

3.2. Competences

After completing the course, the student will be competent in the following skills:

Capacity to distinguish theoretical and methodological differences in the historical discipline.

   Knowledge of its current scientific trends.

These abilities are to be specified thus:

  • To attribute the Spanish historians and their works to certain intellectual trends and historical circumstances.
  • To distinguish the peculiarities of Spanish historiography compared to other neighbouring historiographic traditions.
  • To assess what the place of Spanish historiography in the international field is - including its dependence on influences and debates coming from foreign countries and from Hispanism.

4.1. Assessment tasks (description of tasks, marking system and assessment criteria)

The student will prove that he/she has achieved the expected learning results by means of the following assessment tasks:

Assessment tasks:

  • Attendance to classes and active participation in them.
  • Individual presentation summarizing a book or a report/article to be discussed in the classroom.
  • Composition of a ten-page essay/paper.
  • Test.

Assessment criteria:

  • Active participation will be considered: the involvement in the discussion of the texts by Spanish historians (see below), in addition to the debates started as a result of public presentations or suggested by the professor. 
  • Topics for individual presentations will be taken from the bibliography of the subject – with prior advice by the professor – preferably from the section “La situación actual” (referred to current trends and debates) (see below).
  • The ten-page individual essay or composition will be supervised by the professor, consisting of free topic. It will be taken into account its emphasis in the vocabulary and in the presentation, the rigour of information, and its capacity for criticism.
  • The exam will consist of the development of a topic imparted by the professor.

Assessment system:

The grade will be distributed thus:

  • Attendance to classes and participation: 20%
  • Individual presentation: 20%
  • Ten-page essay/paper: 40%
  • Exam: 20%

5.1. Methodological overview

The learning methodology of this course will consist of three types of activities:

1. Lectures.

2. Bibliographic research. The bibliography (available on is divided into three groups, in accordance with the aforementioned conception of the history of historiography:

  • Works of Spanish history of historiography (XVIII-XX centuries).
  • Studies on intellectual history (XVIII-XX centuries).
  • State of the art, overview, and recent debates on Spanish historiography.

3. Analysis of texts (see the section of Learning tasks).

5.2. Learning tasks

The course includes the following learning tasks: 

  • Lectures.
  • Analysis of texts (texts available in
  • Presentations and discussions by the students.

5.3. Syllabus

The course will address the following topics:

  1. The new historical genres in the 19th century and their precedents: national history, history of civilization, and economic and social history.
  2. The emergence of professional historiography in Spain.
  3. The foreign influences and the role of Hispanism during the 20th century.
  4. The current situation.

5.4. Course planning and calendar

Classes will take place from October to January (both included) in the Seminar of Contemporary History during the timetable planned by the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Practices will take place in the same timetable. Tutorials will take place at the professor’s office on Mondays and Tuesdays (12 h.–13h. p.m.). The final exam will take place in the Seminar of Contemporary History during the last week of the academic semester, which will be informed in advance.


See the academic calendar of the University of Zaragoza ( and the website of the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts (Schedule of classes:;Examination schedule:

More information will be provided on the first day of class.

