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Cuerpo y universo: acercamientos poshumanistas a la materialidad en la poesía de Cristina Peri Rossi y Cecilia Vicuña

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Since the Enlightenment, humanist philosophy has understood materiality as an inert and determinate world categorically separate from the sphere of consciousness and language. However, after evolving significantly during the 20th century, the natural sciences now recognize the complexity, indeterminacy and

Since the Enlightenment, humanist philosophy has understood materiality as an inert and determinate world categorically separate from the sphere of consciousness and language. However, after evolving significantly during the 20th century, the natural sciences now recognize the complexity, indeterminacy and agency of matter. A parallel transformation can be observed in contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature and is exemplified in the works of Cristina Peri Rossi and Cecilia Vicuña. Drawing on knowledge which emerges from the natural sciences, the humanities and personal experience, these poets explore multiple dimensions of materiality from the microscopic world of subatomic particles and DNA molecules to the macroscopic world of the body and the structure of the universe. The theoretical orientation of this study emerges from posthumanism, which critiques the epistemological foundations of humanist thought and reconfigures reductionist concepts of matter, discourse, the subject, and agency which are grounded in dualistic ontology. Material feminist theorists explore materiality through interdisciplinary approaches which establish a dialogue between posthumanism, feminist theory and the natural sciences. The material feminist Karen Barad proposes an agential realist ontology which constitutes the principal theoretical framework of this thesis. According to Barad, phenomena are not exclusively social or material but rather material-discursive practices, and the concept of agency is reconfigured as the product of the dynamics of intra-action rather than an as an attribute restricted to the human sphere. Furthermore, this thesis utilizes diverse materials from the areas of literary criticism and scientific research in order to achieve an authentically interdisciplinary interpretation of materiality in the poetry. Peri Rossi and Vicuña express a profound questioning of the fundamental assumptions of humanism and offer perspectives which take into account matter's agency and dynamism. Their poetry presents materiality as a constant process of creation and as an active participant in the unfolding of reality, thereby opening up new horizons of investigation. By interpreting the works of Peri Rossi and Vicuña through the lens of posthumanist theory, this study contributes to a growing body of interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature.

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2013

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Violencia en la narrativa contemporánea chicana y peruanoestadounidense: Pequeña nación" de Alejandro Morales y "Guerra en la penumbra" de Daniel Alarcón

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ABSTRACT This thesis aims to demonstrate the validity of political violence in contemporary Chicano and Peruvian American narratives as a reflection of the sociopolitical situation of immigrants and their descendants in the United States (U.S.). The thesis explores the various

ABSTRACT This thesis aims to demonstrate the validity of political violence in contemporary Chicano and Peruvian American narratives as a reflection of the sociopolitical situation of immigrants and their descendants in the United States (U.S.). The thesis explores the various ways in which contemporary Chicano and Peruvian American narratives present the political violence in the U.S. towards Mexican and Peruvian immigrants and Chicanos and Peruvian Americans examining the intersections that exist between the resistance and violence discourses and its sociopolitical consequences. Although the topic of political violence has been previously studied in U.S. and Latin American narratives throughout its history, its analysis has been insufficiently explored as far as contemporary narratives of the XXI century are concerned. With this in mind, two texts will be used to study this discourse of violence in Chicano and Peruvian American literature: Alejandro Morales' "Pequeña nación" (2005) and Daniel Alarcón's "Guerra en la penumbra" (2005). The thesis examines the immigrant as a center of discourse exploring the conflict between them and the institutions or groups in power that instigate this political violence. The first chapter covers the socio historical background regarding Mexican and Peruvian migration flows to the United States in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The second chapter introduces "The Triangle of Violence" proposed by Norwegian mathematician and sociologist Johan Galtung as the basis for the theoretical framework and approach of this analysis. Chapter three analyzes the Chicano short story "Pequeña nación" by Alejandro Morales. The analysis of the Peruvian American short story "Guerra en la penumbra" by Daniel Alarcón follows in chapter four. The conclusion emphasizes the problem of political violence experienced by immigrants in the U.S. in contemporary Chicano and Peruvian American narratives and possible solutions contained therein, protesting a problem that can hinder immigration policy reforms and the defense of human rights.

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2013

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El cuerpo que se repite: el cuerpo en la narrativa nómade de Mayra Santos-Febres, Ena Lucía Portela y Ángela Hernández Núñez

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ABSTRACT

This dissertation focuses on the narrative fiction of three women writers from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean who have been publishing since the nineteen-nineties. The short stories and novels of Mayra Santos-Febres from Puerto Rico, Ena Lucía Portela from Cuba, and

ABSTRACT

This dissertation focuses on the narrative fiction of three women writers from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean who have been publishing since the nineteen-nineties. The short stories and novels of Mayra Santos-Febres from Puerto Rico, Ena Lucía Portela from Cuba, and Ángela Hernández Núñez from the Dominican Republic, have been analyzed within a theoretical framework composed of Antonio Benítez Rojo and Édouard Glissant’s ideas about Caribbean cultural expression and Rosi Braidotti and Elizabeth Groz’s writings about the body in current feminist studies. In doing so this study has sought to demonstrate how contemporary Caribbean women writers employ a nomadic aesthetic that opens up a multitude of possibilities of meanings for bodies, and by extension subjects, that have traditionally been obscured by the Cartesian binary that separates the body from the mind. In spite of being culturally, sexually and racially specific bodies, the bodies that appear in the work of Santos-Febres, Portela and Hernández Núñez are in constant movement and metamorphoses. Therefore, special attention is paid to the ways in which these bodies are open to social completion making them favorable locations for negotiations of power, resistance to normative identities, and the production of new systems of knowledge that not only recognize the importance of the body but also acknowledge the value of the affects.

