Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Antonio M. Isea

Second Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Torres

Third Advisor

Dr. Irma López

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Miguel Cabañas


Spanish, Latin American culture, globalization, novel, narrative


Globalization has dramatically transformed many aspects of our life. Media and technology have advanced significantly in the last two decades. At the same time, migration has increased at an unprecedented pace. Literature reflects and expresses the social, economic, political and cultural factors that are occurring at any given time. My dissertation focuses on a novelistic production of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. This body of literature carries within a particular structure of feeling that has emerged in our global era.

In chapter one, I undertake the reading of three novels that discuss and question the concept of "national" literature. The novels that form the chapter are Casi nunca by Daniel Sada, Quien dice sombra by Pedro Angel Palou, and La ciudad ausente by Ricardo Piglia. Chapter two focuses on mass culture in our global times. Villa Diamante by Boris Izaguirre, Muerte de un Murciano en la Habana by Teresa Dovalpage, Paraiso Travel by Jorge Franco, and El cantor de tango by Tomás Eloy Martínez are the novels under study in this chapter. Mass culture is a discursive archive these authors use to experiment, explore and bring attention to marginalized cultural forms. In this cluster of my dissertation, I show how the "minor" genres (science fiction, melodrama and romance novel) have redefined canonical literary structures. Chapter three focuses on some works of two Puerto Rican writers, Pedro Cabiya and Luis López Nieves. Both authors, I argue, produce a narrative that leaves behind the obsession about identity that was the center of the Puerto Rican narrative until recent years. Finally, in chapter four, I analyze 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, perhaps the most important novel of the first decade of twenty-first century. I center my analysis on the way Bolaño's work probes into the idea of a post national world. Attention in this chapter is also given to the strategies of representation that 2666 employs to shed light on the issue of violence at the turn of the twentieth century.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access