Mapping the Imagination: Feminine Embodiment in the Novels of Benito Pérez Galdós

Miller, Gabrielle, Spanish - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Pope, Randolph, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia

In recent decades critics across the academic disciplines have spoken of a “spatial turn” in scholarship that recognizes the integral role of space in constructing socio-historical narratives. Situated within this broader line of critical inquiry, my dissertation demonstrates the relevance of cultural and feminist geographies to a reappraisal of Spanish realist topographies. This project focuses specifically on the female protagonists that populate Benito Pérez Galdós’ novels, analyzing spatial relations within the fictional worlds they inhabit. Throughout, I privilege the place of the body, an important locus for feminist geographers and argue that, when read in conjunction with contemporary socio-hygienic discourses, the bodies of Galdós’ marginalized, female protagonists are inscribed with discourses of disease and disability. Nevertheless, through their appropriation of traditionally masculine spaces—the market, the street, and even education—these female characters achieve albeit fleeting moments of emancipation that paradoxically “cure” them in the eyes of critical bourgeois society, if only momentarily.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: