Prof Sarah Leggott

Prof Sarah Leggott profile picture

Dean Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


MA, PhD Auck


Sarah Leggott is a Professor in the Spanish and Latin American Studies Programme, and is currently Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her research interests focus on twentieth- and twenty-first- century Spanish literature and culture, with a particular interest in women writers and the representation of memory and trauma in narrative. Sarah has published widely on writings by Spanish women writers, ranging from studies of works written during the years of the Spanish Civil War and Franco dictatorship to more recent novels dealing with the legacy of the past in contemporary Spain.

Current research projects

Sarah’s most recent book, published in July 2015, discusses recent novels by Spanish women writers that represent women’s experiences in Spain during the years of the Spanish Civil War and Franco dictatorship. Memory, War, and Dictatorship in Recent Spanish Fiction by Women (Bucknell University Press), analyses a series of novels in the context of the "memory boom" in contemporary Spain, which has seen a huge upsurge in interest about the events of the Civil War and Franco dictatorship and has sparked intense social debate in Spain.

Sarah is now working on a project on women writers in 1940s and 1950s Spain, many of whom enjoyed significant success in their day but who have received little critical attention. She is also working on recent literary representations of the Republican exile from Spain after the Spanish Civil War.

Research supervision

Current supervision

  • Dissident Memories and Identities in Contemporary Chilean Culture
  • Literature and Nationhood in the Works of Nicolás Guillén.

Proposals welcome

  • Autobiography and testimonial literature
  • Memory Studies
  • 20th and 21st century Spanish literature
  • Hispanic Women Writers
  • 20th century Spanish history.

Teaching interests

Sarah has taught Spanish language courses at all levels, as well as courses on Spanish history, literature and cultural studies at undergraduate and Honours levels.

Key achievements

  • Victoria University of Wellington Teaching Excellence Award, 2002
  • Marsden Fund Fast Start Grant, 2004–2005
  • Victoria University of Wellington Award for Excellence in Research, 2008
  • University Research Fund Grant, 2009
  • Head of the School of Languages and Cultures, July 2010–July 2013
  • Universities New Zealand Women in Leadership Programme, 2013
  • Deputy Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, July 2014– 2018
  • Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2019 -

Selected publications

Memory, War, and Dictatorship in Recent Spanish Fiction by Women. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2015.

"Experimental Narrative and Social Critique in the Works of Elena Quiroga." International Journal of Literary Humanities 13.3 (2015): 9-16.

"La violencia contra las mujeres durante el franquismo: Su representación en testimonio y novela " In Estupro: Mitos antiguos y violencia moderna (Colección Escritoras y escrituras), edited by Daniele Cerrato, Claudia Collufio, Silvio Cosco, and Milagro Martín Clavijo, 337-49. Seville: Arcibel Editores, 2014.

Memory and Trauma in the Postwar Spanish Novel: Revisiting the Past, edited by Sarah Leggott and Ross Woods. Lewisburg, PA.: Bucknell University Press, 2013.

"Remembering the Spanish Civil War in Fiction: Dulce Chacón’s La voz dormida and Ángeles Caso’s Un largo silencio."The Spanish Civil War: Exhuming a Buried Past. Ed. Anindya Raychaudhuri. University of Wales Press, 2013. pp 159-71.

"Traumatic Legacies of Spain’s Republican Exile." The International Journal of the Humanities 9, no. 7 (2012): 31-38.

The Workings of Memory: Life-Writing by Women in Early Twentieth-Century Spain. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2008. 176pp.

"Representing Spain’s 20th-Century Trauma in Fiction: Memories of War and Dictatorship in Contemporary Novels by Women." Trauma, Media, Art: New Perspectives. Eds. Mick Broderick and Antonio Traverso. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2010. pp. 120-131.