Alumni Dissertations and Theses

 
 

Alumni Dissertations and Theses

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  • Hacia un nuevo imaginario nacional: narradoras cubanas de los noventas

    Author:
    Mabel Cuesta
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Elena Martínez
    Abstract:

    As opposed to other Latin-American literatures, Cuban literature in the seventies and eighties of the last century was not characterized by the development of narrative written by women. This could seem a contradiction given the emphasis that the project known as the "Cuban Revolution" placed on restituting misappropriated values put on women by a pseudo-republican Cuba for the services of foreign interests. For the new female "partner" in the interior of the emerging revolutionary discourse, her image would not be identified with that of the prostitutes, housewives or illiterate mothers that the governing powers in previous times wanted to impose as the only image, however she would be identified with that of active subjects -physically and intellectually- in the construction of said project. The present dissertation has as its foundation the necessity of a study that shows that the production of the selected writers (born in between 1959 and 1975) whose work begins to be written and published during the 1990's, undertakes the labor of re-writing the national imaginary. Through these authors and the selected works, we can progressively identify the national displacements -invisible to the mediums of diffusion and the propagandist apparatus of power in the last years. I will focus on the study of the manner in which the representation of the female characters is articulated by the selected authors.

  • Pensamiento politico y heterodoxia literaria en Francisco Umbral, cronista de la Transicion

    Author:
    Noelia Dominguez-Ramos
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    William Sherzer
    Abstract:

    The objective of this research is the study of the journalistic/literary texts of the Spanish writer Francisco Umbral within the political context of the Spanish transition to democracy, focusing mainly on two aspects. In the first approach, we examine the causes that brought about the marginalization of Umbral's work from the contemporary literary canon, which have been divided into two, with regard to both formal and extraliterary factors. In the case of the first, we find the difficulty in cataloguing Umbral´s novels because of their continued use of gender heterodoxy. Besides that, his linking of a prosaic quality and a composite construction of a journalistic column has tended to obscure the verbal beauty of his poetic prose and the originality that is brought about by the simultaneity of a literary creation that is directed toward the sociopolitical events of a changing Spain. On the other hand, the extraliterary factors are related to a public image of a polemical and bad-tempered writer in constant confrontation with academia, in addition to the proliferation of his literary production and his manifest interest in benefiting from his work as a writer. Secondly, this study constitutes an attempt to trace the map of Francisco Umbral's political thought with respect to the institutional changes that came about following the death of Francisco Franco, with the objective of understanding the relevance the author had as a "generator of opinion" with his daily columns. This study illustrates the fact that from Umbral's work is born a firm opposition to those who had the intention of convincing the population that the schizophrenia suffered after four decades of cultural isolation and political repression had been overcome with the arrival of democracy. As a consequence, Umbral expressed an exacerbated skepticism with regard to the supposed political and social modernization with which Spain presented itself to the international scene, based primarily on the urgency with which the institutional changes were developed, the country's consistent incapacity to overcome its history, and the continuous recourse to a feeling of victimization, self-compassion, and an inferiority complex when faced with a more "westernized" and democratic Europe.

  • De la iglesia carismatica a la iglesia institucional: El mundo cultural del Libro de buen amor

    Author:
    John- Estrada
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Ottavio Dicamillo
    Abstract:

    No.

  • El oficio de la escritura y la estética en la obra de Roberto Bolaño

    Author:
    Ainoa Inigo
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Araceli Tinajero
    Abstract:

