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This dissertation explores the role of food representation and identity in Hispanic cultural production as they participate in establishing resistant agency despite historical contexts of authoritarian oppression. Accordingly, I explore subjectivity through the lens of food studies as it is grounded in notions of difference and therefore allows us to establish understandings of self and other - both personal and political. Next, I use this relationship between food and subjective experience to demonstrate how - regardless of the details in which it is manifested - in each of the historical contexts, the end result of food representation is a politics of resistance which in some fashion challenges the authoritarian status-quo. This is a process that occurs within the text, among characters and often manifested through a challenging of gender roles. However, these works (and specifically their varied historical trajectories) also demonstrate that the language of food extends far beyond the text, participating in larger projects that challenge, undermine, and rewrite the ethical atrocities committed during each of these oppressive political regimes. The novels and films included in this study were chosen to purposely span various geographical and historical time periods encompassing dictatorship, political transition, and those produced in democratic retrospect, which thus revisit an oppressive past in the Hispanic world. In chapter one, I explore food representation as it problematizes Puerto Rican identity in the face of United States imperialism in Luis Rafael Sánchez's Puerto Rican novel La Guaracha del Macho Camacho (1976). In chapter two, I analyze gastropoetics in Margarita Engle's US-Cuban novel Singing to Cuba (1993), as it establishes interconnectedness among the characters, which is juxtaposed with the ruptures created by Castro's communism. In chapter three, I investigate how culinary metaphor is used to rewrite Spain's history of Francoist oppression in Almudena Grandes' Spanish novel Inés y la alegría (2010). Finally, this study concludes with an analysis of food representation in two films that depict the transition from authoritarianism to democracy: Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón's La mitad del cielo (1986), a Spanish transitional piece, and Silvio Caiozzi's transitional film La luna en el espejo (1990), produced under Chilean dictatorship.
Authoritarian Literature, Cultural Studies, Food Studies, Hispanic Literature, Transatlantic Literature, US-Latino Literature
Date of Defense
October 24, 2014.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Enrique Álvarez, Professor Directing Dissertation; Bruce Boehrer, University Representative; Roberto Fernández, Committee Member; Lisa Wakamiya, Committee Member; Michael Uzendoski, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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