La materialidad de las cosas: estudio cultural de los objetos de uso femenino en la formación nacional española de finales del XIX

Píriz Moguel, Ana, Spanish - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Amago, Samuel, Spanish Italian and Portuguese, University of Virginia

This dissertation explores the fascinating field of Spanish material culture of the mid- and late-19th century. In particular, it analyzes the complex dynamics that developed when imported objects became intertwined in Spanish society, evolving to become indispensable components of the new cultural imaginary into which they were introduced. This research is based on a review of nineteenth-century Spanish literature, paying special attention to the representation of material culture in realist literature. This study analyzed the perception of these objects through Benito Pérez Galdós contemporary novels, to a lesser extent, I also considered the perspectives of other influential authors of the mid- and late-nineteenth century. I study the way in which those works represent imported feminine objects and their socio-cultural implications, which in turn offer new methods of understanding the cultural dynamics of a historical moment when the nation is being redefined. To carry out this interdisciplinary task, I have considered both studies of material culture and the study of literary criticism. My methodological approach encompasses both the tangible attributes of these objects and their representation in the literature, press and art of the time, offering a holistic understanding of their cultural importance.
Through the study of the fan, the mantón de Manila, and the sewing machine, one can perceive how the articulation and representation of national identity does not respond to a static entity, but rather a dynamic construction deeply influenced by foreign cultures and imported objects. My study analyzes how Spain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries evolved through the acquisition of feminine objects that became an integral part of the culture.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Material culture, Realist literature, Fan, Manila shawl, Sewing machine
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