Germán Labrador Méndez

Germán Labrador Méndez (Vigo, 1980) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Princeton University since 2008. His interests span various fields and encompass literary and cultural history, memory studies, poetry, social movements, and urban cultures. His primary area of research is Modern and Contemporary Spain. Before arriving at Princeton, he taught at the Universidad de Salamanca and later at the Universität Hamburg.

His first book, Letras arrebatadas, Poesía y química en la transición española [Raptured Letters: Chemical Poetry during the Spanish Transition to Democracy], studies how a forgotten group of Spanish underground poets used drugged literature in the symbolization of the historical experience of their generation, from the psychedelic utopias of 1968 to the deadly spread of heroine consumption in the 1980s. His second book, Culpables por la literatura. Imaginación política y contracultura en la transición española [Guilty of Literature. Political Imagination and Counter-Culture in the Spanish Transition to Democracy](1968-1984) (Siglo XXI, forthcoming), analyzes the attempts on the part of Spanish countercultures to exceed low intensity post-Francoist democracy through bio-literature and activism in the 1970s.

He is currently editing an anthology of works by anti-Francoist poets, Muerto el perro, se acabó la rabia. 25 poetas underground de la transición española (Acuarela & Antonio Machado Libros), and a critical edition of José Luis Hidalgo’s book Los muertos (Devenir), a collection of poems denouncing the existence of Francoist mass graves published during the dictatorship. His investigations in progress include two book projects. The first is The Cultural Production of the Crisis in Today’s Spain (2008-2013), devoted to understanding how popular culture can enter into political confrontation and exercise resistance when, as J. Butler writes, life becomes precarious, and the second is a study of the state’s memorial politics during the Restoration and the birth of the Second Republic, in relation to social engineering but also to political disobedience. It is tentatively titled If Even Statues Do not Stand. Iconoclasm, Monumentalism, Education and Political Subjection in Pre-War Spain (1868-1936).


Main publications:


  • (2014). Culpables por la literatura. Imaginación política y contracultura en la transición española. Madrid: Siglo XXI/Akal.
  • (2009) Letras arrebatadas, Poesía y química en la transición española. Madrid: Devenir.

Articles and chapters of books: 


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