Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Luis Martín-Estudillo


This dissertation, Emancipated Peripheries. Politics of Spatial Representation in the Re-imagined Iberia, explores how the emergence of Basque, Galician and Asturian literatures has changed the web of relations between these literatures and the other consolidated Iberian literatures (Castilian, Portuguese, and Catalan), and how the coexistence of these literatures in the Iberian Peninsula forces us to re-conceptualize Iberian space as the place where the identity of a certain linguistic community is performed, understanding space in a performative way. This dissertation questions two predominant assumptions: first, that peripheral literatures are nothing but small imitations of national literatures, and that they follow the same paradigm at a minor scale, with minor achievements which are significant only in their own context. Second, that there is a centripetal center towards which every cultural movement tends to refer. I argue that peripheral Iberian literatures establish themselves as new interconnected centers of cultural production that are no longer dependent, but rather are inter-dependent, transforming the periphery into a privileged place for renovation and the formulation of new cultural proposals and tendencies. This reading of the Iberian context also invites a new reading of the Castilian canon, unearthing hidden masterpieces and alternative readings of the tradition. A post-colonial, ecocritical and biopolitical approach to these issues allows an in-depth understanding of what has been hidden: alternative conceptions of modernity, dissimilar readings of the literary canon, and the strong and concealed voices of the peripheral, the women, or the rural.

This dissertation examines how peripheral literatures (and among these I include a certain reading of the Castilian tradition) redefine the relation between the human and non-human, masculine and feminine, nature and culture (focusing on the poetry of the Galician poet Olga Novo); how they draw new symbolic maps of the Iberian literatures and their traditions (as the Asturian writer Xuan Bello does); how they recover the lost memory of certain communities (studying novels by Basque writer Iñigo Aranbarri and the Castilian novelist Julio Llamazares, as well as video installations by artists like Barbara Fluxá or Iván Cortázar); and how certain literary works propose a new web of relations between peripheries (analyzing the novels by the Portuguese writer Valter Hugo Mãe).


Ecocriticism, Iberian Studies, Spatial Humanities


vi, 294 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 276-294).


Copyright © 2017 Martín López-Vega