Angela Arenivar. REIMAGINING LATINIDAD IN MEXICAN-AMERICAN BIOPICS. 2019
This study examines how Mexican-American identity has been performed in six biographical films produced by the North American film industry from the 1980s to 2015. The biographical films examined in this study include La Bamba (1987), Stand and Deliver (1988), Selena (1997), César Chávez (2014), Spare Parts (2015), and McFarland, USA (2015). The study of Mexican-American identity is facilitated through an exploration of several contours of a film, such as an imaginary perception of Mexican-Americanness, casting for the roles of the lead characters, and either incorporation of previous stereotypes or a reconfiguration of Mexican-American images. While Mexican-Americanness has been examined through the lens of stereotypical roles in biopics, this dissertation uses filmography, social and cultural history, and questions of cultural authenticity to explore the performance of Mexican-Americanness in biographical films.
This study explores the site of intersection between biographical films and the portrayal of Mexican-Americans. Expanding on earlier scholarly studies of biopics as well as studies of Mexican-American identity in film, this investigation draws on the ways that Mexican-American identity reflects social and political trends of the time periods in which they are produced, filmic representations of Mexican-Americans, and interpretations of how certain scenes function as sites of identity formation. Various elements combine in order to construct the concept of Mexican-Americanness as performance in the film industry, such as Spanish language elements, a reclamation of a lost heritage, and historical distortions with the end goal of entertaining an audience.
Ultimately, this study observes that within the past few decades, the imaginary concept of Latina/o identity is shifting to accurately reflect the authentic nature of Latina/o identity while acknowledging that remnants of stereotypes persist due to the demands of popular culture.
It concludes that the Mexican-American biopics produced in the 1980s and 1990s exhibit themes more closely aligned with the identity themes of the Chicano Movement while biopics produced in the 2010s reflect themes faced by Mexican-Americans in a xenophobic post-September 11 nation. The notion of Mexican-American performance in biopics echoes the complicated matrix of political and social trends of society.
Debarati Byabartta. Humor in the Service of Social Criticism in Iconic Examples from Four Filmic Traditions (United States, Spain, Mexico, and India). 2019
This dissertation is a critical comparative study of four distinguished cinematographic traditions, namely the USA, Spain, Mexico, and India, where their respective societies, politics, histories, and cultures form the relevant background. In such a context, humor in its varied forms acts as a potent catalyst to analyze, conjoin, and diversify the distinctive cultures to reiterate that its language is universal for making a serious comment. At the same time, it can create far-reaching societal awareness. It plays the role of a sturdy and compelling carrier in this dissertation as it channels the raw energy of the underdog and the picaresque. The dissertation contains four chapters that are dedicated to the USA and Charlie Chaplin; Spain and Luis Garcia Berlanga; Mexico and Mario Moreno Cantinflas; and India and Raj Kapoor; an introduction; and an epilogue.
It is an attempt to observe, analyze, and infer the following: the Rabelaisian grotesque body of the Chaplinesque tramp, the Bakhtinian clown or the medieval wise-fool, the pícaro, and the plebeian communicate the underdog’s or the subaltern’s story in different cinematographic traditions where they act as representatives or channels of communication. They are the marginalized, subaltern figures who are portrayed playfully in the chosen gamut of films. Their on-screen actions and reactions are catalyzed and stylized by humor, the energetic and spirited agent, for rendering social commentary and criticism through a selected corpus of message movies of the twentieth century.
The similarities and the differences that combine and diverge into distinct cinematic cultures are explored comprehensively to draw some comparative inferences via Humor Studies, and thus, a similar role of humor in the service of social criticism is substantiated in the selected cinematic traditions. Theories of Humor, Bakhtinian carnivalesque, Rabelaisian grotesque realism, and Valle-Inclanesque esperpento (grotesque) are used in the dissertation to strengthen the analysis and the argument and to underscore the social criticism. Gramscian Theories are used to some extent to reiterate the power struggle, resistance, and survival of the subaltern.
Yoandy Cabrera Ortega. Ira y deseo: impulsos timóticos en la Grecia hispana. 2019
This study analyzes the differences and similarities among the multiple portrayals of mythological figures as embodiments of human emotions (or “affects” as Freud calls them), especially rage and erotic desire, from Ancient Greece to the present. I posit that the fusion of love and rage in classical characters like Achilles and Medea triggers dissent and subversion against any form of external control or manipulation of human behavior (ideological, political, religious, etc.), what renowned Latin Americanist critic Alberto Moreiras defines as “Infrapolitics” in Marranismo e inscripción (2016). I study literature, theatrical plays, choreographies and films from a wide range of countries, namely Spain, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, and the United States. The thesis of this dissertation is that, in the different Hispanic versions of these classical myths, violence and love have been intimately connected with classical figures in ways that underline their universal iconic nature. Moreover, the blend of rage and love as triggers for dissent and subversion, allows classical characters –in both ancient and more contemporary versions– to go beyond any kind of boundaries (geographical, religious, sexual, etc.) to ponder topics common to all humanity. I study how human impulses, embodied by these reimagined classical characters, become driving forces (or “thymotic forces” as Peter Sloterdijk calls them in Rage and Time, 2006) that resist and subvert any form of behavioral normativity. Violence and erotic desire are the most prevalent thymotic forces in these artistic and literary works; they also represent universal concepts that connect myth and history, past and present, freedom and control, illegality and laws. The distinctiveness of Medea, Achilles and Oedipus stems directly from their common connection to these thymotic forces. I argue that the differences among the multiple versions of the same myths, including their varied reception in the Hispanic World, arise from the different views on rage and erotic desire filtering through all of these depictions. The ways Achilles, Medea and Oedipus have been read by contemporary audiences also disclose powerful insights from Antiquity until today about what makes us human.
Kelsey Harper. 2019
José Valero Martínez. Historia natural de la república. Ezequiel Martínez Estrada y el problema de la fundación. 2019
This dissertation proposes a political reading of the Argentinian writer Ezequiel Martínez Estrada. Considering his essay production between the years 1933 and 1956, I illustrate in which manner the paramount problem in Martínez Estrada’s work lies in the critique of the republican thinking of the creole elites of the 19th Century. As I suggest, it puts forward a narrative model, which radically rebuts the premise of historical progress sustained by the nationalist discourses of the creole intellectuals. In this regard, the essays of Martínez Estrada amount to a narration of the foundation of the Argentinian Republic, which, at the same time, sheds light over the origin of its crisis as a modern Nation-State. Martinez Estrada’s chief contribution to the intellectual history of Latin America consists in his revision of the foundational genres of the Argentinian literature, insofar the function as symbolical constructions of a political community. Thus conceived, my dissertation is divided into five sections. The first chapter describes the state of the question in Martínez Estrada’s essay work, and establishes the postulates and the scope of a political approach of it. The second section analyzes the conceptual foundations of the creole Argentinian thought, and in which manner Martínez Estrada’s essays would invert them in the form of an opposition between a concept of the universal history (presupposed by the first), and a concept of the natural history (purported by the latter). The third section deals with Martínez Estrada’s revision of the gauchoesque literature, and, in particular, how the sense of a national territory is born out of this genre. The fourth chapter addresses the creation of a national historiography in Argentina as a metaphor of the temporal foundation of the Argentinian republic, which, from Martínez Estrada’s outlook encloses the source of legitimation of a certain political order. Finally, in the fifth section I draw the conclusions about the actuality of Martínez Estrada’s though in the current debates in the field of the Latin American studies.
Guillermo Garcia Ureña. BESTIARIO MINIMO: ANIMIALIDAD, HUMANIDAD Y DOMESTICACION EN LOS INICIOS DE LA EDAD MODERNA EN LA MONARQUIA. 2018
This dissertation analyzes the concepts of humanity and animality in the Hispanic Early Modern period from an interpretation of the social processes of exclusion and domination as processes of animalization and domestication.
This interpretation follows the problematization of humanities and interdisciplinarity posed by Animal Studies. This interdisciplinarity combines ethics, literature, politics, and ethology. Also, this work is inspired by the literary genre of bestiaries, in which both the notion of animal and the disciplinary division are blurred and shown as constructs. This dissertation analyzes four «beasts» or specimens (animal, human, canine, marrano).
The first specimen is the animal, which is defined in the Modern Period in opposition to the human. This definition operates negatively: the animal is defined by human characteristics allegedly absent in animals. This chapter criticizes the animal as an abstract and singular concept, in favor of a non-dichotomous definition of human and other life forms.
