Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Dr. Erik Camayd-Freixas

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Maida Watson

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Joan Torres-Pou

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr. Maya Boutaghou

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Dr. Jean Rahier

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Hispanic Orientalism, Colonial Literature, Latin American Literature, Other

Date of Defense



This dissertation offers a novel approach to Hispanic Orientalism, developing a dynamic paradigm from its origins in medieval and Renaissance Iberia during the process of the Christian Reconquest, to its transatlantic migration and establishment in the early years of the Colony, from where it changed in late colonial and post-Independence Latin America, and onto modernity.

The study argues that Hispanic Orientalism does not necessarily imply a negative depiction of the Other, a quality associated with the traditional critique of Saidian Orientalism. Neither, does it entirely comply with the positivist approach suggested in the theoretical research of Said’s opponents, like Julia Kushigian. This dissertation also argues that sociopolitical changes and the shift in the discourse of powers, from imperial to non-imperial, had a significant impact of the development of Hispanic Orientalism, shaping the relationship with the Other.

The methodology involves close reading of representative texts depicting the interactions of the dominant and dominated societies from each of the four historic periods that coincided with significant sociopolitical transformations in Hispanic society. Through an intercultural approach to literary studies, social history, and religious studies, this project develops an original paradigm of Hispanic Orientalism, derived from the image of the reinvented Semitic Other portrayed in the literary works depicting the relationship between the hegemonic and the subaltern cultures during the Reconquest period in Spain. Then, it traces the turn of the original paradigm towards reinterpretation during its transatlantic migration to Latin America through the analysis of the chronicles and travelogs of the first colonizers and explorers. During the transitional late colonial and early Independence periods Latin America sees a significant change in the discourse of powers, and Hispanic Orientalism reflects this oscillation between the past and the present therough the works of the Latin American authors from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. Finally, once the non-imperial discourse of power established itself in the former Colony, a new modern stage in the development of Hispanic Orientalist paradigm takes place. It is marked by the desire to differentiate itself from the O(o)thers, as manifested in the works of the representatives of Modernism and the Boom.





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