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Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Of the millions of Spaniards who immigrated to the New World between 1880 and 1920, some remained permanently in the Americas, while others returned to their homeland or traveled continuously back and forth across the Atlantic. Known as indianos, these emigrants figure prominently in realist fiction of this period. My project examines the articulation of masculine anxieties linked to transatlantic emigration and waning empire in the works of authors Benito Pérez Galdós and Emilia Pardo Bazán. Comparing colonial characters with precepts from conduct manuals widely read during the era, I demonstrate how Galdós formulates the indiano as a countertype to normative standards of bourgeois masculinity. While initially linking the degeneration of manhood to imperial failure, Galdós reverses this depiction a decade later by transforming the emigrant into a symbol of national regeneration. Writing at the same time, Pardo Bazán reveals the gendered fiction behind the indiano archetype, deconstructing the image of the domineering self-made man by converting him into an antiheroic paradigm of masculine degeneration. Throughout her short story oeuvre, the Galician author uses indiano characters to highlight the intersections of gender and migration for Spanish women. The constructions of masculinity in these writers’ works challenge the fin de siglo framework of masculine crisis that equates loss of power with a feminization of men by evidencing a complex questioning of notions of manhood linked to massive emigration and the end of empire.
Chair and Committee
Stephanie Kirk, Jeffrey Q. McCune, Joseph Schraibman, Michael Sherberg, Jennifer Smith
Davis, Stacy Lynn, "‘Hacer las Américas’ es hacer el hombre: (Re)Constructing Spanish Masculinities in the Indianos of Benito Pérez Galdós and Emilia Pardo Bazán" (2016). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 839.
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