Alumni Dissertations

 

Alumni Dissertations

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  • Técnicas y estrategias del cuento histórico hispanoamericano desde 1970

    Author:
    Daniel Rivera
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Malva Filer
    Abstract:

    Abstract Técnicas y estrategias del cuento histórico hispanoamericano desde 1970 By Daniel R. Rivera This dissertation explores the development of the historical short story in Spanish America since 1970. The selection includes short stories from the Colonial period to the dictatorship period in Argentina which began in 1976. The countries of the writers include Argentina (Juan José Saer, Luisa Valenzuela), Colombia (Gabriel García Márquez), Cuba (Antonio Benítez Rojo), Uruguay (Mario Benedetti, Eduardo Galeano) and Puerto Rico (Luis López Nieves, Ana Lydia Vega). The purpose of the dissertation is to show that the genre of the short story could be used in the same way as the Spanish American historical novel to create stories about a variety of historical moments and events, despite the limitations of the short story. To analyze the stories, this project work utilizes criticism from Latin America, United States and Europe. The dissertation also focuses on the variety of approaches, techniques and strategies that the writers employ in their works. Through the use of material from histories books, novels, oral testimony mixed with their own invention, the writers create well- structured short stories to present a period of time, a character and a plot.

  • La construcción de un teatro nacional republicano: la Segunda República y el teatro clásico español

    Author:
    David Rodriguez-Solas
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Lía Schwartz
    Abstract:

    This dissertation explores the use of a Spanish theatrical tradition in the process of building a national identity during the 1930s. In four chapters I analyze the role of culture in the configuration of collective identities. I begin my query by studying the role of cultural agents in the reorganization of the perception and reproduction schemes regarding Spain's history and culture. In my second chapter, I examine two of the projects sponsored by the Republican Government to foster Spanish classical theatre. Misiones Pedagógicas and La Barraca were two traveling theatre groups that toured Spain's villages and towns presenting a theatrical repertoire aimed at social agency. Chapter three explores the production and reproduction of the nation-building by means of creating a National Theatre. The last chapter focuses on the reinterpretation of Lope de Vega that followed the commemoration, in 1935, of the third centennial of his death, as said commemoration included competing conservative and liberal readings of his plays and the theatrical canon. In my research I argue Spanish classical theatre had a central role in the configuration of the new Republican state.

  • The Degree of Certainty System in Written Spanish in Mexico

    Author:
    Jaseleen Ruggles
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Ricardo Otheguy
    Abstract:

    Practitioners in threat assessment have considered direct threats as being high-level threats of future violence (O'Toole 2000: 9), but empirical studies testing the predictive validity of direct threats have contradicted this intuition (Dietz, Matthews, Martell et al. 1991; Smith 2006). Studies that include analyses of the deployment of English verbal roots (such as kill, hurt, etc.) have failed to show significant correlations between lexical choices and the occurrence of realized outcomes (Dietz, Matthews, Martell et al. 1991; Scalora, Baumgartner, Zimmerman et al. 2002a: 1360; Scalora, Baumgartner, Zimmerman 2002b: 46, Smith 2006). This analysis focused on inflectional affixes, rather than on lexical stems and aimed to uncover how formal choices made in specific acts of language use could predict the likelihood of realization of violent acts. Offender writings containing verb forms under study were collected from 201 crime scenes. A total of 169 were cases of single homicide.

  • Coincidencias y disidencias en la historia literaria dominicana: vision de Max Henriquez Urena y de Joaquin Balaguer

    Author:
    Mildred Van Zwaren
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Raquel Chang-Rodriguez
    Abstract:

    Este trabajo expone aspectos pertinentes al origen y desarrollo de la literatura dominicana. El enfoque se inicia con el arribo del idioma castellano a Quisqueya y se expande hasta las primeras primeras decadas del siglo XX.

  • Estandarización lingüística y construcción nacional: La norma española y la norma americana (1823-1857)

    Author:
    Laura Villa
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    José Del Valle
    Abstract:

    This dissertation analyzes five salient moments in the history of the standardization of the Spanish language that took place in the central decades of the nineteenth century: first, the reformed spelling system proposed in London by Andrés Bello and Juan García del Río in 1823 in order to promote Latin American literacy; second, the simultaneous officialization in 1844 of two different orthographic norms in Chile and Spain, both of them surrounded by intense ideological debates, the former led by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, the latter by a teachers' association established in Madrid; third, the publication in 1847 of Bello's grammar, which specifically targeted a Spanish American public; and finally, the official recognition of the Royal Spanish Academy's grammar in 1854 and its subsequent imposition in Spain's school system in 1857. Linguistic Historiography has traditionally described standardization policies and their implementation in the nineteenth century as undisputed and ideologically neutral. In contrast, this study will unveil the complexity of the process and its deep political roots and ramifications. The standardization processes studied were embedded in broader nation-building projects and used the developing public school systems as mechanisms of promotion of a standard language and national consensus. Reading those five landmarks in the history of Spanish standardization against the socio-political context of the mid-nineteenth century nation-building project shows that taking into account the political prominence of Spanish-speaking intellectuals is crucial to understanding how the standard norms and the language authorities are formed. The focus will be on the role played by Latin American intellectuals in the development of an American Spanish norm as well as on the significant participation of members of the Royal Spanish Academy in the establishment of Spain's official variety in the 1840's and 1850's. Finally, I will analyze the connections between the Peninsular and the Latin American development of a standard language and national identities. The dialogue established between the standardization processes on both sides of the Atlantic contributes to a better understanding of past and present debates over Spanish language policies and the status of the Royal Spanish Academy in the Spanish-speaking world.

