Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

María Asunción Gómez

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Maida Watson

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Santiago Juan-Navarro

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Frederick V. Perry

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Fronteras geográficas y metafóricas, España, Latinoamérica, hibridez cultural y lingüística, pensamiento fronterizo, identidad múltiple, conocimientos subalternos, feminismo transnacional, ideología patriarcal, inmigración y desterritorialización, diálogo intercultural

Date of Defense



Border-crossings —both geographical and metaphorical— are a fertile territory for critical and fictional discourses that explore the forging of gendered personal, social, and cultural identities. The notion of the border becomes a political, material, discursive or symbolic limit, a space of conflict, resistance and negotiation, where power relations are articulated. In this dissertation I analyze the following border-crossing narratives and films: The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros; Jo també soc catalana and El último patriarca, by Najat El Hatchmi; Retorno a Hansala, by Chus Gutiérrez, and Sin dejar huella, by María Novaro. My study has a transnational approach, since it includes both Iberian and Latin American works that portray women living in vulnerable, liminal spaces, and crossing geographical, metaphorical, and cultural borders.

I address the concept of the border as a methodological tool to compare the experiences of women from different generations and geographical contexts in order to analyze diverse social practices and ideologies that create exclusionary demarcations. The women portrayed in these works challenge hegemonic constructions about fixed identities and unmovable bodies and, by extension, they represent other marginal subjects as they uncover asymmetrical power relations, emphasizing the existence of other voices claiming new agencies as subjects of knowledge, pointing to the need for a reflection on the socio-cultural hierarchies that define and delineate the forms of knowledge production.

I draw from Walter Mignolo’s concept of “border thinking” and feminist critics such as Gloria Anzaldúa and Chandra Mohanty to engage in an intercultural and intertextual dialogue with these works, emphasizing the role of gender in the construction of cultural and symbolic borders and the ability of women to create real and metaphorical borderlands to contest dominant gender ideologies. The texts studied here emphasize the discourse of resistance and survival that characterizes the contradictory position of the post-colonial subject, whose identity emerges from experiences of oppression, exploitation, violence, and silencing. Furthermore, I examine the impact that the crossing of territorial borders has had on women writers and directors as they cross other textual and genre borders in their works.



Previously Published In

An early draft with some segments pertaining to the Third Part of this Dissertation has been previously published by Hispanic Journal under the following citation:

Battistel, Claudia. “El ‘Otro’ en nosotros: Inversión de roles en Retorno a Hansala de Chus Gutiérrez”. Hispanic Journal, vol. 40, núm 1, primavera 2019, pág. 33-48.



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