Analyzed is the human specimen from the humanist project and the humanities, on one hand, and from the Conquest of the Americas and the evangelization of the indigenous population, on the other.
Also analyzed is the canine. The focus is on its position of a threshold, in between human society and natural world. This chapter explores the implications of this intermediate position that has been interpreted as both the dangers of savage inhumanity and the liberation of social limitations.
The marrano is analyzed as a paradigmatic form of animalization. It gives a special perspective not only because Marrano is an anti-Semitic term in relation to pigs, but also because it indicates the process of the communitarian closure based on an identity and how this closure operates either by conversion/assimilation the different, or by its expulsion/persecution.
Conclusions can be summarized in the rejection of the modern concept of the animal, and in the transformation of humanities, considering animals and the contemporary post- humanist historical context. The dissertation also concludes in favor of the inclusion of animals into the juridical system of guarantees in a non-anthropomorphizing form.
Maybel Mesa Morales. ESTRATEGIAS INTERMEDIALES EN LA PRODUCCIÓN CULTURAL CUBANA CONTEMPORÁNEA. 2018
A focus on the Cuban aesthetic cultural production (cinema, visual arts, performance and literature) of the last 15 years through an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that draws on theories of intermediality and transmedia narratives, and also of archive and memory studies. Through the analysis of intermedia strategies adopted by a selected group of artists it is possible to understand the complex socio-cultural dynamic of contemporary Cuba, when many changes are taking place both inside and outside the Island. I claim that the impact of new media and technologies generates new modes of social and political representation and makes possible the production and distribution of artistic creations outside the institutional framework, loosening somewhat the effectiveness of government’s surveillance and censorship. Therefore, an ‘alternative’ cultural production, essentially critical, becomes more global and visible outside the confines of the island, and a closer relationship is established between Cubans and the Cuban’s diaspora. This necessarily generates an impact on the way in which power perceives itself and how it is perceived by the rest of the world.
Belén Castañón Moreschi. MARIA ZAMBRANO: EL EXILIO DE LA LUZ. METAFORA, FILOSOFIA E INFRAPOLITCA. 2018
This dissertation deals with the importance of metaphor in the work of María Zambrano as a fundamental contribution to the philosophical debate about this rhetorical figure that took place in the 20th century. Starting with a comparison of the different positions in this debate, the metaphor of light in her work is studied as a critique of the foundation of Western philosophy. Likewise, the study of the critique of this metaphor in Zambrano contributes to think the metaphors in her work as new ways of approaching the problem of the absolute politicization of existence that infrapolitics calls into question.
First, the exile of the light in Zambrano’s work represents an exile provoked by the blinding light that has constituted the history of Western reason that demands sacrifice which is criticized by Zambrano. Secondly, the exile of the light refers to a retreat from this conception of light through another light, an assumption of the essential condition of exile as a conversion that recovers the same metaphor of light through poetic reason. From this second exile of the light, it is possible to think of the opening up of an infrapolitical dimension thanks to the critiques present in Zambrano’s work, which contribute fundamentally to the demetaphorization of heliopolitics as a central topic for infrapolitics.
Daniela Abraham. Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and the Antillean Movement of the Late Nineteenth Century. 2018
It is possible to connect the works of Pan-Africanist intellectual Arturo (Arthur) Schomburg to the literary and cultural movement that arose out of the struggles for Cuban and Puerto Rican independence in the nineteenth-century fin de siècle. This dissertation provides a new reading of the writings of Puerto Rican thinker Eugenio María de Hostos and Cuban intellectual José Martí as foundational to Schomburg’s Pan-Africanism. It also explores the relevance of Schomburg’s ethico-political theory to 21st century global issues of social justice, diversity, and inclusion.
Yumary Alfonso. La Virgen cruza el Atlántico: Hibridación y Palimpsesto Iconográfico. 2018
During the Mexican colonial period, the configuration of worship services and Marian devotions in the mode of “novenas”, “sermones”, “patentes” and “oficios” strengthened the myth and veneration of the figure of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The models imposed by Eurocentric supremacy reveal a contradictory relationship that deserves further exploration in order to find and explain the connections between the iconography and religious domination mechanisms. As a result, the American space endures a process of transculturation and iconographic palimpsest between models of Marian devotions in Europe and Marian devotions in terms of representation and conceptualization in the New World. Following the establishment of Spanish colonization in Cuba within the cultural and religious sphere a phenomenon called transculturation occurred which was termed as transculturation by the ethnographer, anthropologist and Cuban ethnologist Fernando Ortiz. This term redefines the iconographic religious codes on the island because of the African slaves that were shipped to the Caribbean to work as laborers mainly in the sugar and tobacco plantations. These Africans brought their beliefs from their land, but were forced to embrace a completely different faith and to assume the Christian Catholic doctrine. Subsequently, these slaves camouflaged their own Yoruba deities with the Catholic calendar. Their pantheon was masked under Catholic images that the imposed religion provided, thus creating devotion to various saints and the representation of these in the manner of a palimpsest in their image and conceptualization. Some cases are exemplified by the worship to Our Lady of Charity, Our Lady of Regla and Our Lady of La Merced. The Virgin Mary in some of her invocations is overlapped and sincretized with the African deities such as Ochun, Yemayá and Obatalá. Finally, this study analyzes the changes of cult and the use of images of the Virgin in the virtual platform. All the representations undoubtedly lead to a subversion of the image. This dissertation uses different frames works but the focus is on the main concept of “palimpsest” proposed by Sarah Dillon. The research line leads to the hybridism and the disquisitions about mythology and repetition of patterns in the formation of a nations narratives. With the transatlantic journey of the Virgin the palimpsest is formed in each medium or image in which it is represented. Each substrate of the performance or cult itself is subversive and contradicts the surface of the symbols.
René Rubí Cordoví. Actualización de la Regla de Ocha-Ifá Religión y Poesía Afrocubana. 2018
In the religious system known as Regla de Ocha-Ifa, changes occur that are important today for the reconfiguration of identity and cultural elements of Cuba and its diaspora. One of the most accepted concepts to explain the evolution of Cuban society is the concept of transculturation offered by Fernando Ortiz. Through it are defined historical and social processes that shaped the structure of Cuba as a nation. But this concept must be understood as a living phenomenon, constantly evolving. Therefore, this theory is applicable to the phenomenon of the Rule of Ocha-Ifa today. Emerging in Cuba and based on the religious heritage of the Yoruba ethnic group in Africa, the Rule of Ocha-Ifa is one of the longest established religious forms in Cuban society. This research updates the presence of Ocha as an indispensable element to explore and redefine the current state of Cubans inside and outside Cuba. It also reveals a new stage of the impact of African religions in America and Europe. In a second phase, this research demonstrates the importance of the influence of the Rule of Ocha-Ifa on Afro-Cuban poetry, establishing a close link among religion, poetry and society as inseparable elements. To date, the studies on or about Afro-Cuban poetry have been focused on historical aspects, taking into account the issues of race, gender, slavery-emancipation, musicality and sensuality-sexuality in general. These works have yet to address the problematic of religion that characterizes the different historical periods of Afro-Cuban descendants. The present dissertation creates the possibility of classifying Afro-Cuban religious-themed poetry into five historical groups distinctive for their specific characteristics and social impact. The ultimate purpose of this work, from colonial times to the present, is to provide a new methodological perspective for critical studies of Afro-Cuban poetry within the field of trans-Atlantic literature and African studies.
Ana Cecilia George. La Violencia en La Narrativa de Ficción Centroamericana del Siglo XX: Tatiana Lobo, Rosa María Britton, Horacio Castellanos Moya y Rodrigo Rey Rosa. 2017
This dissertation analyzes the work of four Central American novelists, who together offer a panorama of the history of Central America from the colonial period, through independence to the postwar. The authors that are part of this study are: Tatiana Lobo, Rosa María Britton, Horacio Castellanos Moya and Rodrigo Rey Rosa. The works analyzed share a historical-geographical framework, which creates links between them. They also share a discourse of violence that has been part of Latin America since the colony to the present day. The theories of Ariel Dorfman, René Girard, Carlo Galli and Terry Eagleton are used in order to demonstrate how violence has been represented over time.
