Theses Doctoral

Bourgeois Masculinity and Nation Building in 19th Century Spanish Novel

Mejia, David

This dissertation explores how the 19th century Spanish novel functions as a forum to prescribe and then question normative bourgeois masculinity. After establishing how masculinity was a central concern for 19th century Spanish intellectuals preoccupied with the building of a liberal nation, it analyzes novels written after the death of Fernando VII (1833) and through the first two decades of the Restoration period (1875-95).

By 1840 it was clear that the stereotypical Spaniard, as coined by European romanticism, was of no use for the liberal nation, and a new national man was needed. The (failed) attempt of the novel of the 1840s to consolidate an archetypical masculinity is crucial to understand this process. For its part, the Restoration novel will challenge the myth of normative bourgeois masculinity, dissolving its national archetypes into more complex characters, and culminating with the absolution of the romantic myth it had previously attempted to erase.


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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 6, 2022