Alumni Dissertations

 

Alumni Dissertations

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  • Edición, estudio y notas de Piratas y contrabandistas de ambas Indias, y estado presente de ellas (1693) de Francisco de Seyxas y Lovera

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

    Piratas y contrabandistas de ambas Indias, y estado presente de ellas (1693) by Francisco de Seyxas y Lovera (c.1646-c.1705) is a singular document, both among Hispanic and Northern European letters of the era. Fusing historiographical, political and autobiographical discourse, the text traces the audacious exploits of foreigners throughout Spain's overseas empire. Seyxas spent several decades at sea as a merchant and privateer, and, in writing Piratas y contrabandistas, draws upon these experiences, as well as upon numerous foreign books discovered during his travels. He completed his treatise in New Spain, where he had arrived shortly before to assume the post of alcalde mayor of Tacuba. Seyxas was to experience little success in the New World, however, falling out almost immediately with the viceroy, the Conde de Galve, and consequently spending most of his official tenure in prison. Piratas y contrabandistas was never published, likely remaining behind when the author finally fled New Spain, and has remained unknown to scholars for over 300 years. This edition is based upon a manuscript copy discovered in 2007. The project seeks to transmit this unique text, situating it within the history of piracy and Iberian imperial decline, examining the author's use of Spanish, French, Dutch and English written sources, and analyzing the intersections between Piratas y contrabandistas and Seyxas' other printed and manuscript books. This edition also attempts to clarify various aspects of the author's complex biography, drawing upon previously unexamined archival materials, and incorporates a series of map images from Taboas geraes de toda a navegaçaõ (1630) by João Teixeira Albernaz, an atlas once in the author's possession and which bears a close relationship to Piratas y contrabandistas.

  • The Paradoxes of (Anti-)Imperialism: Reason, Religion, and Resistance in the Latin American 'Arielista' Essay, 1898-1921

    Author:
    Shawn McDaniel
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Oscar Montero
    Abstract:

    This project analizes the concept of arielismo in the Latin American essay during the first two decades of the twentieth century. The principle argument of this study is that arielismo, far from a coherent, literary movement, is in reality rife with ambiguities, contradictions, and constant semantic shifts. Therefore, my analysis highlights the origin of the term, its ubiquity, as well as its limitations by focusing on the personal, sociopolitical, historical, and geopolitical contexts that inform the important but imprecise journey of arielismo in Latin American cultural history. Arielismo appears to be a fluid concept loosely based on José Enrique Rodó's essay, Ariel (1900). Most of this investigation is dedicated to the study of a series of essays and essayists that critics tend to call 'arielistas', a tendency I interrogate by underscoring the different ways in which the so-called 'arielistas' from various Latin American countries such as Cuba, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and Uruguay, subvert or diverge from the fundamental precepts of Ariel. Specifically, I study the ways in which a variegated group of Latin American intellectuals, from the right and left, diplomats and anarchists, negotiate the discrepancies between reason and spiritualism, between elitism and democratic participation, between critical autonomy and religious hegemony, and between idealism and pessimism, in their respective projects, which were written in an time of frequent U.S. interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean. My readings of arielismo reveal that a Latin American anti-imperialist subjectivity, far from uniform, is marked by numerous paradoxes. As I will underscore throughout this investigation, those paradoxes reveal arielismo to be a terrain in which complex and contradictory negotiations aimed at assimilating intellectual and personal resistance and emancipation with traditional sociocultural structures. This is a dichotomy that people around the world continue navigating. Therefore, in a broader context this study examines the tensions between reason and religious faith (or between positivism and metaphysics) in various emancipatory projects and, at the same time, between the politics of agency and dependency in globalizing processes during the last century.

