UW News

November 5, 2009

Film and lecture series focuses on 70th anniversary of Spanish Civil War

Seventy years after the Spanish Civil War, Spain continues to struggle with the legacy of a war that shattered hopes for a fledgling democracy.

A film and lecture series, “Lives, History, Memory: The Spanish Civil War 70 Years After,” will explore the uniqueness of the conflict and the way its legacy has played out. Sponsored by nine UW units, the series begins this quarter and runs through May.

The initial evening starts at 7 on Tuesday, Nov. 10, in 301 Gowen Hall with a free showing of Dreams and Nightmares, an award-winning 1974 film by Lincoln Brigade veteran Abe Osheroff. He explores the ideals and experiences that led him and 40,000 others from more than 50 countries to defend the Spanish Republic against Francisco Franco, Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini from 1936 to 1939.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Anthony Geist (UW Spanish and Portuguese Studies), Mark Jenkins (UW Drama) and Peter Carroll (Board chairman, Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives).

The following night at 7:30 p.m. in 220 Kane, Jenkins will present and discuss parts of From Seasons Such as These, his new play based on Thane Summers, a UW student who dropped out of the UW his senior year and subsequently died fighting in the war. The evening is part of the Seattle Arts and Lectures Wednesday University Series, “Art, Dissent and Social Change.” Tickets are $20 at the door. For more information, go to www.lectures.org.  

The third night, Thursday, at 7 p.m. in 301 Gowen, Carroll will speak on the complex relationship between the American volunteers and novelist Ernest Hemingway, both during and after the Spanish Civil War. Carroll became the leading authority on the topic with his 1994 film, The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The lecture is free and open to the public.

In the winter and spring, the series will include lectures by Jordana Mendelson (New York University), Helen Graham (University of London) and subject to confirmation, Baltasar Garzon (a Spanish magistrate). Sponsors are the Department of History, the Division of Spanish and Portuguese, Global Studies, the School of Drama, Comparative History of Ideas, the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities, the Center for West European Studies, the Samuel & Althea Stroum Jewish Studies Program and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.