AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

Imagined Masculinities: Conceptualizing Gender and Nation in Franco's Spain

by Jared Patten

Institution: Indiana University
Year: 2015
Keywords: 20th Century; Gender Studies; Masculinities; Masculinity; Spanish Literature
Record ID: 2058516
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2022/19654


This dissertation explores both the notion of masculinity and the interplay between discourses of masculinity and nation in Spanish novels produced during the Franco dictatorship. To date, it is the first to examine issues concerning masculinity/ies exclusively within the temporal bounds of the Franco regime and does so by examining six novels by both officially aligned and dissident writers: Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Carmen de Icaza, Carmen Martín Gaite, Mercè Rodoreda, Luis Martín-Santos and Juan Marsé. By foregrounding how masculinities were constructed and contested in the novels that I analyze, my project identifies how authors envisioned the use of both normative and non-normative models of masculinity in processes of nation building. Second, looking at how various authors conceptualized gender and nation in their works, my project presents a more complex vision of masculinity/ies in the selected novels and does so, in part, by providing a more specific and in-depth analysis of "masculinity" itself. I illustrate how, despite the modernization of the Francoist state and Spain's increasing participation in the international marketplace, traditional notions of masculinity continued to be relied upon not only as a means to ground male dominance and the hegemony of a traditional mode of masculinity, but, in so doing, to legitimize and instantiate state control over the Spanish nation. Thirdly, by exploring tensions between officially desired/prescribed gender roles and the reality that gender is, in fact, always in a state of flux. My thesis draws critical attention to the notion of crisis as an underlying commonality in literary representations of masculinity, which leads me to propose that the notion of anxiety may very well shape contemporary concepts of masculinity.