Theses Doctoral

Beyond the Material: Energy, Work and Movement in the Cultural Imagination of Restoration Spain

Useche, Oscar Ivan

This dissertation examines how authors textually and semiotically appropriated the dynamics of industrialization to propose new interpretations of society. Through the analysis of the rhetorical use of three images central to industrial progress: energy, work, and movement, the study focuses in particular on the symbolic and material impact of the railroad and mining boom at the turn from nineteenth to twentieth century in Spain. Symbolically, the two phenomena contributed to the reformulation of social, political, and religious tensions. Materially, they generated new forms of perception by redefining notions of time and space. I suggest that these transformations produced a paradigm shift in the conceptualization of national identity by complicating the conditions of possibility through which authors attempted to reconcile past and present in the conflict-riddled ideological transition between the remnants of the Ancien Regime and the modern State. By reformulating the idea of Spanish national modernization as an uneven or incomplete process, this research demonstrates that the concepts of nation and identity are dynamic paradigms whose continual adjustments end up being resolved in the sphere of discourse.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Thesis Advisors
Rios-Font, Wadda
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 11, 2014