  • Between Montaigne and Goethe: The Birth of Modern Individuality in the Autobiographical Work of Diego de Torres VIllarroel

    Author:
    Jay Mitsche-Sepulveda
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Jose Munoz-Millanes
    Abstract:

    This dissertation is a study on the overwhelmingly autobiographical work of Diego de Torres Villarroel (1694-1770), and has as its main objective to demonstrate that contrary to the time-honored and almost universally held belief, the history of modern autobiography has its origin in Vida, his autobiography, and not in Les Confessions, the autobiography of Jan-Jacques Rousseau. Herein is shown the unprecedented break that Vida brings about respective to the traditional confessional mode of autobiography, as bequeathed by Saint Augustine, a canonical mode that Rousseau, despite his claims to the contrary, continues and reinvigorates, and how that is carried out. At the same time, since this main thesis is posited on the ground that to break with this canonical tradition presupposes assuming a worldview that makes individual self-determination, autonomy and freedom central to it, by implication, herein Vida is proposed as one of the literary birthplace of the historical Enlightenment in Europe, and as the most original contribution of Spain to this movement. Taking into account that in dealing with the problematic he is confronted by in his resolve to render a truthful story of his selfhood Torres takes as his departing point the question of the phenomenology of his Being as a manifestation of the ontology of Existence, this study moves forward through a consistent discussion of the question of the concept of the Self, to probe into the fundamental way in which he faces, and solves, some of the most incandescent problems of self-representational discourse.

  • El género de la guía en María Zambrano

    Author:
    Pablo Moraga
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    José Muñoz Millanes
    Abstract:

    In this dissertation, we will study the spiritual guide based mostly on the writings of Maria Zambrano which see the guide as an experiential genre that serves as a bridge between philosophy and life. Through her examples, we will look at the guide as a historic genre which corresponds to the Spain's humanism to which Zambrano felt particularly attracted due to her interest in the ethical, religious and moral values conforming to the classical teachings. The fictional writings that Zambrano uses as examples of guides, find their justification in the genre due to their capacity to offer an allegorical reading. Finally, we will see how the genre has changed in modern times under two completely different modalities: One represented by the writings of Zambrano, like Claros del Bosque and De la Aurora; and the other by self-help books.

  • Novela y Violencia en Colombia: Narcotráfico y sicariato

    Author:
    Oscar Osorio
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Araceli Tinajero
    Abstract:

    In this dissertation I will analyze twenty four novels which inquire into the topics of drug trafficking and contract killings in Colombia. I will enter these novels into the widest sphere of the narrative of Colombian violence; I will discuss the denomination "sicaresca" and the approach of literary analysis to this narrative. I will also propose a definition of said literature according to the connections with socio-historical referents that their works of fiction deal with. This is necessary because some of the critical approaches to this corpus carry an inheritance of prejudices that mar these analyses. I approach this narrative through the individual analysis of each of these novels and the cross-analyses of groups of novels according to the emphasis on the topics of drug trafficking and contract killing. I find that although these corpuses (drug trafficking novels and contract killing novels) have connections most of the times, they maintain substantial differences in their understanding of the phenomena of drug trafficking and contract killings, the city-violence relationship and the configuration of delinquents and their social impact. It is necessary to take into account that the social perception of the phenomenon of drug trafficking is determined by cultural, historical and regional conditions that determine the construction of literary fictions and the perception of the world that these entail. For this, I propose a literary cartography that examines the sociocultural influences and determinations in the construction of the world that these novels perform in five regions: the Atlantic coast, Valle del Cauca, Antioquia, Eje Cafetero and Bogotá. In regard to the contract killer novels, I inquire into the construction of the figure of the assassin, the city-violence relation, the phenomena of drug trafficking and contract killings, and the implications of the narrative in the reading matter of the reality that these works of fiction put forward. Finally, I perform a reading of the novel La Virgen de los Sicarios in which I present the existence of a criminal thinking of the narrator that determines the evaluation of the world that the text proposes. At the end of this chapter, I examine the cinematographic adaptation of this novel and the deep transformations that are entailed in the construction of the learned narrator and his perception of reality.

