Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures & Languages


Paul Julian Smith

Committee Members

Magdalena Perkowska

Nuria Morgado

María Hernández

Subject Categories

Spanish Literature | Visual Studies | Women's Studies


masculinity, Spanish literature, Spanish film, resistance, feminist critique


This dissertation examines the representation of masculinity in crisis in films and novels by contemporary female authors of Spain. The films are El último viaje de Robert Rylands by Gracia Querejeta, Te doy mis ojos by Iciar Bollaín and La vida sin mí by Isabel Coixet. The novels are Amado amo by Rosa Montero, Los aires difíciles by Almudena Grandes and La conquista del aire by Belén Gopegui. The question this dissertation asks is if by introducing male characters that lack power, control and success the works promote practices of feminist resistance. The answer is that they do but, as expected, with contradictions, ambiguities and contaminations of patriarchal ideology. Through the analysis of the works at study, this dissertation addresses such issues as homosexuality as a foucauldian point of resistance; the role of the state in the politics of care; the tendency of the dominant fiction to rescue the man in crisis; the use of victimization of women as a tool of feminist liberation; vulnerability and precariousness as the main traits shared by all persons; the physical abuse suffered by the foucauldian docile bodies in the work place; patriarchal masculinities in contemporary literary romance; the absence of feminist politics in the new leftist politics in Spain.