Joan Parmer Barrett. Tarahumara Transcripts Face to Face with Modernity: An Intertextual Approach. 2017
The objective of the present work evaluates an overview of original texts by and about the isolated Tarahumara of Mexico by considering key elements of their passive and active traditions, which reveal the unique values and ideologies of the group, and give understanding to the relevant past and present discourse as a form of social practice, identity, and shared knowledge and beliefs by analyzing transcripts of Tarahumara oral tradition along with modern interpretative writings, some by modern day authors from the Mexican sierra, that retain some aspects of the traditional transcripts while simultaneously suggesting a departure from some time-honored facets of the ancient tribe living in the twenty-first century. By taking a page from Vladamir Propp’s Mythology of the Folk Tale (1928), his structural analysis of one hundred Russian fairy tales, this work analyzes transcriptions of one hundred Tarahumara oral traditions that had never been categorized or morphologically analyzed collectively before to reveal ways that social and political negotiations have been reproduced in discourse and how this interdiscursivity with modern texts by current sierra authors connects to the formation and maintenance of cultural determination while simultaneously serving as resistance against external influence. This study of an intertextual nature signals not only the historical situation of the Tarahumara of Mexico in our modern world, but also secures for modern academia a neoteric plot on the map of pre-Colombian ideology by extending Alan Dunde’s “The Morphology of North America Indian Folktales” (1980) for the first time to the works of iii the Mexican Tarahumara traditional tales, demonstrating that Tarahumara folktales and myths are structured as well, not simply told in random formless tales, and can be successfully submitted to a morphological componential analysis, which will aid in the elucidation of cultural norms, values, and penchants. This study of Tarahumara texts will serve as a vehicle for understanding the perpetuation of group behavior and norms by analysis of the structural patterns, will reveal wish and wish fulfillment of the tribe, and will consequently stand as a reflector of sierra societal reality.
Nancy de Honores. Latin American Language Poetry, Themes and Techniques: A Renewal of Poetic Discourse in Post-Millennium Authors. 2017
Latin American Language Poetry, Themes and Techniques: A Renewal of Poetic Discourse in Post-Millennium Authors provides a study of Latin American poetry with works from the second half of the 20th and first two decades of the 21st Centuries. This study analyzes the works of David Rosenmann-Taub (Chile 1927), José Kozer (Cuba 1940), and José Morales Saravia (Perú 1954) to reveal the themes and techniques they utilize as tools in their labors. On the lyrical and literary level, Latin American Language Poetry, Themes and Techniques: A Renewal of Poetic Discourse in Post-Millennium Authors provides a study of Latin American poetry with works from the second half of the 20th and first two decades of the 21st Centuries. This study analyzes the works of David Rosenmann-Taub (Chile 1927), José Kozer (Cuba 1940), and José Morales Saravia (Perú 1954) to reveal the themes and techniques they utilize as tools in their labors. On the lyrical and literary level, the investigation provides a briefing of sound, identity, and the anabatic or ascension theory in relationship with their works and post-contemporary sociocultural endeavors. Additionally, it focusses on the new approaches and paths they take within their poetic styles and the new elements and components that characterize their works. While these poets are now considered under the Neobaroque style, their approach based on the crafting and molding of language accommodates their works under the umbrella of “Post-Millenium Latin American Language Poetics.” This fact renews poetic discourse in the field. The research establishes a theoretical frame to study the themes and techniques. It also presents a descriptive approach along with a concise poetry analysis of several works by the above-mentioned authors and renders a view of their evolution and accessibility of their works.
J. Miguel Muñiz Apresa. Historicidad y Escritura: Problemas de la Poetica del Ensayo. El Caso de Salvador Elizondo. 2017
This dissertation belongs to the territory of the undefinition: the essay, as a literary gender with no limits, is the core of the analysis though their sub-gender “periodical essay”, a theoretical complex literary form inside Opinion Journalism as a gender, where sometimes the periodical essay is located for research purposes. To go deeper into the above, this study focus on Mexican writer Salvador Elizondo’s periodical essays, who was a strange case in Hispanic American literature in 20th Century, not just because of his written style, but for the idea he has about his own works: he preferred to call them “experiments” instead “literature”. The next pages will analyze a poetic problem on periodical essay focused on two main circumstances: time and space, for these are the most important constituents of every literary text. The analysis will take place on the book Contextos, by Salvador Elizondo, first appeared on Excelsior, a newspaper from Mexico City, between 1971 and 1973. I will conduct a variorum study, and then, a phenomenological approach to this essay, to understand how those two circumstances work on the poetic construction of the periodical essay.
Inti Yanes-Fernández. The Cross and the Sword: Political Myth-Making, Hegemony, and Intericonicity in the Christianization of the Iberian Peninsula and Britain. 2017
The myth-making (mythopoeia) of El Cid and King Arthur as hegemonic devices flows through a diachronical shapeshifting process with religious and political functionality linked to the Christianization of Spain and Britain. These myths interlock with the hegemonic rhetoric of Christian Reconquest to shape national identities and their procedural correlates, i.e., the monarchical Castilianization of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) and the formation of the English monarchy (Britain). Consequently, there occurs a gradual imposition of a monolingual politico-epistemological model over the plurilingual and multi-ethnic cultural mosaic. Mythical heroes and saint-warriors substitute real figures to create fictional iconosystems and redesign collective memory and cultural identity. In this context, El Cid and King Arthur as mythemes/iconemes develop in functional correspondence with the Christianization of Britain and Spain and the establishment of national monarchies. El Cid and King Arthur are myth-synthesis since in them a variety of worldviews and textual-iconographical traditions crystallizes to create new transmedia narratives with symbolico-allegorical character. This functional relationship takes place through complex intericonic and intertextual processes in the social and cultural imaginary of medieval Spain and Britain. Special heed is paid to the impact of Byzantium’s religious, military, and literary paradigms upon the formation of Arthurian and Cidian iconosystems and narratives. Aiming to understand and describe the functionality of El Cid and King Arthur as hegemonic myths, we apply a comparative methodology intertwined with a cross-cultural perspective according to which myths, as complex devices gathered together from iconic and textual discourses, bear a concrete functionality. This functionality appears linked to the human calling to ontological self-interpretation, world-understanding, and socio-political legitimation. Furthermore, there is a continuity of these mythemes linked to contemporary cybercultural multi- and transmedia storytelling. In other words, the mythopoeia of El Cid and King Arthur takes place today via transmedia adaptations within the framework of cyberculture and digital technologies. Special forms in which these mythemes appear today are digital cinema, video games, and online educational resources. This transmedia shape-shifting process shows that traditional myths still hold a significant capacity of impact on individual and collective imaginaries. This continuity also indicates that the mythopoeia of King Arthur and El Cid is still expanding to further stages in new social and technological environments. Additionally, this process occurs in an iconological field largely determined by bio-digital categories of cyberbeing. These two conditions transform the traditional formal, diegetic, and ideothematic fashion of these mythemes according to new transmedia possibilities.
Sinia Bolanos Harris. Los Narcos También Lloran. Formas de Tratamiento en “El Señor de los Cielos” 2017
This dissertation describes and analyzes regional, social, and stylistic variation in the address system used by the characters of the telenovela El Señor de los Cielos (ESDLC). It also addresses the forms of negotiation used among the characters and the alternation in pronoun usage in the levels of intimacy, trust, and distance evidenced in both pronominal and nominal addresses. In addition, the Spanish variety used in the telenovela is compared to what is known as neutral Spanish, whose main characteristic is lacking any markers of regional or local accents. This work provides an answer to the following research questions: 1) What is the pronominal address system of the telenovela ESDLC? 2) How does regional, social, and stylistic variation influence pronoun choice according to the telenovela’s cultural and social context? The method of analysis follows an inductive approach. Qualitative data collection was designed based on Oliviera’s model, which method consists of monitoring speakers’ individual choices and addressing negotiation according to the different communicative contexts, speakers’ social characteristics, their enacted roles, and the relationships among the parties in particular speech acts. Judgement sampling was used to gather data. Data was recorded, classified, and analyzed using Excel. Measures of central tendency were used to establish pronoun usage and preference. Variables were set based on the features of the corpus consisting of two different Spanish varieties, each of them divided in regional varieties, and two different domains: legal and illegal. Findings reveal that ESDLC exhibits an address system based on vernacular pronoun usage stylized and stereotyped with the purpose of giving dramatic force to the dialogues. Linguistic behavior is connected to regional variation to distinguish between Mexican and Colombian address systems. Social variation points to the characters’ origin, social level, and line of work. Stylistic variation defines the telenovela’s characters. For example, characters playing the role of the fool have more pronoun switching, while serious characters maintain conventional addresses. Pronoun switching is an indication of power and submission, or an intensification of emotion (annoyance, compassion, etc.) in the characters’ relationships. Pronoun switching is more frequently used among Colombian characters. This study concludes that telenovelas that have similar characteristics to real life speech provide the researcher with a corpus of linguistic behavior and can be used for linguistic analysis. Furthermore, because the actors are allowed to freely create their characters and improvise portions of the dialogues, the researcher may encounter forms of address that were thought to be extinct. One of these is the vestigial voseo employed by two Colombian characters. On the other hand, in the enhanced and stylized reality of the telenovela, some features of speech are manipulated for dramatic effect.
Hugo Montero. VIOLENCIA EN LA FAMILIA Y VIOLENCIA TRANSNACIONAL EN LAS NOVELAS LOS EJÉRCITOS DE EVELIO ROSERO E INSENSATEZ DE HORACIO CASTELLANOS MOYA. 2017
A study of two texts that deal with political violence in Latin America, and that reflect how violence in the political and public spheres reflects itself in the more private space of the home and the nuclear family. The two books and authors are: Evelio Rosero’s, Los ejércitos and Horacio’s Castellanos Moya’s Insensatez. The Colombian writer Evelio Rosero’s, Los ejércitos shows the armed conflict between the military government, guerrilla armies, and those who have been displaced from their homes and towns by the armed clashes between the military and the guerrillas. Insensatez, by the Salvadorian writer, Horacio Castellanos Moya’s, on the other hand, centers on the assassination of more than three hundred thousand indigenous people over ten years of military regime.
On the one hand, is the historically traditional violence endemic in Colombia looked at relatively recent history—that includes the bipartisan violence between Colombia’s main political parties, liberales and conservadores—which spans from the 1940s through the middle of the 1960’s. Some studies assert that this conflict ends in 1958 with the creation of the Frente Nacional, also known as the Benidorm Pact, through which the leaders of both political parties reached an agreement to rotate power in Colombia. Covered are nearly seventy years of armed conflict (1946-2016) between the Colombian government, paramilitary groups, and guerrilla groups. Thus, the dissertation expands the study of pervasive violence in Colombia and differ from traditional studies which tend to cover only the armed conflict with guerrilla groups, consequently only addressing half a century of Colombian history. In this manner, this project will focus on seventy years that are critical for setting up the grounds that have defined the social antecedents and consequences of the violence in Colombia.
This most recent wave of violence, besides having taken thousands of lives, displaced and left homeless over two million families all over the country in urban areas, and more recently, also in smaller cities. Besides this public form of violence which permeates the news and the conscience of Colombians, there coalesces a perhaps more insidious one: domestic violence.
On the other hand, studied is how Horacio Castellanos Moya examines the death of countless workers, peasants, students, and members of political organizations in the Guatemalan genocide and how these events shook the country and affected civil liberties in this nation. I will examine the mass assassinations, particularly of indigenous people, allegedly by governmental military forces during the confrontations that took place between 1960 and 1996. The examination of Castellanos’ writings—were reality intermingles with fiction—will be largely informed by two documents obtained from the Comisiones de la Verdad. One document was produced by the Comisión de Esclarecimiento Histórico and another by the commission on Recuperación de Memoria Histórica.
Violence has become a building-nation factor in societies where violence has unhinged and ruptured the nuclear family as a social construct. This phenomenon in Guatemala since resonates with what is happening in Colombia, where a sort of citizen that is being formed by the politically injected violence that pervades in these nations.
Maria Gil Poisa. NUEVOS MONSTRUOS EN EL CINE ESPAÑOL CONTEMPORÁNEO. 2017
La figura del monstruo ha sido siempre objeto de la curiosidad humana. El monstruo, el otro, es la representación de aquello que provoca miedo o rechazo, algunas veces por ser diferente y otras, en cambio, por ser demasiado cercano. El objetivo de esta disertación es analizar la figura y la evolución del monstruo hasta aislar sus características básicas y poder responder a una pregunta básica: ¿Qué es el monstruo? Acostumbrados a que éste sea siempre la causa o la consecuencia, lo que persigue o amenaza a un protagonista normativo alrededor del cual se mueve la historia, el poner el foco en lo excepcional, no deja de resultar atrayente.
Este trabajo consta de dos capítulos de introducción sobre los estudios del monstruo desde trabajos de historiadores, filósofos, y teóricos del cine, y tres capítulos de análisis de siete películas españolas contemporáneas. La selección de los casos se basó en tres criterios: películas de producción española, filmadas en democracia y cuyo protagonista fuera el monstruo mismo, en cualquiera de sus formas. El primer capítulo es una breve revisión de cómo la figura del monstruo se desarrolla en la historia de la cultura occidental desde la Grecia clásica hasta el siglo XX. El capítulo II propone una definición del concepto que parte de la cuestión de la propia identidad y el relativismo de la excepcionalidad. El primer análisis de casos analiza el concepto de la monstrificación del individuo a través de la invasión del espacio doméstico. El siguiente capítulo aborda otro análisis desde un bloque temático diferente: la monstruosidad y su transmisión a través del control de la mirada. El último capítulo se desarrolla también alrededor del rol de la mirada en la monstrificación del sujeto, desde una perspectiva diferente: cómo el mismo deseo y acto de ver pueden monstrificar no solo al personaje, sino también al mismo espectador.
La conclusión de esta tesis doctoral se resume en un monstruo protagonista, una figura que, lejos de esconderse, se hace presente, convirtiéndose en el centro de la narración y arrastrando con ella a un espectador al que obliga a mirar en su interior.
Emily Renee Graves. An Isolated State of Mind: Seeking a Life in Exile. 2017
This dissertation analyses the evolutionary condition of exile among three Hispanic poets through an examination of the historical, sociological, and psychological state of exile that develops from past struggles and continues with a will of survival found in the production of literary works. The poets selected for this study include Ida Vitale, Juan Gelman, and José Kozer. In order to comprehend the various depths of exile, this dissertation focuses not only upon the crisis that questions one’s individual and national identity, but also the recovery of one’s self through nostalgia and the reestablishment of a life within a state of exile. The importance of this study does not intend, in any way, to undermine the struggles and suffering that these writers withstood before, during, and after their experiences of exile from their native countries. In turn, one must completely encounter the profoundness of each writer’s struggle and treatment of exile. This study evaluates how each poet confronts the past through a daily evaluation of the individual self and a pursuing idealism that develops in the production of their writings. The significance of each writer’s experience of exile demonstrates an individual challenge to acquire understanding and acceptance of an isolated state through examining political/religious factors and sociological/psychological effects that hinder nostalgic memories of a past life and encourage recovery of one’s identity.
Hernández, Michael. Narrar el exilio. Re-configuración del sujeto exiliado en la literatura cubana post-Mariel. 2016
Through this work, Narrar el exilio ( Re-configuración del sujeto exiliado en la literatura cubana post-Mariel), I analyze essentially the very complex phenomenon of the transfer of the experience of exile to the contemporary novelistic universe, through the narrative works of five Cuban writers, that began in some cases to publish books from the Decade of 1960 and some still publishing or writing today. They are Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), Guillermo Rosales (1946-1993), Carlos Victoria (1950-2007), Antonio José Ponte (1964) and Pedro Juan Gutiérrez (1950).
One of the central purposes of this dissertation is to investigate the vision these authors have of both political exile and other types of displacement –as transformation of the cultural centrality of the nation that has been left behind– for reasons ranging from the economic to the cultural, as well as the trace that can verified in their works. We cannot ignore that they suffered in their flesh the rigors of political exile from which their books outline somehow the route of such marginalization at the hands of the totalitarian State.
All of them are writers directly related to the central theme of this work, which has been one of the constants in the political and social scene of Latin America, especially since the 19th Century and continuing today. These Cuban writers, perhaps some more well-known than others, are all of great importance for the history of literature written in Spanish. At the same time, my goal is to examine how these works are a reflection of an existence marked and conditioned by the rigors of exile and how much revealed in them the everlasting contrast between literature and history.
Javier Marimón Miyares. El cine poético en Carlos Reygadas. 2016.
The cinematography of Mexican director Carlos Reygadas is the main focus of this dissertation, which aims to validate the artistic quality of his four films. Japón, Batalla en el Cielo, Luz Silenciosa and Post Tenebras Lux define the creator’s creative Style. They demonstrate key influences of his cinematographic approach, and recognize his identification with the typology of poetic cinema, as a reactive model to narrative and cultural cinematographic formulas.
To complete this present work, the conceptualizations of six emblematic figures in cinema were chosen as the dissertation’s theoretical foundation: Luis Buñuel, Robert Bresson, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Éric Rohmer, Andrei Tarkovsky and Abbas Kiarostami. Based on their perceptions of film, resemblances are noted, whether consciously or unconsciously referenced by Carlos Reygadas. Characteristics of poetic cinema are analyzed, including how such creators interpreted the use of sounds, editing, scene duration, space, dialogue of characters or models, importance of the creator’s ethical values, methods of choosing and developing themes, and technical resources for handling images, among others.
The poetic implications of Carlos Reygadas, a creator focused on stimulating an individual’s sensory perception through the proper use of key cinematic tools –using image and sound to create a sense of time– are confirmed through a series of interviews done by the creator following his four films. In these interviews, reoccurring content in his speech is consistent: symbolism of titles, story ideas, use of non-actors, creative methods, filming process, sound and music, sex and faith, nature, references to film and literature, use of space and time, presence of death and the grotesque, and other technical elements.
Finally, these and other cinematic elements and their variations in the four feature films by this director are discussed. Together they validate the affirmation that Carlos Reygadas is one of the most representative creators of poetic cinema in the early twenty-first century throughout the Americas and worldwide.
Héctor Enrique Antonio Weir Gil. The Catholic puzzle: Faith in the Borderland Narratives of Carmen Boullosa and Rolando Hinojosa. 2016.
The Catholic experience in the Texas-US borderlands represents a void within the humanities. The attitudes that surround the topic of religion in socio-historical and literary studies have limited the scope of works. Two of the most problematic biases are the pro- and anti-Catholic discourses that have been intertwined with national political agendas in both countries. They have created important obstacles that complicate the study and understanding of the identities that have arisen since the conquest. In the border, a significant percent of Mexican families maintain strong links to Catholic practices and beliefs despite living under the pressures of Americanization and secularization that are deeply rooted in the anti-clerical discourse. On the other hand, pro-Catholic approaches often lose sight of the realities found in the margins of society, as they can be over-reactionary to perceived attacks.
Taking this counterpoint in consideration, this dissertation studies the multiple faces of Catholicism portrayed in the contemporary narratives of Texas: La Gran Ladronería en el Lejano Norte (2013) of Carmen Boullosa; and in Generaciones y Semblanzas (1977), Claros Varones de Belken (1986) and Becky and her Friends (1990) by Rolando Hinojosa and which form part of his Klail City Death Trip Series. This analysis is situated within pro- and anti-Catholic discourses, as well as with the critical works on cultural change of anthropologists such as Fernando Ortiz, Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán, Clifford Geertz, Elizabeth Fernea, and Dan Rose. Some of the historians considered with regards to the subject of Mexican-American culture and religious change are Albert Camarillo, Robert Wright (O.M.I.), Carlos E. Castañeda, Timothy Matovina, and Robert Treviño. The works of these critics, in conjunction with the study of the borderland titles, allow for the possibility of re-tracing the Mexican-American Catholic experience in the Rio Grande Valley starting from the years that immediately followed the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848. Ultimately, this dissertation allows for a better understanding of the religion shared by many generations of Mexican Americans and proves that Boullosa and Hinojosa’s works are crucial in understanding the processes responsible for the generational shifts and reactions that many historiographers have noted in the study of the borderlands.
Carlos Andrés Rodríguez González. Arte y guerra en Colombia de 1995-2015: zona gris y posconflicto en la guerra global. 2016.
This dissertation explores the ethical-political relationship of Colombian art production (literature, film, and installation art) from 1995 to 2015 that focused on the Colombian War. During the period of time between the 1990s and the early 2000s, Colombia’s armed conflict experienced the most violent phase in its history due to the transition from a civil war confined to a closed territory to a global war. Colombia has experienced the longest armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere, and for almost eighty years the country has attempted to end it. As a result of this, Colombia has experienced partial transitions toward democracy. The current peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia- People’s Army (FARC-EP) (2012-2016) have finally brought the promise of the conflict’s conclusion. Nevertheless, the neo-paramilitary groups, which have integrated into the neoliberal system with military interventions in different parts of Latin America and the world, coupled with Colombia’s necro-capitalism are clear signs that this armed conflict no longer falls merely under the sovereignty of the Colombian State; this conflict belongs to the entire world.
The biggest difficulty for concluding the armed conflict is the gray zone, a political space that produces two kinds of sovereignty: one political and the other economic. At the same time, the gray zone produces both “dialectizable” and unconvertible violence. Art production from the past two decades has been dedicated to reflecting upon the gray zone by means of making a critique of the main concepts of political modernity, such as: confession, forgiveness, human rights, memory, militancy and insurrection. The critical review of these concepts shows that they are emptied, incomplete, full of neoliberal reformism, and thus unable to intervene in the gray zone. Making these problems of the Colombian political reality explicit also serves to make evident a set of problems that are happening in different parts of the world at this moment. The dual transition in Colombia will be the type of post-conflict transition experienced by all other contemporary wars, such as the drug wars in Mexico and Central America or the wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East.
Alicia Zavala Garcia. Celestinas, parcas y diosas: representaciones artístico-literarias de la mujer unidas por el hilo. 2016
A study of iconography and literary works to analyze the relationship between women and thread throughout history. There are examples dating from Greek mythology and pre-Columbian goddesses up to the present in which women can be observed with thread in their hands. Thread is the framework of the research because of its symbolic value. Thread opens a window of interpretations and metaphors depending on the circumstances in which it is used. Furthermore, these symbolic connections are apparent in the unconscious metaphoric uses of verbs such as “spin” and “weave” to represent the linking together of thoughts and words into narrative patterns. One of the expressions most commonly used when talking about people who are in government is that “they pull the strings,” implying by this that they have the power to move society at their will. In this sense, the thread is a metaphor of control and power that a few have over many. The dissertation is based on an extensive reading of different areas such as anthropology, Greek mythology, indigenous studies and current literary works. The ultimate outcome creates a unique interdisciplinary perspective on women studies. The investigation demonstrates that the tasks resulting from manipulating yarn such as spinning and weaving have given women a sense of empowerment with which they have been able to express and denounce the abuses they have been victims of, and I also prove that what began as an imposition or occupation has become an asset as women have slowly learned to master these skills.
Martha María Montejo Pizarro. Flotar en la viscosidad literatura cubana de los 90. 2015.
Flotar en la viscosidad. Literatura cubana de los 90 is a dissertation that focuses on Cuban literature in the 1990s as one of the stages of major changes and literary projections after 1959 in Cuba, as part of Latin American literary developments following the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The late twentieth century in Cuba was a time of fractures and vulnerabilities in different representations of the social subject and his/her circumstances, historically manipulated by the government. As examples of this rupture with the socialist literary canon, I study three authors and their representative works from this period: the poet Reina María Rodríguez, the narrator Pedro Juan Gutiérrez and the poet, narrator and essayist Antonio José Ponte. As I demonstrate in my dissertation, their works are able to dialogue with particular and dissimilar voices using original prose fiction, poetry and essayistic elements, mostly absent on the island map during the three previous decades of socialism. Similarly, their books reflect a critical period, damaged paradigms and a new subject that coincides with a novel national imaginary, contrasting with the new man (el hombre nuevo) as symbol of the socialist regime. In this regard, I have paid close attention to two major events for the continent after the collapse of the Berlin Wall: the so-called special period in peace time and the triumph of neoliberal globalization in the rest of Latin America.
José Palacios: Fragmentos de Sombra: Una Biografía Intelectual de Fernando González
Fifty years after Fernando González’s death (1895-1964) his books are still widely read literary circles and his cultural legacy is vibrant, but academic approaches to his work are rare and they focus on a limited number of his works. This dissertation is meant to fill that void. The method follows two roads. The first one uses the academic conceptual machinery, a deep archival research, and an exhaustive reading of secondary sources, in order to apply them on the reading of González’s entire work. The second road assembles a bridge between academic methods and the readers of González’s work beyond academy. These two roads revealed a pattern of fragmentary thought in González’s oeuvre. It is around this feature that the recurrent themes of his work are interwoven: fragmentation itself, a critique of borders and limits manifested in his resistance to the genres and academic disciplines, the body, the road, the shadows, ambiguity, uncertainty, and the aesthetic experience. This sui generis collection of subjects demanded the incorporation of theory from many different fields such as philosophy, literary theory, physics, logic, biology, history, psychology, politics, anthropology, among others. All these fields were already within the fabric of González’s writing. González, just like Don Quixote, took to the road to show the world that he was not willing to accept a truth that is not made for him. So fragmentation rises as a way preventing the world from having a single truth, religion, genre, philosophy, race, or political system. Each of the fragments is a single battle against windmills.
Patricia Garza-González: The interpretation of N+N and V+N Compounds by Spanish Heritage Speakers
This study investigates how heritage language speakers interpret compound words in Spanish. These speakers never completely acquired, or possibly lost, aspects of Spanish as their first language, as English became the dominant language sometime in childhood (Montrul, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008; Polinsky, 2004, 2007; Silva-Corvalán 1994, 2003; Valdés 1995). The study compares Mexican-American heritage speakers that live in Laredo, Texas with a Spanish dominant control group that lives in Mexico.
Two hundred and forty five Mexican-Americans university students that speak a border dialect of Spanish participated in this study. Group A (31 late sequential bilinguals) includes L2 learners who acquired Spanish monolingually in Mexico and learned English after age 12 when they emigrated to the United States. Group B (60 early sequential bilinguals) includes speakers who acquired Spanish monolingually in Mexico or in the home but came into contact with English at approximately age 6 when they started school. Group C (154 simultaneous bilinguals) includes speakers who acquired Spanish and English simultaneously at home and for whom English has always been the language of instruction and the dominant language in most social contexts. The control group (Group D) consists of 27 native Spanish speakers.
The study is based on the interpretation of two specific nominal patterns of Spanish compounding: [N+N]N (e.g., obra cumbre “masterpiece,” lit. “work summit”) and [V+N]N (e.g., pelagatos “poor man,” lit. “peel+cats”), which have been studied extensively in child language acquisition research. It was predicted that the amount of exposure heritage language speakers have to English would determine whether or not they interpret compounds in Spanish as they do compounds in English. Given that Spanish heritage language speakers who have acquired the V-O order before the critical age of 12 are familiar with the conventional mechanism of word formation with the V-N configuration, it was also predicted that heritage language speakers would interpret [V+N]N more accurately than [N+N]N compounds regardless of their degree of English-dominance. It was also predicted that semantic transparency/opacity would play a role in accurate interpretation. To test these hypotheses, participants were classified according to their age of L1/L2 acquisition. This was followed by an interpretation task in which the participants selected the correct definition for 40 compound words in Spanish.
The findings support the hypotheses that years of contact with English influence the speaker’s interpretation of these two Spanish compound types in terms of their headedness and transparency. Scores across the board show a 69 percent or better percent accuracy. This suggests that in spite of the low frequency of compound words in the input and reduced language use, there is robustness when it comes to the interpretation of both nominal compounds by all bilingual types. Results also show an interpretation continuum with advantages for late bilinguals, the group with fewer years of contact with English. The earlier speakers came in contact with English and the longer they have maintained contact with it, the more difficulties they encountered to correctly interpret the meaning of the compound. All groups of heritage language speakers interpreted [V+N]N more accurately than [N+N]N compounds regardless of their degree of English-dominance.
Julio César Aguilar: Bajo El Poderío Del Lenguaje: Capacidad Terapéutica De La Poesía En Cuatro Poetas Depresivos Y Suicidas: Raúl Gómez Jattin, Rodrigo Lira, Ángel Escobar Y Julio Inverso
Madness and art are two concepts that are quite often historically interrelated. The term “madness” designates various mental ailments, depression being one of them (major depressive disorder or depressive episodes in their various forms and diagnostic categories). The prevalence of depressive disorders is common among poets, who find therapeutic value in writing poetry. However, a number of poets turn to suicide as a last resort in order to end a life full of emotional suffering. This dissertation focuses on the study of the lives and works of four suicidal poets who suffered depression: Raúl Gómez Jattin, Rodrigo Lira, Ángel Escobar, and Julio Inverso. Natives of four different countries in Latin America, these authors belong to the last two decades of the twentieth century. This study demonstrates the importance of poetic discourse to the depressive poet by contributing to current research on this disease as demonstrated by the use of introspection throughout the creative process. That is, the poet with depression finds relief from the progression of his depressive symptoms by exploring emotions and subsequently exposing his feelings. However, when the word, due to its semantic load, is employed with emphasis on its negative connotation, the effect strongly results in the worsening of the mental condition. Comorbidity of psychiatric disorders is conspicuous. Thus, depression alternates with other mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and substance abuse. This is the case with the poets investigated in this study, as two (Lira and Escobar) suffered from schizophrenia in addition to depression, while all four suffered from addiction (alcohol and drugs). Concomitant diagnoses were the trigger for each of these poets to commit suicide. It was also found that in the case of depression, writing poetry was no doubt beneficial. However, when depression was compounded by other mental disorders, the therapeutic capacity of poetry was found to be relative.
Luis Carlos Ayarza: Las Escrituras del Margen. En Torno a los Territorios Canónicos de la Literatura Latinoamericana: Lorenzo García Vega, Jorge Gaitán Durán y Nicolás Gómez Dávila
This dissertation is the study of some works that have been marginalized in contemporary Latin American canons. These writings, while not being absolutely unknown, occupy a marginal level of attention in secular junior and academic criticism (and therefore are rarely studied or proposed in the reading lists of literature programs). Among these texts are the following: memoirs, diaries, travel journals and epigrammatic writings such as scholia, and aphorisms. In this project are analyzed the oeuvres of three Latin American authors: Diario de Viaje by Jorge Gaitán Durán (travel diary), El Oficio de Perder (memories) by Lorenzo García Vega, and Escolios a un texto implícito (scholia) by Nicolás Gómez Dávila . This dissertation examines how the historical and geopolitical contexts in which these texts were written, and also, the life experience of the authors, contribute to determining not only their marginalization from the canon. It also studies how these texts, because of their unique nature, enter into an active dialogue with their respective traditions, and in the process of this dialogue enrich them, but also problematize them. As a result, new ways to think the canons and canonical criteria are opened. As main theoretical sources the works of authors,Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Edward Said, and Harold Bloom were used. From the first authors, their ideas on minor literature, the rhizome and flows. From Edward Said’s his works on late style, exile, and from Harold Bloom the books: The Western Canon and The Anxiety of Influence. During the investigation special attention was paid to concepts such as exile, acculturation and literary influences. Topics such as travel, relationships between age and creative processes, writing and the visual arts, distinctions between fiction and nonfiction, sedentary lifestyle, and nomadism were studied, among others.
Mark McGraw: The universal Quixote: Appropriations of a literary icon
First functioning as image based text and then as a widely illustrated book, the impact of the literary figure Don Quixote outgrew his textual limits to gain near- universal recognition as a cultural icon. Compared to the relatively small number of readers who have actually read both extensive volumes of Cervantes’ novel, an overwhelming percentage of people worldwide can identify an image of Don Quixote, especially if he is paired with his squire, Sancho Panza, and know something about the basic premise of the story. The problem that drives this paper is to determine how this Spanish 17th century literary character was able to gain near-universal iconic recognizability. The methods used to research this phenomenon were to examine the character’s literary beginnings and iconization through translation and adaptation, film, textual and popular iconography, as well commercial, nationalist, revolutionary and institutional appropriations and determine what factors made him so useful for appropriation.
The research concludes that the literary figure of Don Quixote has proven to be exceptionally receptive to readers’ appropriative requirements due to his paradoxical nature. The Quixote’s “cuerdo loco” or “wise fool” inherits paradoxy from Erasmus of Rotterdam’s In Praise of Folly. It is Don Quixote ́s paradoxy that allows readers and viewers to choose the aspects of the protagonist that they find most useful. Some of that difference in interpretation has been diachronic, starting with a burlesque view of Don Quixote as the insane hidalgo, later developing a romantic interpretation of the protagonist as a noble knight. Much of that difference has been geographical, with Spanish appropriators tending to reflect Don Quixote as a heroic reflection of national character, and many outside of Spain choosing to use the knight as a symbol of impracticality and failure. Ultimately, Don Quixote ́s long lasting influence has been due to his ability to embody the best of the human spirit; the desire to fashion oneself into a more noble identity and achieve greater deeds than one ́s cultural environment would normally allow.
Pablo de Cuba: La usina del lenguaje: Teoría de la poesía neobarroca
La usina del lenguaje: Teoría de la poesía neobarroca examines one of the most relevant poetry tendencies of the last thirty years: the Neo-baroque. In this dissertation I have endeavored to analyze the works of a number of Hispano-American poets, such as: Jose Lezama Lima, Jose Kozer, Nestor Perlongher, Eduardo Espina, Roger Santivanez, among others, in order to demonstrate that Neobaroque is a significant component of the cultural and aesthetic spirit of the contemporary Hispanic World. I also demonstrate and conclude that Neo-baroque appropriates the main discourses of Post modernity, while at the same time implying a critical revision of the poetic traditions to which it belongs, such as Baroque, Modernism, Vanguardism and Colloquialism. Additionally, this dissertation allows me to rethink the Spanish Baroque of the Golden Age looking for connections and ruptures between Baroque, Modernity and Neobaroque aesthetics.
In order to establish a theoretical frame, on one level I adopt a structural approach along with a poetry analysis of the above-mentioned poets, and on another level, I explore the relationship between their works and other cultural endeavors, such as philosophical and theoretical thoughts, as well as appropriate political ideas.
Rebecca Ann Brewer: Language attitudes and linguistic profiling among micro-enterprisers in Mexico
This study examines the language attitudes of entrepreneurial students enrolled in the Academy for Creating Enterprise (ACE) in Mexico City toward six rural and urban varieties of Mexican Spanish to consider whether their attitudes towards these varieties influence their decisions about hiring.
A verbal guise test and focus groups were used to determine the current attitudes held by 98 ACE students towards the popular and upper-class dialects of Mexico City; the urban dialect of Mérida, Yucatan; the urban dialect of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; the urban dialect of Monterrey, Nuevo León; and the rural dialect of San Jeronimito, Guerrero. It was determined that the ACE students, who are current and future entrepreneurs and employers, do engage in “linguistic profiling” (Purnell et al., 1999), preferring the northern varieties of Spanish and the variety spoken by the upper class of Mexico City in all three dimensions of attractiveness, status, and hireability. These results indicate that speakers of the popular variety of Mexico City and the southern varieties of Yucatán and Guerrero are less likely to be hired. In addition, the students’ ratings of hireability were also influenced by the students’ age, gender, business owner status, and exposure to the dialect in question. The students’ level of income was found to be the most likely to influence the ratings of speaker attractiveness and status.
This case study of current and future employers enrolled at ACE responds to a call for the application of language attitudes research (Edwards, 1982; Garrett, 2010) and provides a model for working with an organization. Based on these findings, it was determined that ACE should modify its curriculum to include explicit training regarding linguistic attitudes and hiring practices.
Elia Tovar-Adams: Pensamiento lascasiano e indigenismo en la narrativa de Rosario Castellanos
The present dissertation analyzes the influence of the Lascasian thought in the works of Rosario Castellanos throughout Indigenismo. For that effect, an analysis of the trajectory of fray Bartolomé de las Casas and his evolution as the de Protector of the Indians and the development of the Lascasian philosophy has been made; at the same time, a study of Indigenismo as a philosophical ideology, has been carried out in this work. The Lascasian doctrine has evolved in the literary Indigenismo, with many representatives in Latin American Countries. Rosario Castellanos is considered one of the main writers of Indigenismo, that identifies itself with the Lascasian philosophy.
New Indigenismo, derived from Indigenismo, is analyzed deeply in this work. At the same time, Indigenismo in the narrative of Rosario Castellanos have been studied extensively in this dissertation.
Audrey Bryant Powell: The post-dictatorial thriller form
This dissertation proposes a theoretical examination of the Latin American thriller through the framework of post-dictatorial Chile, with a concluding look at the post civil war Central American context. I define the thriller as a loose narrative structure reminiscent of the basic detective story, but that fuses the conventional investigation formula with more sensational elements such as political violence, institutional corruption and State terrorism. Unlike the classic form, in which crime traditionally occurs in the past, the thriller form engages violence as an event ongoing in the present or always lurking on the narrative horizon. The Chilean post-dictatorial and Central American postwar histories contain these precise thriller elements. Throughout the Chilean military dictatorship (1973-1990), the Central American civil wars (1960s-1990s) and the triumph of global capitalism, political violence emerges in diversified and oftentimes subtle ways, demanding new interpretational paradigms for explaining its manifestation in contemporary society.
In Chile, however, despite a history ripe with the narrative elements of the thriller, a consistent thriller novelistic tradition remains underdeveloped. My research reveals that contemporary Chilean – and by extension, Latin American – fiction continues to be analyzed under the aegis of melancholy and the tragic legacy of dictatorship or revolutionary insurgency. Therefore, a theoretical examination of the post-dictatorial/postwar thriller answers the need to not only move beyond previously established literary and political paradigms toward a more nuanced engagement with the present, but to envision a form of thinking beyond national tragedy and trauma.
This dissertation analyzes samples of the post-dictatorial detective narrative and testimonial account, which constitute the mirroring narrative components of the thriller. The detective texts and testimonial writings analyzed in this project demonstrate how the particular use of the detective story and testimonial account mirror one another at every fundamental level, articulating what I am theorizing as the thriller structure. Using the theoretical approximations of John Beverley, Brett Levinson, Alberto Moreiras, Jon Beasley-Murray, Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Carl Schmitt and Carlo Galli, this project makes an original inquiry into why the thriller emerges as the most apt narrative framework for exploring the forms of violence in present-day Latin America.
Concepción María Hickey: Spanish language use and linguistic attitudes in Laredo, Texas between 1860 and 1930
This qualitative study investigated Spanish language use and linguistic attitudes in Laredo, Texas and the surrounding area from 1860 to 1930. In the public domain, sources include the Spanish and English language newspapers and Webb County Court documents. These were analyzed for evidence of the impact of English language contact and prevailing attitudes towards the use of Spanish from both the Hispanic and Anglo perspective. In the private domain, three major collections of private correspondence as well as other miscellaneous correspondence and records were transcribed and analyzed for evidence of metalinguistic or other attitudes towards Spanish. A linguistic analysis of the orthographic, phonological, morphosyntactic, and pragmatic features of Spanish used in the correspondence was also conducted.
The major collections of correspondence and other private papers include: 1) the John Z. Leyendecker collection, 2) letters from the Clemente and Federico Idar Family Papers, and 3) the Miguel San Miguel Jr. private collection. The multiple authors in these collections come from low to middle income families and from varied educational and linguistic backgrounds, thus providing a broad socio-economic linguistic sample.
Findings include a strong support for Spanish language use and teaching/learning of the Spanish language as well as varied levels of language confidence among bilingual and aspiring second language learners. Negative attitudes regarding class and lack of education rather than ethnicity were clearly held by some writers. Additionally, mixed attitudes about the strong presence of the Mexican culture in Laredo were found. The linguistic analysis found little evidence of English impact during the 1860s, but growing evidence of its influence during the early 20 th century. Most prevalent were the use of English loan words, nativized loan words, and nonce borrowings. Some evidence of language shift was noted in the younger writers of the twentieth century. A few of the more salient Spanish linguistic features found include the use of the synthetic future verb form, minimal confusion between ser and estar, metathesis, apocope, vowel raising and lowering, and archaic expressions.
Jeremi Brad Brewer: Culture, poverty, and necessity entrepreneurship: The Academy for Creating Enterprise Mexico and the Philippines.
This dissertation demonstrates how ACE has successfully equipped thousands of poor Filipinos with the tools necessary for them to raise themselves out of poverty by offering them a culture-specific curriculum that they can implement in their businesses. Furthermore, it will be argued that ACE’s culture-specific curriculum could theoretically be applied in Mexico, where the “culture of poverty” exists in abundance.
Lisa Gardner-Flores: Promoting positive ethnolinguistic identity in the Heritage Language classroom through dialect awareness.
This study examined dialect awareness as an instructional practice when used to teach Spanish Heritage Language (HL) learners at a university located on the U.S.- Mexico border. The author employed bidialectalism as a theoretical perspective, recognizing the important role that U.S. Border Spanish plays in constructing ethnolinguistic identity. A mixed-methods research framework was used that included a pre-post survey instrument, focus group interviews, and classroom observations to examine HL student confidence toward learning a prestige language variety and attitudes toward speaking U.S. Border Spanish. Discourse analysis was employed to examine the discursive practices of the DA classroom. Quantitative survey results showed that students developed a number of significant attitudinal changes after taking a course infused with dialect awareness. Triangulated qualitative findings confirmed that student attitudes had changed after one semester. The author proposed an agenda for future application of dialect awareness in Spanish Heritage Language classrooms.
Miguel Angel Zárate Casanova: The construction of early modernity in Spanish film
The presence of early modern Spanish history in Spanish film has received only limited scholarly attention. The entire group of Spanish films dealing with the Spanish early modern era has never been placed under study by any overarching research. This dissertation reframes the evolution of the cinematographic representation of the Spanish past as it studies the mechanisms employed by Spanish films in representing an essential part of Spanish past: early modernity. Studied are 19 period films that group themselves around some of most representative subjects in early modernity: the Monarchy and Nobility, and the Spanish Inquisition. Studied also is the most expensive Spanish period film, Alatriste (2006). Through the analysis of artistic, industrial, historiographical, and political elements, and the deconstruction of the historical message of each film, as well as the analysis of their reception, it is clear that Spanish period films set in early modernity tell us as much about the time of their making and the shaping of the historical consciousness of Spain as they do about the era that they represent on screen.