RESUMEN

Esta tesis trata la narrativa de tres escritoras del Caribe hispano-hablante que comenzaron a publicar a partir de los años noventa. Los cuentos y novelas de Mayra Santos-Febres de Puerto Rico, Ena Lucía Portela de Cuba, y Ángela Hernández Núñez de la República Dominicana, han sido analizados a través de un marco teórico compuesto de las ideas sobre la expresión cultural caribeña de Antonio Benítez Rojo y Édouard Glissant y los escritos sobre el cuerpo en los estudios feministas actuales de Rosi Braidotti y Elizabeth Grosz. Al hacerlo, este estudio se ha propuesto demostrar cómo las escritoras caribeñas contemporáneas emplean una estética nómade que abre las posibilidades de significado para los cuerpos y sujetos que han sido ocultados tras el binario cartesiano que separa el cuerpo de la mente. A pesar de ser cuerpos cultural, sexual y racialmente específicos, los cuerpos que aparecen en los textos de Santos-Febres, Portela y Hernández Núñez están en continuo movimiento y metamorfosis. Por lo tanto, se presta especial atención a los modos en los cuales estos cuerpos permanecen abiertos hacia la terminación social lo que los hace espacios propicios para las negociaciones de poder, la resistencia a las identidades normativas y la producción de nuevos sistemas epistemológicos que no solo reconocen la importancia del cuerpo sino que también el valor de los afectos.

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2015

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The temporal trope of the ghost and the rhetorical figure of the family in hispanic horror films of the 2000s

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This dissertation analyzes three films from Mexico, Spain, and Argentina--Kilómetro 31, El orfanato, and Aparecidos (2007)--and their interplay with the historicism that has traditionally served as the default referent for "reality" in Western narrative. While grounding my approach in temporal

This dissertation analyzes three films from Mexico, Spain, and Argentina--Kilómetro 31, El orfanato, and Aparecidos (2007)--and their interplay with the historicism that has traditionally served as the default referent for "reality" in Western narrative. While grounding my approach in temporal critique, I borrow from deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and queer theory to explore ways in which ghosts and the rhetorical figure of the family are manipulated in each national imaginary as a strategy for negotiating volatility within symbolic order: a tactic that can either naturalize or challenge normative discourses. As a literary and cinematic trope, ghosts are particularly useful vehicles for the exploration of national imaginaries and the dominant or competing cultural attitudes towards a country's history, and thus, the articulation of a present political reality. The rhetorical figure of the family is also pivotal in this process as a mechanism for expressing national allegories, for articulating generational anxieties about a nation's relationship with its history, and for organizing societies and social subjects as such, interpellating them into or excluding them from national imaginaries according to its grammar/logic. The proposed trajectory through these films will help facilitate a study of the potential of these rhetorical figures to either reinscribe or question two of the most fundamental processes that go into the cartography of ideology: the imposition of (a) time and the negotiation of social subjectivity within it. Competing political narratives may use any number of rhetorical strategies to position themselves in time to promote their agendas while continuing to reinforce the overall framework that determines the parameters of what is visible, and thus debatable. As temporal anomalies who are defined by their (in)visibility, ghosts can be used to either reinforce this framework or they can be used to articulate alternative relationships to time, and consequently, other political possibilities. Ghosts, families, and children are especially volatile rhetorical figures because of their potential to expose the mechanisms of societal organization--the construction of social subjects through their relationship to the time and the families of which they are presumably products--as negotiable processes rather than self-evident truths.

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2013

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Humor, violencia y memoria nacional cubana: aproximaciones a la narrativa breve de Aida Bahr, Marilyn Bobes y Ena Lucía Portela

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With the establishment of "the special period in times of peace" in the nineties, there was in Cuba a series of transformations that affected its artistic and literary production. Therefore, gradually, a thematic opening emerged focused on deconstructing the idealized

With the establishment of "the special period in times of peace" in the nineties, there was in Cuba a series of transformations that affected its artistic and literary production. Therefore, gradually, a thematic opening emerged focused on deconstructing the idealized sociopolitical reality of the island allowing for the reformulation of the ways in which women were depicted. The main objective of this study is to initiate a dialogue with the short fiction produced during this period in order to shed light on the fragmentary representation of female characters. In regards to said objective, the approach selected centers on the observation and analysis of violence, humor and national memory as recurring thematic elements in the texts. With that finality, the aesthetic proposals present in the work of Aida Bahr, Ena Lucía Portela, and Marilyn Bobes, will be analyzed using current literary and cultural theory. Among these the most noteworthy are Josephine Gattuso Hendin's theory of violence and the representations of women, Henri Bergson's theory of humor, and the critical works of numerous scholars specializing in Cuban fiction produced in the last two decades. As has been concluded, through the protagonists and their discourse, thematic and stylistic components contribute to creating new representations of women allowing for new responses and ways of coexisting that cast doubt on the stereotype of the revolutionary woman. These components, likewise, question the relationship between the characters in the stories and the concept of nation, which in the words of Nara Araújo, will allow us to reveal the different ways of reading the world of the present generation. Therefore, through the analysis of the configuration of these reactionary representations, a contribution is made to the study of the current narrative produced by women in Cuba.

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2012