  • Revisión y transgresión del canon literario puertorriqueño: La obra de Manuel Ramos Otero

    Author:
    Marta Perez
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Elena Martínez
    Abstract:

    Abstract Revisión y transgresión del canon literario puertorriqueño: La obra de Manuel Ramos Otero by Marta Isabel Pérez Adviser: Professor Elena M. Martínez This dissertation examines how the work of the late Puerto Rican writer Manuel Ramos Otero (1942-1990), questions and confronts the literary canon of Puerto Rico. In this dissertation, I study Ramos Otero's writing strategies and transgressive themes that function to revise and challenge traditional and fixed ideas. These anti-canonical themes are expressed by including the experiences of a variety of subjects who live in the margins of society. These abject subjects are often homosexuals. The first chapter discusses the writing strategies that Ramos Otero uses in order to confront and question the Puerto Rican literary canon. Some of these methods include metafiction, which creates a narrative that is self-reflective of the act of writing itself, the use of a non-traditional syntax and the hybridization of genres. In the second chapter, I study the development of a collective voice, which begins from a place of isolation and loneliness, often experienced by emigrants. Additionally, I study the idea of nation in concert with some of the ideas posited by Homi Bhabha. The third chapter is an analysis of Manuel Ramos Otero's two poetry collections titled, El libro de la muerte and Invitación al polvo. In this chapter, I concentrate on the theme of death and its relevance to the time period in which the author composes the poems. In particular, in the second collection titled Invitación al polvo, the biographical component serves to develop a sense of criticism of a society who rejected those suffering from AIDS. The influence of Manuel Ramos Otero is manifold. Some of the themes he developed include: the humanization of the abject subject and the denunciation of the indifference of society towards the AIDS epidemic. All of these strategies have served as a bridge between the preceding and younger generations of writers in Puerto Rico.

  • Revisión y transgresión del canon literario puertorriqueño: La obra de Manuel Ramos Otero

    Author:
    Marta Perez
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Elena Martínez
    Abstract:

    Abstract Revisión y transgresión del canon literario puertorriqueño: La obra de Manuel Ramos Otero by Marta Isabel Pérez Adviser: Professor Elena M. Martínez This dissertation examines how the work of the late Puerto Rican writer Manuel Ramos Otero (1942-1990), questions and confronts the literary canon of Puerto Rico. In this dissertation, I study Ramos Otero's writing strategies and transgressive themes that function to revise and challenge traditional and fixed ideas. These anti-canonical themes are expressed by including the experiences of a variety of subjects who live in the margins of society. These abject subjects are often homosexuals. The first chapter discusses the writing strategies that Ramos Otero uses in order to confront and question the Puerto Rican literary canon. Some of these methods include metafiction, which creates a narrative that is self-reflective of the act of writing itself, the use of a non-traditional syntax and the hybridization of genres. In the second chapter, I study the development of a collective voice, which begins from a place of isolation and loneliness, often experienced by emigrants. Additionally, I study the idea of nation in concert with some of the ideas posited by Homi Bhabha. The third chapter is an analysis of Manuel Ramos Otero's two poetry collections titled,El libro de la muerte and Invitación al polvo. In this chapter, I concentrate on the theme of death and its relevance to the time period in which the author composes the poems. In particular, in the second collection titled Invitación al polvo, the biographical component serves to develop a sense of criticism of a society who rejected those suffering from AIDS. The influence of Manuel Ramos Otero is manifold. Some of the themes he developed include: the humanization of the abject subject and the denunciation of the indifference of society towards the AIDS epidemic. All of these strategies have served as a bridge between the preceding and younger generations of writers in Puerto Rico.

  • Eugenio Noel, Joaquín Costa and the Regenerationism Movement in Spain

    Author:
    Thomas Piro
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Nuria Morgado
    Abstract:

    Abstract Eugenio Noel, Joaquín Costa and the Regenerationism Movement in Spain by Thomas R. Piro Adviser: Professor Nuria Morgado This research will present select narrative works of the twentieth century Spanish author Eugenio Noel and discuss them within the context of the regenerationism movement. Often viewed as a descendant of the members of the generation of '98, Noel is frequently aligned with this intellectual group; however, Noel himself has clearly expressed disassociation from them and placed himself within the circle of writers known as the novecentistas. Often undervalued by critics, his work nevertheless represents originality of both style and expression. Noel adopted a bohemian lifestyle and centered his ideology primarily on the related issues of antitaurismo and antiflamenquismo seeing within them the root causes for the decline of Spain before and after el desastre de '98. Noel was very much aligned to the regenerationism of Joaquín Costa and based his campaign for changes in his homeland on the latter's ideology. Noel worked tirelessly to help the Spanish people reclaim el alma de la raza. His crusade took him on endless travels throughout Spain and the Americas where he gave many conferences and spoke not only against flamenquismo and taurismo, but also about other social issues. He extolled the proud history and accomplishments of the Spanish people and created a formidable body of literature, which addressed themes that were prominent among regenerationist thinkers. Noel professed himself to be un hombre de acción and his plan for moving the country forward was to engage in an anthropological/ethnographic and rhetorical campaign to understand the people and subsequently assist them in rediscovering and reclaiming the proud heritage of the Spanish nation and its citizens. The present research will discuss both the historical and social contexts to which Noel reacted as well as the specific regenerationist platforms of Joaquín Costa, Lucas Mallada and Ricardo Macías Picavea. Noel's unique literary style will be examined via an analysis of selected works and his alignment with the regenerationism movement will be established.

