Greetings from Madrid, Spain

Greetings from Madrid, Spain!

Over the past few days, I have been hard at work at the National Library of Spain, making my way through a vast collection of Vallejo-Nágera’s works.

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Antonio Vallejo-Nágera and Eugenics in Francoist Spain

Hi, readers! My name is Ethan Pearlstein, and I am a rising senior at William and Mary. I am a Hispanic Studies major at the College, and a pre-medical student pursuing a minor in biochemistry. The intersection between these two seemingly disparate fields led me to the subject of my honors thesis, “Antonio Vallejo-Nágera and Eugenics in Francoist Spain.” Over the course of the next year, I will be analyzing texts written by Nágera, chief of dictator Francisco Franco’s Cabinet of Psychiatric Services. These texts, published between 1926 and 1965, offer anatomical and biopsychological analyses of Spanish democratic-republicans, those who opposed  Franco’s dictatorship and remained loyal to the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939).  Also the subject of Nágera’s texts are International Brigaders from North America, including those born to Spanish parents, and others from Portugal, and Great Britain. Franco established the bureau and appointed Nágera with the goal of finding the “red gene,” or a supposed genetic factor that would pre-dispose an individual to opposition to the dictatorship, something that he termed “marxism.”

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