  • La gauche divine. Políticas de la cultura en el tardofranquismo

    Author:
    Luis Villamía-Vidal
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Oscar Montero
    Abstract:

    The continuing scarcity of literary studies of the Franco period with methodological approaches linked to cultural studies gives rise to multiple areas of research that have attracted little attention from hispanists. Undoubtedly one of the most important is that large and heterogeneous cultural group of young anti-Francoists located in Barcelona that the critic Joan de Sagarra dubbed the gauche divine. In just a few years they gained access to the hegemony in the field of cultural production, through the control of new publishing houses and their roles as critics, editors, anthologists or translators, i.e. they became cultural mediators of the foreign modernity in the latter stages of the Francoist regime. Their influence on the emergence of the Latin American boom; the imitation of new habits and cultural trends that were emerging in France, Italy or the United States; their unique, frivolous and playful lifestyle and the media coverage that they provoked; wove a new fabric of taste in the literary field; without which it would be impossible to conceive of the cultural evolution of the following years in Spain.

  • Painting in the Poetry of Luis de Gongora

    Author:
    Maria Vitagliano
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Lia Schwartz
    Abstract:

    Góngora's major poems, the Polifemo and the Soledades, have long inspired comparisons to painting, as these works delight the mind's eye with visual and plastic qualities such as color, light and shadow, and the representation of space and depth. Much has been written on the relationship between the visual arts and Spanish Golden Age poetry and this thesis, in building upon a foundation already established, seeks to expand the synthesis between art history and literary studies in order to promote a fuller understanding of the dynamic relationship between Góngora's poetry and painting. The main purpose of this project is to analyze the visual qualities of Góngora's poetry in light of the art-theoretial and art-critical discourses that accompanied developments in Renaissance art, which evolved out of writings by artists and art-theorists such as Vasari, Dolce, Lomazzo, Pacheco, El Greco and Van Mander. Chapter One deals with the Renaissance doctrine of kinship between painting and poetry, ut pictura poesis which, named for a quote from Horace's Ars Poetica, was forged in the Renaissance out of classical theories pertaining to dramatic poetry. After a review of the development of ut pictura poesis, this chapter addresses accompanying discourses such as the paragone between painting and poetry as well as the Neo-platonic Idea, and also discusses the unique role of Spain in facilitating the doctrine of ut pictura poesis and one of its main contingencies, the liberalization of painting. In line with the purpose of viewing Góngora's poetry as a prism that reflects the evolution of aesthetics and artistic theory, emphasis is placed on the art-theoretical discourses that accompanied the influx of Renaissance art and artists into Spain around the turn of the seventeenth century and which guided perceptions of art among humanists such as Góngora and his readers. The focus of Chapter Two is the Polifemo and its relationship principally to Venetian, but also Netherlandish, painting technique and artistic theory. As critics have pointed out, in the Polifemo Góngora uses color much in the same way as the Venetian master Titian. In creating poetry that imitates Venetian painting, Góngora participates in one of the most salient artistic polemics of his time, the paragone tra colore e disegno. As will be explained in Chapter Two, Venetian colorist technique of painting directly on canvas differed radically from the initial process of painting over chalk drawings developed in Florence, and the debate that ensues over technique spills over into notions of cultural achievement and artistic worth. The querella between color and design begins in Italy as a rivalry between Venice and Florence and the proponents of Titian and those of Michelangelo, respectively, and later culminates in the theoretical battles of the French academy in the seventeenth century between the Rubenists and the Poussinists. But a history of the paragone tra colore e disegno would not be complete without a discussion of the controversy between dibujo y color in early seventeenth century Spain, where the polemic between Florence and Venice planted its discursive seeds by way of sixteenth century treatises, principally those of Vasari, who reveres Michelangelo and Florentine disegno as the pinnacle of artistic achievement, and Dolce, whose treatise vindicates Titian and the Venetian masters. In Spain, the polemic acquires a unique dynamic and is played out by artistic protagonists of Spain's Golden Age, such as El Greco and Pacheco, whose writings will be examined in relation to the Polifemo, which lends itself to a reading through the prism of the parangón entre color y dibujo. Not only Venetian but Flemish masterpieces dominated Spanish collections, and the Polifemo demonstrates Góngora's inspiration in the techniques of the Northern masters. After a discussion of the relationship between the Polifemo and Venetian art theory, Chapter Two introduces the theories of Karel Van Mander, whose treatise Schilderboeck, first published in Amsterdam in 1604, was known in Spain and found amongst Pacheco's book collection, with significant parts of the treatise translated into Spanish and incorporated into Francisco Pacheco's Arte de la Pintura. In posing as a painter, Góngora appears to follow some of the instructions given in Van Mander's treatise, specifically those pertaining to coloring or wel werven, using the pigments of flowers. Other aspects of Flemish technique found in the Polifemo include the behavior of light on surfaces and the relationship of figures to landscape. Van Mander puts forth a discourse of continuity between the Flemish and Venetian schools, and the notion of multiple centers of artistic accomplishment that includesVenice and Flanders in addition to Florence. These ideas play into the paragone tra colore e disegno, and provide a framework that embraces the collection of Spanish and Flemish masterworks in Spain. Images reminiscent of Renaissance masterpieces abound in the Soledades, which are the focus of Chapter Three. Equestrian portraits, still-lifes, landscapes, mythological paintings are carefully crafted, and the accumulation of painterly images renders the poem, in the words of Marsha Collins, "a veritable art gallery in verbal form." But the overarching aesthetic frame in the Soledades is the Flemish `World' landscape, with expansive distances and the introverted compositional format that dwarfs the protagonist and the narrative action. Chapter Three explores Góngora's aesthetic choices in the Soledades as they relate to Van Mander's theories regarding landscape and history, and how these ideas contrast with the Albertian and Vasarian view regarding painted histories and the underlying principles of ut pictura poesis. Furthermore, Chapter Three explores the idea of the poem as art gallery. As is known, Góngora's generation witnessed the culmination of studiolo culture and the creation of collections and art galleries, and Philip II's gran galleria was one of the most celebrated in Europe. The gallery becomes a topos and itself a subject matter for painting. Chapter Three explores how the Soledades can be read as an imitation of yet one more type of painting, that is, the Flemish gallery picture or les peintures des cabinets d'amateurs. It is argued that Góngora transforms the traditional locus amoenus and as such the place of refuge created in the representative space of the Soledades is more akin to the studiolo rather than a bucolic or garden space. Throughout this thesis, I have attempted to emphasize the importance of not only actual paintings and movements in art but also art treatises that were published and known to Góngora and his readers, for these texts greatly contributed to forming perceptions and discourses related to the visual arts. Francisco Pacheco's treatise is essentially a compendium of `500 art theory, and provides us with a guide as to the writings that circulated in Spain at the time of Góngora's writing. The writings of Vasari, Leonardo, Dolce, Zuccaro, Van Mander and others were catalysts for the multi-faceted conversation that took place in Spain in the early seventeenth century among humanists like Góngora as well as painters and art-theorists such as Pacheco, Carducho and El Greco. In sum, the goal of this work is to examine the way in which Góngora's major poems, in expressing in verse the plastic qualities that are reflected in actual works of art, also engage the art-theoretical discourses that helped shape the history of European aesthetics.

