Crossings: Identidad, trabajo y movilidad social en el teatro del largo Siglo XVIII en España

Ruiz Hernandez, Oscar, Spanish - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Gies, David, DV-Constituent Engagement, University of Virginia

This dissertation examines the cultural and historical context that surrounds a controversial period in the Spanish performing arts (1768-1812) that witnessed many reforms, both in social justice and in drama theory and staging. Utilizing interdisciplinary approaches, such as those of disability and gender theory, border studies, Minor literature, or waste and socioeconomics, I delve into the sociological structures of diversity portrayed on stage that complicate readings of identity and economic boundaries among social classes. By examining working- and lower-class subjects through the lens of recent disability and waste studies, I demonstrate the problematic ways in which they struggle for their agency. On the other hand, theories drawn from frontier and migration studies inform my analysis of the blurred lines that defined aristocracy at that moment, continually overstepped by other social classes, especially the incipient middle-class. Considered as disgraceful jobs, the first bourgeois entrepreneurs opted to buy noble titles or marry the impoverished aristocracy in order to secure their social status. Finally, these socioeconomic studies shed light on women’s confusing social roles and their contradictory expression of femininity on stage.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Eighteenth Century Theater, Spain, Social mobility, Labor, Identity
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