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Title:In her place: geographies of urban female labor in Spanish culture (1880-1931)
Author(s):Soria Lopez, Maria Del Mar
Director of Research:Delgado, Luisa-Elena
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Delgado, Luisa-Elena
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Wilcox, John C.; Rushing, Robert A.; Irigoyen García, Javier
Department / Program:Spanish, Italian & Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):space theory
working women
Spanish literature and culture
Abstract:My dissertation demonstrates how three aesthetic and ideological movements— such as costumbrismo, realism, and avant-garde—construct characterizations of urban female workers in turn-of-the-century Spanish literature and culture as symbols of middle-class anxieties and desires as a reaction to experienced social and political instability in turn-of-the-century Spain. Costumbrismo, realism, and avant-garde highlight as the main social category from which writers such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, Benito Pérez Galdós, María Martínez Sierra, or Ramón Gómez de la Serna fashioned fictional urban working women’s gender and work identities and their trajectories in various narratives. In particular, I claim that in these texts, the working woman’s class conflicts with gender in the process of narrative signification, producing a multiplicity of contradictory meanings that expose turn-of-the-century bourgeois anxieties about women’s emancipation and working-class unrest. My analysis of urban female working characters reveals that middle-class representations of working women result from a dominant conceptualization of class and gendered spaces in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Spain. For that reason, my thesis draws a geography of urban female labor through the analysis of the symbolic condensation of class, gender, and space in the cultural representations of urban working women. By doing so, I shed light on the ambivalent cultural location that working women have occupied in cultural representations of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Even though the construction and development of modern Spain could not have taken place without the participation working women’s labor, this segment of the population has been “out-of-place” for too long in literary and cultural criticism. It is my hope that this dissertation will reposition these marginalized characters to their legitimate place in critical discourse.
Issue Date:2010-08-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 María del Mar Soria López
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-20
Date Deposited:2010-08

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