Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2019

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Romance Languages and Literature: Hispanic Studies

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



From the 1920s to the 1990s, a large number of works featuring children as main characters were produced and published in Spain. Children live in constant confrontation between what they are and what is expected of them: because of this, in a new literary paradigm, childhood became a symbol for the confrontations, tensions, and contradictions that characterize 20th century Spain. Also, the preponderant temporal dimension for these children characters is the present, which is a significant choice in a historical period in constant tension between letting go of the past and clinging to it. This project explores how different imagined childhoods engage with the social, political, and cultural tensions of several moments in the 20th century. Chapter 1 analyzes how, in the 20s and 30s, children characters question and stress their status and identity with subversive intentions. Chapter 2 focuses on how, during the civil war, children—and especially bourgeois girls—embrace a new norm. Chapter 3 studies how children, during Franco's dictatorship, present a moderate form of rebellion. Chapter 4 analyzes the film versions of some of the works studied in previous chapters, made both during the dictatorship, the transition, and in the democracy, and how they rethink children through the lenses of nostalgia, progress and feminism.


Spanish (es)

Chair and Committee

Tabea Linhard

Committee Members

Nina Davis, Maria Elena Soliño, Ignacio Infante, Joseph Schraibman,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/9qb9-3n75