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Title:Common ground: Nature, gender and labor in representations of rural communities in Spanish literature, 1895-1920
Author(s):Pittman, Kristina
Director of Research:Delgado, Luisa-Elena
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Delgado, Luisa-Elena
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Tolliver, Joyce L.; Goldman, Dara E.; Martínez-Quiroga, Pilar
Department / Program:Spanish and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Spanish literature
fin de siglo
Spanish modernization
1898 Disaster
José María de Pereda, Pío Baroja, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, Concha Espina
Abstract:This study spans a divisive period in Spanish history, 1895-1920, in which the 1898 Disaster and the uneven and lagging processes of modernization exacerbated differences between Spain and other European nations, differences between regions and classes within the country, and differences between the sexes. In their search for answers to the social question and ideas for national regeneration, the natural environment provided many artists and intellectuals with a subject that could potentially represent common ground among Spaniards in a tangible, relevant and seemingly authentic form. At the same time, the traditional identification of nature as female and its perceived subordination to culture since the Enlightenment complicate its role as the source of national regeneration during a time when Spain's place relative to other European colonial powers was in sharp decline and the nation was further disgraced by its failure to keep up with the processes of modernization that were boosting the power and influence of foreign countries. My analysis of the representation of commoning and its relationship with the natural environment in Jose María de Pereda's Peñas arriba, published in 1895, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez's Cañas y barro, published in 1902, Pio Baroja's El Mayorazgo de Labraz, published in 1903, and Concha Espina's El metal de los muertos, published in 1920, explores what constitutes community practices, what sustains or impedes these practices and who they include or exclude. Through the lenses of ecocriticism and ecofeminism, I consider how representations of the natural environment during the fin de siglo period reflect social hierarchies and gender differences. I ask how the processes of modernization in Spain are represented as a challenge to the consolidation of the nation by alienating the rural population from the natural environment that provides the structure for social life while failing to offer an alternative for their endangered local communities. Finally, I consider what these texts by important canonical authors say about the roles of literature and education in community practices in a country with high rates of illiteracy.
Issue Date:2018-04-10
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Kristina Pittman
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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