Rosalinda Aregullín-Valdez: Neobarroco y erotismo en la poesía de Eduardo Espina y Néstor Perlongher
The poetry of Eduardo Espina and Nestor Perlongher is one of the most transcendental of Hispanic neo-baroque, emerging in the eighties and persisting in the new millennium as one of the most influential literary tendencies in the latest Latin- American generations. This dissertation explores neo-baroque as defined by Omar Calabrese: aesthetics of repetition; aesthetic of monstrosity; the importance of imprecision; predominance of labyrinth within a preference for enigma, occult, or the weight of nonlinearly reading of artistic fragmented texts and eroticism as defined by Georges Bataille in the poetry of Espina and Nestor Perlongher. Both poets emphasize the problematic figure of the transvestite and the homosexual transgressive subject and propose a new perspective of linguistic artifice as an artistic and discursive technique and employ eroticism as a mask that unveils the conventionality of the categories, which govern the patriarchal, masculine-heterosexual Western civilization.
Deb Cunningham:The exploration and preliminary colonization of the “Seno Mexicano” under don Jose de Escandon (1747–1749): An analysis based on primary Spanish manuscripts
In 1747, José de Escandón led an expeditionary force into the Seno Mexicano, the remote northern frontier of New Spain, which had developed into a safe haven for rebellious natives who had fled to the region as they resisted Spanish domination in the interior provinces. News of foreign encroachment into the region prompted officials in New Spain to renew their efforts to explore and pacify the region. Within three and one-half months, the area that had resisted previous attempts at exploration had been thoroughly explored and mapped. In December, 1748, Escandón set out to colonize the newly explored region, named Nuevo Santander. During the preliminary colonization of Nuevo Santander from 1748 to 1749, Escandón founded fourteen settlements along the Río Grande.
In this study, I transcribe, translate, and study all primary Spanish manuscripts documenting the exploration of the Seno Mexicano, and the preliminary colonization of the newly founded province of Nuevo Santander. I provide the first English annotated translation of Escandón’s Informe documenting the exploration of the Seno Mexicano, and the first English-language account of the preliminary colonization of Nuevo Santander that is based on all available manuscripts documenting the event: Escandón’s Autos and Friar Simón del Hierro’s Diario.
Escandón accomplished what no Spaniard before him could. He successfully explored the Seno Mexicano, and began colonizing the newly founded province of Nuevo Santander. Under Escandón’s colonization design, for the first and only time in the history of New Spain, Spanish officials relied on colonists rather than soldiers and priests to colonize a region. This colonization design had a definitive impact on the future development of the region, and provided the framework under which a civilian ranching industry would emerge and flourish. Escandón was one of the most important people in 18th century New Spain, and the impact of his accomplishments and unique colonization plan is still evident today on both sides of the Río Grande.
Lola Orellano Norris: General Alonso de Leon’s expedition diaries into Texas (1686–1690): A linguistic analysis of the Spanish manuscripts with semi-paleographic transcriptions and English translations
From 1686 to 1690, General Alonso de León led five military expeditions from Northern New Spain into modern-day Texas in search of French intruders who had breached Spanish sovereignty and settled on lands claimed by the Spanish Crown. His first two exploratory journeys were unsuccessful, but on the third expedition, he discovered a Frenchman living among Coahuiltec Indians across the Río Grande. In 1689, the fourth expedition finally led to the discovery of La Salle’s ill-fated colony and fort on the Texas Coast and to the repatriation of two of the French survivors. On his fifth and final expedition, De León established the first Spanish mission among the Hasinai Indians of East Texas and rescued several French children who had been abducted by the Karankawa.
Through archival research, I have identified sixteen manuscript copies of De León’s meticulously kept expedition diaries. These documents form a distinct corpus and hold major importance for early Texas scholarship. Several of these manuscripts, but not all, have been known to historians and have been addressed in the literature. However, never before have all sixteen manuscripts been studied as an interconnected body of work and submitted to philological treatment. In this interdisciplinary study, I transcribe, translate, and analyze the diaries from two different perspectives: linguistic and historical.
The linguistic analysis examines the most salient phonological, morphosyntactic, and lexical phenomena attested in the documents. This synchronic study provides a snapshot of the Spanish language as it was used in Northern Mexico and Texas at the end of the 17th century. An in-depth examination discovers both conservative traits and linguistic innovations and contributes to the history of American Spanish. The historical analysis reveals that frequent misreadings, misinterpretations, and mistranslations of the Spanish source documents have led to substantial factual errors which have misinformed historical interpretation for more than a century. Thus, I have produced new, faithful, annotated English translations based on the manuscript archetypes to address historical misconceptions and present a more accurate interpretation of the historical events as they actually occurred.
Travis Doug Sorenson: Voseo to tuteo accommodation among two Salvadoran communities in the United States
This study documents and accounts for maintenance and change in dialectal features of Salvadoran Spanish in the United States, especially voseo , as opposed to tuteo , terms signifying the use of the second person singular familiar pronouns vos and tú , with their corresponding verb forms. It compares two distinct Salvadoran populations, one in Washington, D.C., and the other in Houston, Texas.
Salvadorans constitute the largest Hispanic group in the nation’s capital, while in Houston they are outnumbered by other Hispanics, particularly Mexicans. It was predicted that Salvadorans in Washington, D.C. would maintain voseo more and employ tuteo less than those in Houston. This sociolinguistic phenomenon is accounted for by Accommodation Theory. Based on previous studies, it was also predicted that male participants would maintain voseo more than females due to the covert prestige of this form.
To test these hypotheses, data were gathered using three protocols. The first was a questionnaire, with over 100 respondents in each city, on second person singular address forms and social variables. In the second protocol, 10 pairs of subjects in each city engaged in different verbal activities aimed at eliciting direct forms of address. The third protocol involved unstructured home visits with two married couples to observe spontaneous speech.
The results supported the hypotheses in some regards more than others. When considering all the protocols, the levels of voseo were much lower and those of tuteo much higher in both cities than what had been predicted. As expected, voseo usage rates in Washington, D.C., were higher than in Houston in the second and third protocols, but voseo claiming rates in the first protocol were slightly higher in Houston. Also as expected, in both the first and second protocols there was a significantly higher rate of accommodation to tuteo among women than men. The most salient finding from the home visit participant observations was that while there was voseo use in Washington, D.C., there was none in Houston, even among those who had previously used it.
Juan Carlos Ureña: Historia y estructura lírica de la canción popular hispanoamericana: El caso de Centroamérica
The Latin American popular song has emerged from a long historical process whose roots can be traced from Medieval music and poetry, the arrival of European and African music to the new world, and its fusion with the music and poetry that existed in the pre-Columbian Americas. Through these processes of conquest, transculturation, transmutation, and survival, music and poetry gave birth to folkloric Spanish and Latin American song. Contemporary Latin American and Spanish troubadours continue to explore and recreate the paths initiated centuries before by their ancestors. The present work establishes as its objective the study of the poetics of modern song in terms of its lyrical and musical structure, as well its historical development, and as part of the formation of Hispanic identity. In this sense, the analytic comparison between song lyrics and poetry becomes a relevant topic of this investigation. The analytic scope of this project necessitates a wide selection of poems and song lyrics representing the most important styles and trends of traditional and contemporary songs from Spain and Latin America. For this reason, medieval poetry and song; Latin American folkloric or traditional songs such as décimas, corridos, tangos, and boleros; and contemporary songs with social messages have been included in this study.
Even though setting poetry to music has been a common practice in the history of music, many scholars have concentrated strictly on the study of erudite composers and poets, leaving the study of the popular song to folklorists, anthropologists, and ethnomusicologists. However, setting poetry to music from the popular perspective gained importance in the Twentieth Century, prompting the new troubadours to pursue and elaborate a type of song that would maintain its popular character, but at the same time remain of high artistic quality. This practice produced an artistic form that has been studied very little: the Hispanic poetic song. A poem set to music becomes a new aesthetic object by generating new meanings and transcending the separate concepts of music and literature. This study gives depth to an area long neglected by academia. The communicative potential of these songs multiplies their importance, above all in a time in which superficiality, replication, and simulacra predominate in the medium of music and culture.