Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Carolyn J. Harris

Second Advisor

Dr. Antonio M. Isea


As migration movements are becoming more common in our global community, Spain, traditionally an emigrant country, has attracted large numbers of immigrants. This dissertation explores the way in which late twentieth and early twenty-first century narrative and cinema construct discursive representations of Latin American immigration in Spain. The works studied include selections from three anthologies of short stories: Lavapiés, Inmenso estrecho and Inmigración, emigración e interculturalidad ; the novels Salsa by Clara Obligado, Madre mía, que estás en los infiernos by Carmen Jiménez, Las obras infames de Pancho Marambio by Alfredo Bryce Echenique and Nunca pasa nada by José Ovejero; and the films En la puta calle by Enrique Gabriel, Flores de otro mundo by Icíar Bollaín and Princesas by Fernando León de Aranoa. I analyze the family, the core of nation formation, and migration movements in today's world, as the impetus for reconsideration of community structures and questions of identity. The representation of traditional families, which need to be re-imagined because of migration, in coexistence with postnational and transnational communities, reflects the changes in the concept of nation that are taking place. At the same time, the flow of migration poses questions about the processes by which individual and national identities are constructed. All these issues are examined in recent narrative and cinema by writers and directors originally from Spain and Latin America. The works studied in my dissertation were all published or produced in Spain, and the Latin American writers and directors have all emigrated, at least for a period of time, to Spain. Just as I argue that birth place does not constitute the decisive element in determining the nationality or identity of a person, I find that the origin of the writer or director is not the primary factor in the representation of immigrants. Nevertheless, the production of this contemporary narrative and cinema reinforces the importance of Latin American immigration to Spain. My study suggests that Latin American immigration to Spain has triggered a reshaping of the Spanish nation and has necessitated a re-vision of the process of constructing identity.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access