Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
This dissertation analyzes representations of place in works of Galician-language narrative fiction published between 2004 and 2012: A intervención by Teresa Moure, Todo é silencio by Manuel Rivas, Ser ou non by Xurxo Borrazás, Dime algo sucio and Historias de Oregón by Diego Ameixeiras, and En vías de extinción by María Reimóndez. This study begins from the hypothesis that places, far from being unitary or stable entities, are constituted through discourses and practices and can best be analyzed as sites of articulation, spaces of negotiation, and unfolding sets of relations (Lepofsky, following Amin and Thrift; Massey, Allen et al.). It argues that narrative fiction often works against homogenizing discourses of place by creating microgeographies, or aestheticized representations of the multiple ways in which places are lived, experienced, and contested. By analyzing these microgeographies, this dissertation contributes to the understanding of how topics such as local knowledge, the rural-urban divide, community, and home are being imagined in contemporary Galician cultural production. This emphasis on small-scale geographies serves as point of entry into a larger discussion of the relationship between the local and the global, between agency and structure. In analyzing narrative representations of relatively small spaces--from the body itself, to a building, a garden, a village, an urban neighborhood--this dissertation describes some of the ways in which the meaning of places derives from the contact (and conflict) between the individual and the forces that order social life, from the family to local politics, from linguistic hegemony to global capitalism.