    This dissertation aims at attaining a general understanding of the aesthetics and philosophy on the practice of writing of Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003), the Chilean poet and writer, through interpretive devices developed by him and by extrinsic means. Bolaño claimed that his works stemmed from a pre-extant poetic universe, so that each work is interrelated thematically with the rest of the oeuvre and individually representative of the totality. Throughout the works analyzed, our two primary questions--the aesthetical and ethical--intercept while we examine his understanding of the role of the writer and literature itself. Estrella distante (1996), Los detectives salvajes (1998) and 2666 (2004) present a world of conflict where literature acts as both a means of resistance and sensual stimulus, as well as control and intellectual numbing: the canon, official literature, publishing businesses, &c. Given the differences in form and content between these pieces, each one has required a unique theoretical approach. Estrella distante has been analyzed against hitlerian aesthetics and the theory of the grotesque developed by Mikhail Bakhtin. Los detectives salvajes was treated as the central self-critique leveled by Bolaño on vanguardist movements in general but most importantly his own infrarealismo, where a complex combination of praise and criticism comes through. 2666 has been interpreted through the theory of transmodernity developed by Rosa María Rodriguez Magda, and various approaches to cultural and economic globalization. All pieces have been analyzed and contrasted in the last chapter through their metafictional content, bringing to light the ways in which this philosophical totality makes works converge and diverge in form, while preserving the principal concerns of the writer: for the pieces as products and for literature as a whole.

  • THE TRANSNATIONAL LATIN AMERICAN REGIONALISM OF MARIO VARGAS LLOSA AND MILTON HATOUM

    Author:
    Michele Kettner
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Juan Mercado
    Abstract:

    The present dissertation analyzes the novels The Green House (1966) and The Storyteller (1987), by Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, and Two Brothers (2000), by Brazilian novelist Milton Hatoum and reinterpret literary regionalism in the Amazon region. I claim that the new variety of regionalist literature represented by both authors challenges hegemonic national representations of Peru and Brazil and conceptualizes Amazonian ecology in the context of global capitalism. In the first chapter, I evaluate the critical apparatus of the older tradition of Latin American regionalism proposing the concept of the "region" as an "invention" (Albuquerque Jr.). My reading reveals how the institutionalized invention of the region as a homogenous community was produced through the erasure of discursive diversity in literature and fostered by the press and the state. In the second chapter, I analyze these images and literary representations of the Amazon region and how Vargas Llosa and Hatoum break from this old tradition by emphasizing hybridity in Latin American society and the relationship between the indigenous groups, past colonizers and new immigrants. In the third chapter, I examine how the choice of setting the stories in the post-rubber era of the Amazon allowed both authors to portray the urban Amazonian areas as colonial ruins destroyed by the forces of capitalism. The authors used the post-rubber era as a springboard to establish a discussion about the role of immigration in the global economy as well as the economics of power in the globally marginal Latin American countries. This new variety of regionalism represented by both authors refuses the hegemonic national representation of Peru and Brazil and conceptualizes the ecological environment within a globalized capitalist world. In their works, Mario Vargas Llosa and Milton Hatoum reveal their theories on hybridity in Latin American society and its relationship between the indigenous groups, past colonizers and new immigrants.

  • ANTONIO MACHADO AND HIS SOCIO-HUMAN EPISTEMOLOGY IN JUAN DE MAIRENA

    Author:
    Hyon Kim
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    William Sherzer
    Abstract:

    The emergence of modernization at the end of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century in the form of integration of technology into our every day lives brought a profound change in every aspect of human experience and reality. While Heidegger saw as a consequence of that "the objectivization (Verge-genständlichung) of our ordinary lived experience" as expounded in Sein und Zeit, Antonio Machado through Juan de Mairena finds the root of scientific modernity in materialism (Five Portraits 70). This is not just materialism in the economic sense of quantifying values and services but scientific in the sense that it converts minerals, nature and even living organisms into mathematical and scientific data. Juan de Mairena considers Descartes the initiator of this approach in modernity, which in a way had its influence from the pre-Socratics: Democritus of Abdera in association with the Milesian School and Ionian School. Juan de Mairena's main concern about modernization was the effects technological society would bring to human affairs and the human value system. To understand Juan de Mairena's concern about the human's place in modernization, I analyze in chapter one passages in Juan de Mairena in relation to various literary and philosophical works such as Kafka's The Castle, Sartre's Nausea, Heidegger's concept of `Dasein,' Gadamer's analysis of `Erlebnis' and other related concepts and compositions (all of which deal with the topic of humans coping in a systematized life under modern administration). In chapter two, I distinguish, through the textual analysis of Juan de Mairena, the difference between the way objects and humans are in phenomena, and explain the reason why Juan de Mairena thinks that the Cartesian scientific method is inappropriate for learning about human beings. Following that, I expose the tenets of Cartesian scientific modernity and finish the chapter with a preliminary description of what is entailed by "socio-human epistemology" In chapter three, I trace the historical roots of Cartesian scientific modernity and explain briefly the transition between its theoretical conceptions and its materialization in phenomena through applied science and engineering. In addition, I convey the meaning of `socio-human epistemology' within Juan de Mairena's conception of human experience and reality.