  • La Alpujarra de P. A. de Alarcon, a critical edition

    Author:
    Eladia Raya
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    William Sherzer
    Abstract:

    This dissertation is a critical edition of a travel book published by one of nineteenth-century Spain's most prominent authors. La Alpujarra is the last of the three well-known travel books authored by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón, and it is considered his most important. La Alpujarra was first published in 1874, and it was edited by the author himself for its second edition in 1882. The purpose of my dissertation is to compare and contrast both editions. To accomplish this goal,I have documented all the variations in the 1882 edition, using textual notes that appear as endnotes in my critical edition. These variations appear at the end of the text in the section "Aparato crítico." In addition to textual notes, I have added explicatory notes in the form of footnotes. Some of the explicatory notes are further explained in the complementary notes at the conclusion of the author's text. The first part of my dissertation consists of a preliminary study divided into four chapters. The first chapter presents a brief biography of the author, highlighting the most important aspects of his life and his literary career. The second chapter deals with the topic of European travelers and travel books in nineteen-century Spain; and more specifically, in the region known as la Alpujarra, and the city of Granada, the capital of the old Kingdom of Granada, in Andalusia. European romantics favored both sites as the object of their attention, inasmuch as these locales represented the exotic ideal, the stereotypical so-called, "Spanish Orientalism." The third chapter deals with the creation of the myths and legends based on the history and peculiar geographical features of this region, as portrayed in literary works from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Chapter four offers a literary analysis of La Alpujarra: its structure and literary style; and acknowledges Alarcón's literary viewpoint, and his perceptions of the region: its landscape, history and people.

  • Masculinidades y transgresiones en la obra de Mayra Santos Febres

    Author:
    Marilyn Rivera
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Elena Martínez
    Abstract:

    In Masculinidades y transgresiones en la obra de Mayra Santos Febres, I study how contemporary Puerto Rican writer, Santos Febres, undermines the hegemonic masculinity in her novels, short stories, and poetry. Feminism and gender theories are used to explore this topic as well as major works within Masculinities Studies. I examine the social construction of masculine identity in the context of Puerto Rico taking into consideration ethnicity and social class specifically. This project consists of five parts: an introduction, three chapters, and a conclusion. In the first chapter, an overview is provided on the concepts of gender, sex, masculinities and hegemonic masculinity. I then focus on the elements of race, power, and colonialism as part of the theoretical frame, as these are connected to the hegemonic stance. At the end of this chapter, I discuss the works of scholars who study masculinity in Puerto Rico and interconnect their ideas with others from different parts of the world (Spain, Australia, Latin America, United States, etc). The other remaining chapters are reserved for the critical analysis of Santos Febres' books. As part of this analysis, I study certain characters and how they are depicted paying close attention to those who, in one way or another, represent the hegemonic masculinity, and those who undermine the normative by finding new ways to express their masculinities without being violent or dominant. In chapter two, there is more attention to ethnicity, sexuality and social class and how these aspects are used within the social context to define the norm and marginalize some people. Finally, the third chapter focuses on the acquisition of male identity. Here, I pay attention to institutions and social agencies such as the family and the State to identify how a specific model of masculinity is produced and reinforced by the society. Through this research, I hope to show that Santos Febres' work represents a transgression to the hegemonic model by portraying other ways to be a man, and by exploring the social construction of gender.