  • Free Love In Montevideo. Roberto de las Carreras and the Development of Erotic Anarchism in 1900

    Author:
    Marcos Wasem
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Óscar Montero
    Abstract:

    The works of Uruguayan Modernista Roberto de las Carreras, scandalous in their day and often dismissed by the critical tradition as the work of a "godless dandy", a self-promoter and a madman, intersect in suggestive ways with anarchist politics flourishing at the turn of the twentieth century. Through the work of Carreras Free Love in Montevideo studies the implications of this intersection between the work of a dandy, pornographer and self-proclaimed aesthete and the radical political movements of his day. An active promoter of "free love" theories developed during the early years of the last century, Carreras was drawn to the anarchist politics of his day, more specifically to debates on the topic of sexualities and their diverse cultural manifestations. Free Love in Montevideo focuses on a set of cultural, textual productions whose interaction with the more radical politics of the day has been largely overlooked by the critical tradition. The dissertation brings a new understanding of the period by expanding on the premise that the anarchist and labor movements had a significant role in shaping the ethos of Latin American Modernismo. The first chapter discusses critical inquiries on the topic of Modernista ambiguities around sexual and aesthetic normativities and attempts to recover the movement's utopian dimensions, basing its arguments on Jameson's proposal of "positive hermeneutics" and on Eagleton's study on the political implications of "ideologies of the aesthetic," often dismissed in the case of Latin American Modernismo to the airless closet of "art for art's sake." The second chapter focuses on the first poems published by De las Carreras and on his European and North African chronicles and examines Marxist analyses of Modernista cultural markets, building on Agamben's depiction of the relationship of the dandy with commodities as an alternative to market economy and as a quest for tentative approaches to queer subjectivities. The third chapter examines the idea of free love as embraced by the anarchist movement, which De las Carreras' pornographic books promoted, in order to contextualize debates on gender and nation-building in this period. The fourth chapter is based in part on Bataille's proposal of a "general economy," as a way to study the display of new graphic technologies in books by Carreras, luxuriously produced objects in some cases, and to understand his own utopia of mystical eroticism. The last chapter deals with the reception of his work, largely marginalized from the Modernista canon by virtue of his own resistance to commodification, arguing that it was largely the result of his alliance with anarchist publishers. The recovery of De las Carreras' works in this broader context reveals how hegemonic notions of nation and gender at the turn of the century were contested by intellectuals engaged in the utopian projects advanced and embraced by labor movements and other radical movements of the period.