  • El zorro de arriba y el zorro de abajo de José María Arguedas. Edición, anotación y estudio preliminar

    Author:
    Julio Leon
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Isaías Lerner
    Abstract:

    El zorro de arriba y el zorro de abajo de José María Arguedas. Edición, anotación y estudio preliminar. This research consists in developing an annotation of the novel El zorro de arriba y el zorro de abajo by Peruvian writer José María Arguedas. J. M. Arguedas wrote this novel in Spanish, but thinking of the Quechua language, myths and indigenous oral tradition that have survived throughout the centuries. Arguedas is permanently struggling with both languages. He wants not only to communicate through the Spanish language, but also to convey the fusion of both cultural universes. This research consists of a detailed explanation of Spanish words and phrases influenced by Quechua language that could be misinterpreted in the novel. The first edition of El zorro... appears in January, 1971, in Buenos Aires by Losada Editores. In 1983, in Lima, Horizonte Editores publishes the complete fictional works of José María Arguedas under the supervision of Sybila Arredondo. This edition includes El zorro... in Volume V, and takes Losada's edition as reference, but Arredondo, the overseer, uses fragments of articles and magazines published before 1971. She also uses original copies of texts. The research and studies pertaining to El zorro..., have omitted the perspective we will introduce. In other words, there are no works that include aspects of the syntactical, lexical and mythological, as well as a complete study. The existing works did not offer a study of these issues, thereby, diminishing the richness of the novel. It is my purpose to facilitate the reading of the text which can be obscure and confusing to any reader not familiar with the Quechua language and its culture by explaining the points I mentioned above. I will attempt to facilitate the reading by introducing explanatory and necessary notes which can provide a reliable source for students and researchers. I am using the edition supervised by Sybila Arredondo, 5 vols., Lima: Horizonte Editores, 1983 as a reference.

  • TRAUMA, MEMORIA Y CUERPO: NARRATIVAS TESTIMONIALES DE MUJERES COLOMBIANAS (1985-2000)

    Author:
    Constanza López
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Magdalena Perkowska
    Abstract:

    In the midst of the seemingly endless conflict affecting Colombia, women have had to endure great losses. About half of all the displaced people in the country are women; their bodies have been considered as spoils of war, many have been detained illegally, tortured and killed, and some have simply disappeared. They have also suffered the deaths, kidnappings and disappearances of their husbands, children and other loved ones. In response, many have taken the lead in denouncing impunity and claiming reparation, they have filled the streets demanding protection from the state, and they have formed organizations for peace and justice. A few have written their personal memories, and by doing so, they have made visible the pain and wounds of the nation. This dissertation explores a testimonial narrative that has emerged out of this conflict. It specifically deals with the decades of the eighties and nineties when the Movimiento 19 de Abril (M-19) was active in the country. My work studies four testimonial texts –Razones de vida (2000) by Vera Grabe, Escrito para no morir: bitácora de una militancia (2000) by María Eugenia Vásquez, Cita en el Café La Bolsa (1998) by Mary Daza Orozco and Noches de humo: cómo se planeó y ejecutó la toma del Palacio de Justicia (1988) by Olga Behar – and examines how these authors challenge the official versions of violence in Colombia. Refusing to obliterate history, they opt instead to re-write and destabilize it, by questioning the dominant political and historical discourses. I approach these narratives with the aid of theories of memory, trauma, violence and gender and recent feminist scholarship on autobiography and testimonio. In my analysis, I argue that these texts join a wide range of female narratives from Latin America and around the world that challenge totalizing discourses. They are exemplary for vividly illustrating the trials that women undergo in situations of conflict and war, including those who have themselves been combatants. They are also accounts of women who ultimately chose peace over war, and an exploration of the implications this choice has had for themselves and for the future of the nation.

