Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Comparative Literature


Paul Julian Smith

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Comparative Literature | Spanish Literature


Spain, Science Fiction, Biopolitics of Gender, Performativity


This thesis investigates the distinctly Spanish works of science fiction created by Pedro Almodóvar and Elia Barceló through biopolitical and feminist frameworks. Utilizing the theories of feminist philosopher Judith Butler and sociologist Jemima Repo, we uncover associations between the fictional and theoretical that have seldom been studied in conjunction. The paper aims to demonstrate Almodóvar and Barceló’s unique narratives free from the confines of an unwavering gender stratum while simultaneously revealing the deteriorative effects of gender as a control apparatus. Deeply influenced by the post-Franco Madrid Movida movement, these creators exemplify the feminist ideals emerging from that progressive time, rejecting more conservative cultural dynamics. Their work offers a startling prescience for modern Spain, with elements mirrored in Butler and Repo’s gender-focused studies. Gender identity is malleable and non-essential to the functions of reproduction and identity in every piece we examine. That idea is central to this thesis, which intends to demonstrate the potential of subversion through fantastical Spanish science fiction narratives.