5.5. Bibliography and recommended resources

  • Aguilar Fernández, P. (1996): Memoria y olvido de la Guerra Civil española. Madrid, Alianza.
  • Álvarez Junco, J. (2001): Mater dolorosa. La idea de España en el siglo XIX. Madrid, Taurus.
  • Álvarez Junco, J. (coord.) (2013): Las historias de España. Visiones del pasado y construcción de identidad. Barcelona, Madrid, Crítica, Marcial Pons.
  • Bernecker, W. L.; Brinkmann, S. (2009): Memorias divididas. Guerra Civil y franquismo en la sociedad y en la política españolas, 1936-2008. Madrid, Abada Editores.
  • Boyd, C. (2000): Historia patria. Política, política e identidad nacional en España, 18751975. Barcelona, Pomares Corredor.
  • García Cárcel, R. (coord.) (2004): La construcción de las historias de España. Madrid, Fundación Carolina, Marcial Pons.
  • Cuesta Bustillo, J. (2008): La odisea de la memoria. Historia de la memoria en España. Siglo XX. Madrid, Alianza.
  • Cuesta Fernández, R. (1997): Sociogénesis de una disciplina escolar: la Historia. Barcelona, Pomares-Corredor.
  • González, M. J. (2010): Raymond Carr, la curiosidad del zorro. Una biografía. Barcelona, Galaxia Gutenberg/Círculo de Lectores.
  • Herrero, J. (1973), Orígenes del pensamiento reaccionario español. Madrid, Edicusa.
  • Gracia, J. (2004): La resistencia silenciosa: fascismo y cultura en España. Barcelona, Anagrama.
  • Jaksic, I. (2007): Ven comigo a la España lejana. Los intelectuales norteamericanos ante el mundo hispánico, 1820-1880. México D.F., FCE.
  • Kagan, R. L. (1998): “El paradigma de Prescott: la historiografía norteamericana y la decadencia de España”, Manuscrits, 16, pp. 229-256.
  • López Sánchez, J. M. (2006): Heterodoxos españoles. El Centro de Estudios Históricos, 1910-1936. Madrid, Marcial Pons-CSIC.
  • Mainer, J. C. (1983): La Edad de Plata (1902-1939). Ensayo de interpretación de un proceso cultural. Madrid, Cátedra.
  • Marín Gelabert, M. A. (2005): Los historiadores españoles en el franquismo, 1948-1975. Zaragoza, Prensas Universitarias, Institución Fernando el Católico (CSIC).
  • Menéndez Alzamora, M. (2006): La generación del 14. Una aventura intelectual. Madrid, Siglo XXI.
  • Moreno Alonso, M. (1979): Historiografía romántica española. Introducción al estudio de la Historia en el siglo XIX. Sevilla, Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Sevilla.
  • Muñoz i Lloret, J. M. (1997): Jaume Vicens Vives. Una biografía intel.lectual. Barcelona, Edicions 62.
  • Muñoz Soro, J. (2006): Cuadernos para el Diálogo (1963-1976): una historia cultural del segundo franquismo. Madrid, Marcial Pons.
  • Niño Rodríguez, A. (1988): Cultura y Diplomacia. Los hispanistas franceses y España de 1875-1931. Madrid, CSIC., Casa de Velázquez, Société des Hispanistes Français.
  • Núñez Florencio, R., (2010): El peso del pesimismo: del 98 al desencanto. Madrid, Marcial Pons.
  • Pasamar Alzuria, G. (2000): La historia contemporánea. Aspectos teóricos e historiográficos. Madrid, Síntesis, pp. 217-248.
  • Pasamar Alzuria, G. (2010): Apologia and Criticism: Historians and the History of Spain, 1500-2000. Oxford, Peter Lang.
  • Pasamar Alzuria (ed.) (2014): Ha estallado la memoria. Las huellas de la Guerra Civil en la transición a la democracia. Madrid, biblioteca Nueva.
  • Pasamar Alzuria, G.; Peiró Martín, I. (2002): Diccionario de historiadores españoles contemporáneos (1840-1980), Madrid, Akal.
  • Peiró Martín, I.; Pasamar Alzuria, G. (1996): La Escuela Superior de Diplomática (los archiveros en la historiografía española contemporánea). Madrid, ANABAD.
  • Peiró Martín, I. (1995): Los guardianes de la Historia. La historiografía académica de la Restauración. Zaragoza, Institución “Fernando El Católico” (reed. 2007).
  • Peiró Martín, I. (2013), Historiadores en España. Historia de la historia y memoria de la profesión. Zaragoza, Prensas Universitarias.
  • Pellistrandi, B. (ed.) (2002): La historiografía francesa del siglo XX y su acogida en España. Madrid, Casa de Velázquez.
  • Reig Tapia, A, (eds.) (1993): Manuel Tuñón de Lara. El compromiso con la historia. Su vida y su obra. Bilbao, Universidad del País Vasco.
  • Valls Montés, R. (2009): Historia y memoria escolar. Segunda República, Guerra Civil y dictadura franquista en las aulas. València. Publicacions de la Universitat de València.
  • Vélez, P. (2007): La historiografía americanista en España, 1755-1936. Madrid, Iberoamericana-Vervuert.
  • Wulff, F. (2003): Las esencias patrias. Historiografía e historia antigua en la construcción de la identidad española (siglos XVI-XX). Barcelona, Crítica.