Professor Sebastiaan Faber


Memory, Violence, and Democracy:
Rethinking the Public Humanities in Spain, Latin America, and Beyond

Between October 2015 to April 2016

Who is Sebastiaan Faber?

Prof. Sebastiaan Faber, Professor in Spanish Literature and Culture at Oberlin College (US), is a world-renowned expert in the field of exile and Spanish Civil War studies. He publishes regularly in both prestigious scientific journals and in magazines and newspapers and he is renowned for his participation in the larger debate related to the humanities. Sebastiaan Faber will work at the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies at Radboud University.

What is his research project about?

Sebastiaan Faber will investigate how young democracies in Spain and Latin America have dealt with the legacy of civil war, violence and dictatorship. He will also research how humanities scholars should engage with processes of collective memory that involve fundamental questions of democracy, transitional justice and cultural identity. The aim for the project is to result in a monograph on historical memory in Spain through the lens of history, fiction and photography and in a series of scholarly conversations, collaborations and debates on the Radboud University campus, focusing on the main questions of the project.

Why was he nominated?

Brigitte Adriaensen, Associate Professor in Hispanic Literature and Culture at Radboud University, nominated professor Faber. ‘The primary theme of the book he wants to continue working on in Nijmegen is an important one: the debates in Spain on the historical memory of the Second Republic, the civil war, the Franco regime and the transition to democracy. What is collective memory and what is its connection to history? Faber wants to go beyond such questions and consider how literature and the arts can be theorized with relation to collective memory.’ Furthermore, she says ‘he is an excellent debater and polemist (…) and I applaud his efforts to reach a less-specialized audience, which is also a crucial aspect of actual debates in the Dutch discussion on societal relevance and valorisation in science.’