  • Europa, Africa y Norteamérica: Sarmiento y el viaje intelectual

    Author:
    Susana Maiztegui
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Juan Carlos Mercado
    Abstract:

    This dissertation will explore the ideological circumstances of the Argentinian thinker, politician and author Domingo F. Sarmiento, (1811-1888), his intellectual coming of age, his development as a public and political figure and his ever clear definition of nation, present in his abundant production -letters, essays, legislation. The main thesis will revolve around his proposal for the economic organization and development -and its inevitable echo on the socio-economic and cultural angles- of a country emerging from fifty years of civil wars and political strife, social unrest and tyranny. From his extensive travels through Europe, Africa and the United States, both as a private citizen and as an emissary of the Chilean and Argentinian governments, Sarmiento envisioned the sole remedy for Argentina's take off and entry into the new century: a serious course to industrialization. This conviction led to his vigorous support to develop crucial infrastructure for the young country, such as the network of railroads, the dredging and building of new port facilities for Buenos Aires, all these public works which took the country to the forefront in the export of agricultural commodities. The fact that such ambitious enterprises required large amounts of capital and labor was not an obstacle for him. Loans from international, mostly British, banks were never a problem for a country blessed with natural resources; however, the empty, undeveloped Pampas lacked the amount of labor necessary for the endeavors of this high value-added nature, which demanded the commitment of qualified hard work. Sarmiento bases his call, first, for selective immigration on the need to attract workers for the new industries and, second, on the imperative to occupy the new territories seized from the native tribes in the Pampas.

  • PRÁCTICAS Y REPRESENTACIONES DEL IMPERIO. GUERRA, IMPRENTA Y ESPACIO SOCIAL EN LA ÉPICA HISPÁNICA DEL QUINIENTOS

    Author:
    Miguel Martinez
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Isaías Lerner
    Abstract:

    The present study offers an analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of an often neglected corpus of Spanish epic poems published in the second half of the sixteenth century. In contrast with the fictional nature of the previous traditions of both Italian and Spanish heroic writing, poems such as Jerónimo Sempere's Carolea (1560), Baltasar del Hierro's Destruyción de África (1560) and Victoriosos hechos de Don Áluaro de Baçán (1561), Jerónimo Jiménez de Urrea's Vitorioso Carlos V (ca. 1569), and Alonso de Ercilla's La Araucana (1569) claimed to offer eyewitness accounts of the multiple contemporary wars of the Habsburgs' empire in which the authors themselves participated as soldiers. It is argued that the success of this new epic discourse is directly linked to the social and cultural practices of a specific socio-professional group that emerged after the Renaissance military revolution: the popular soldiery of the Habsburg imperial armies. The soldados pláticos, as they called themselves [`professional, experienced soldiers'], developed a specialized discourse on warfare that entailed an affirmation of their public relevance as the backbone of the Monarchy of Spain against the social and political ascendancy of the high nobility that in the course of the sixteenth century had for the most part abandoned its traditional military role. The poetics of the new epic opposed the chivalric representations of romanzi and libros de caballería that, though they no longer resembled the practices of actual warfare, continued to legitimate the social preeminence of the Spanish and European aristocracy. The global circulation of soldierly epic prints contributed to the consolidation of a complex military sociability organized around the institutions and practices of Renaissance war. These were, however, extremely heterogeneous, mobile, and unstable spaces that favored prolonged cultural contact and the development of unexpected solidarities. Thus the epic discourse produced, distributed, and consumed in the spaces of war by the imperial popular soldiery helped to create a sense of corporate identity that not always coalesced with the broader national and imperial allegiances expected from them, and in some cases their practices and discourses showed the fragility of the elites' grand representations of empire.